Microsoft is looking for family, student or home business users of their successful Office suite to participate in the beta program for Office 2010. As part of the program, users will be loaned a laptop for at least six months and receive a free copy of the final Office 2010 suite when it is released.
It's all part of a "real life stories" campaign that aims to tell the story of how you use Office to help you in your every day life, whether that be for your work, school or college assignments, or just household tasks. Microsoft will then use some of the best stories as part of a publicity and marketing campaign when the new version of Office is released, which apparently "can mean everything from being featured in case studies and videos to acting as a press reference or even just letting us share your testimonials about the software."
If you are accepted onto the program then you will not only be given a laptop to borrow for the duration of the testing (with an Office 2010 beta version installed on it for you to use for your daily tasks or work) but you will also be given access to the new web-based versions of Word, PowerPoint and Excel. As well as this, you will be able to access unlimited email and phone support and a specialised community site, along with Q&A sessions and free monthly training through webcasts. At the end of the program you will receive a free copy of Office 2010.
All they ask in return is your participation in the training and surveys for a minimum of six months and, of course, that you use the software on a regular basis. You will also be required to share your experiences so they can be used in the marketing campaign. As usual for most things like this, it is currently only open to people living in the USA although "may be rolled out to other markets at a later time."
So if you are part of a family, a member of a small business or a student who owns 5 PCs or less and uses computers on a daily basis - and wants to test drive Office 2010 before most others get their hands on it - then make sure you submit your application before the June 30 deadline.