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.

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

Whatever.

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

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? :)

filled out the survey and im hoping for the best however i am not sure if i will get anything. more than likely they are going to have it installed on a custom version of windows to allow for less crashes and things as well lol that would be cool or windows 7 that would be rather cool as well.

littleneutrino said,
filled out the survey and im hoping for the best however i am not sure if i will get anything. more than likely they are going to have it installed on a custom version of windows to allow for less crashes and things as well lol that would be cool or windows 7 that would be rather cool as well.



Windows 7 7232 64-bit hasn't crashed yet. Didn't crash with just a gigabyte of RAM, and hasn't crashed with triple that (added 2 GB Monday). Included with Office 2010 is Send-a-Smile, which lets you send feedback (positive or negative) to the Office team. (Yes, it's included with the 64-bit version, which I'm running.) However, they will likely include 7100 64-bit (the Release Candidate), since that is the same build the general public has access to (so no secrets are compromised by over-the-shoulder peekaboo). (To be honest, 7100 64-bit didn't crash, either; I was curious as to improvements since 7100, which is why I blanked the partition and installed 7232 in the first place.) I'm curious as to what laptop Microsoft will be sending and how it's tricked out feature-wise.

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."

and they don't even let you keep the laptop...

andrewbares said,
Isn't this beta version going to be leaked to everyone anyways? And then you don't have to be on camera or anything!


Have you been hiding under a rock? An early version of the Technical Preview (in fact, both the 32-bit and 64-bit versions) has already leaked; it's available at the usual suspects.

My interest in Office 2010 is threefold:

1. I've run every 32-bit Windows versions of Office since the first one went into beta (Office 95/Windows 95 had simultaneous betas, and the TAP for Office 95 consisted entirely of Windows 95 beta testers); therefore, my being in the Office 2010 beta (the first 64-bit version of Office for Windows) would actually continue a streak that is now fourteen years and five versions in length.

2. It was Word 95 that got me hooked on Office 95 (I was coming from WordPerfect for Windows 6.0a), as it had better backward-compatibility with previous versions of WordPerfect for DOS (in addition to better performance in Windows 95); Office 97 included major improvements to both Excel and Outlook (however, the standalone Outlook 98, which marks the only out-of-order change to a single Office for Windows application, was even better); etc. Each new version of Office includes at least two major suite-wide changes outside of any UI changes; what will 2010 bring to the table that we didn't expect?

3. There are usually two applications in the Office suite I use far more than any others; since Office 2000 was in beta, it's typically been Word and Outlook. The one quibble I've had with *Outlook* is that it didn't have the same UI as Word (or the rest of Office, for that matter), which was all the more confusing considering that most of Outlook is based on Word; 2010 changed that. Outlook matches the rest of Office in the UI department (finally), and it truly takes advantage of 16:9 and 16:10 displays (the default Inbox view is left-center-right in 2010, not 2007's left-upper right-lower right, which is okay for CRTs). Lastly, you can now skip the previously-obligatory Calendar/Outlook Today and go straight to your Inbox (in Windows 7's Start menu, it's an auto-configured Outlook-specific jump-list item). Those of us that *didn't* use Exchange for e-mail (especially POP3 users) have finally had our prayers answered.

I signed-up and my mug is camera-hostile. Besides, my Mom *has* a laptop; having my own to kick around for six months definitely isn't a Bad Thing. (On top of that, Office 2010 rocks *anyway*.)

redeemed said,
lol


At least I honestly admit that my face won't be used in the next series of Nivea for Men ads. Besides, how many of the faces used in the "I'm a PC" ad series are truly camera-friendly? (Therefore, it's not as if Microsoft or their ad agencies are unused to ugly mugs like mine.)

I would sign up, but that would mean using a Windows-based laptop for 6 months... Why don't they do this for beta versions of Word for Mac?

Hmm, only like 10% of people would want a computer with OS X, so seems more practicle for them to put Windows on it.

Oh, and the Office for Mac versions are usually pretty crappy (probably on purpose), so they want people to test the best versions, not the last-minute versions.

andrewbares said,
Hmm, only like 10% of people would want a computer with OS X, so seems more practicle for them to put Windows on it.

Oh, and the Office for Mac versions are usually pretty crappy (probably on purpose), so they want people to test the best versions, not the last-minute versions.

Office for Mac is quite good actually.

Actually, Office:mac is pretty good. Puts Keynote, Pages, and Numbers to absolute shame (still).

But the navigation and feel is geared for an Apple audience which is why PC users feel that it is clumsy or awkward at first. Once you learn how to get around and get things done you see how powerful it is.

I agree that the past office for mac versions haven't been very good.. but the latest version has more features than the Windows version in some areas!

No man ... white and black are opposites (yea they are... spectrum and all that)

Good and stupid are just a couple of adjectives.

Beastage said,
No man ... white and black are opposites (yea they are... spectrum and all that)

Good and stupid are just a couple of adjectives.


Waoh, education really must be failing where ever you are. Black and white don't feature in the spectrum, but nice try.

ilike2burnthing said,

Waoh, education really must be failing where ever you are. Black and white don't feature in the spectrum, but nice try.

I don't know about where you are but where I am we're generally taught the actual, generalised, definition of words as well as specific cases. I would probably therefor direct you to the definition of spectrum -- or in the theory of modern education, Wikipedia -- which should clear up the matter for you.

I would guess that you're talking about the spectrum as the band of colours that is produced when sunlight passes through a prism but it is by far not the only definition. Play nice.

Relativity_17 said,
Read the entire article.

People here still do that? *boggle* LOL

6 months is a long time to be doing all that. Not too keen on the market campaign stuff either.