Fancy a free copy of Office 2010 and a laptop to run it on?

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.

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Microsoft Security Essentials Beta released

Next Story

Apple's obsession with secrecy

66 Comments

View more comments

Lechio said,
Will they allow for people to install Linux with OpenOffice on the laptop? :)

honestly why would you want to? the laptop is specifically to test their program, why would you even bother to install anything else knowing you're only going to have the laptop for 6 months. I'm assuming you have already test openoffice on your current computer. but then if it was meant as /sarcasm....i retract my words lol

macrosslover said,
honestly why would you want to? the laptop is specifically to test their program, why would you even bother to install anything else knowing you're only going to have the laptop for 6 months. I'm assuming you have already test openoffice on your current computer. but then if it was meant as /sarcasm....i retract my words lol


Well, one reason comes to mind: free use of a computer without having Microsoft spy on your computer activities with their spyware. Sure that the spyware installed serves to "tell the story of how you use Office to help you in your every day life", right...

Yes, I have already "tested" Openoffice, in fact I use it on a daily basis. Works great, and it's free. :)
It wasn't sarcasm, just a valid question that's all.
Regards.

Lechio said,
Will they allow for people to install Linux with OpenOffice on the laptop? :)

I was thinking the same thing. What will happen if after the 6 months I return it to MS and it has Ubuntu on it?

Lord Ba'al said,
As long as you're dual booting it and remember to take it off when you give it back, there won't be any problem.

That would take all the fun out of it.
Just imagine the look on their faces after seeing that computer full of free software. Ah! Priceless... :D

macrosslover said,
honestly why would you want to? the laptop is specifically to test their program, why would you even bother to install anything else knowing you're only going to have the laptop for 6 months. I'm assuming you have already test openoffice on your current computer. but then if it was meant as /sarcasm....i retract my words lol


Besides, haven't you heard of OpenOffice for *Windows*? Do the shootout side-by-side. (However, OO has no e-mail application; in Linux and Solaris, I use Evolution (GNOME) or KMail (KDE). While KMail is available as part of the still-barely-beta KDE for Windows, Evolution isn't.)

PGHammer said,
Besides, haven't you heard of OpenOffice for *Windows*? Do the shootout side-by-side. (However, OO has no e-mail application; in Linux and Solaris, I use Evolution (GNOME) or KMail (KDE). While KMail is available as part of the still-barely-beta KDE for Windows, Evolution isn't.)


And MS Office and Outlook are available for Linux? Not that there was any interest in having that, with so many other free alternatives.

KDE for Windows is something really unstable, as it can be read on the project page:
"KDE on Windows is not in the final state, so applications can be unsuitable for day to day use yet."

Evolution is part of the GNOME project. But you are incorrect when you say that it isn't available for Windows:
http://www.softpedia.com/get/Internet/E-ma...r-Windows.shtml

Lechio said,
And MS Office and Outlook are available for Linux? Not that there was any interest in having that, with so many other free alternatives.

KDE for Windows is something really unstable, as it can be read on the project page:
"KDE on Windows is not in the final state, so applications can be unsuitable for day to day use yet."

Evolution is part of the GNOME project. But you are incorrect when you say that it isn't available for Windows:
http://www.softpedia.com/get/Internet/E-ma...r-Windows.shtml



My issue (with OO) is that it lacks an e-mail component, and Outlook is most of the time the most used application *in* Office (at least for me). While apparently practically everybody that compares OO and Office (and prefers OO, even for Windows) discounts e-mail (because they use a third-party application for that), I don't; therefore I have to whack OO for not including a feature that the competition actually has, and that I actually use. (As I pointed out, I use Outlook as a POP3 client, so it's not an Exchange-related issue.) In any case, OO needs a better e-mail application than Evolution, as it actually comes in a poor second to Outlook in handling hyperlinks in mail (KMail is actually worse than Evolution at this). Thunderbird/Eudora? Not only no, but *heck no*; I still consider Thunderbird a poor substitute for Outlook when it comes to handling POP3 mail. Even more damning, the only way to integrate Thunderbird/Eudora with OO is by adding third-party software. (Ewwwww.) I don't run macros, and the only third-party plug-in I use for any Office application is the PDF exporter (even that comes from Microsoft itself).

Lastly, you can certainly run Office 2007 in Linux (CodeWeavers CrossOver Pro specifically supports Office 2007, albeit with only Service Pack 1), so that's not a roadblock, either.

PGHammer said,
My issue (with OO) is that it lacks an e-mail component, and Outlook is most of the time the most used application *in* Office (at least for me). While apparently practically everybody that compares OO and Office (and prefers OO, even for Windows) discounts e-mail (because they use a third-party application for that), I don't; therefore I have to whack OO for not including a feature that the competition actually has, and that I actually use. (As I pointed out, I use Outlook as a POP3 client, so it's not an Exchange-related issue.) In any case, OO needs a better e-mail application than Evolution, as it actually comes in a poor second to Outlook in handling hyperlinks in mail (KMail is actually worse than Evolution at this). Thunderbird/Eudora? Not only no, but *heck no*; I still consider Thunderbird a poor substitute for Outlook when it comes to handling POP3 mail. Even more damning, the only way to integrate Thunderbird/Eudora with OO is by adding third-party software. (Ewwwww.) I don't run macros, and the only third-party plug-in I use for any Office application is the PDF exporter (even that comes from Microsoft itself).

Lastly, you can certainly run Office 2007 in Linux (CodeWeavers CrossOver Pro specifically supports Office 2007, albeit with only Service Pack 1), so that's not a roadblock, either.


OOo is an office suite, e-mail clients are on another division. Don't see any advantage in integrating an e-mail client with something like a word processor. What would be the point in doing that?
Evolution is just one e-mail client of the many. It's popular mostly due to its compatibility with Microsoft Exchange.
Pretty happy with the way Thunderbird works, and I also use POP3 servers. Why do you say it's poor?

Sure, you can run MS Office and other Win32 programs in Linux, thanks to free software. You can also do the opposite and run some popular free software, that comes with most GNU/Linux distros, in Windows (not thanks to Microsoft either). Isn't it wonderful? :)

get the laptop, yank every useful part out of it when its time to send it back, and profit, then again, its probably loaded with some funky version of windows thatll be useless after said amount of time

Yeah right! This is just spam! I remember last time they were offering free flash drives - hah - who got those?

Whatever.

Commenting is disabled on this article.