Microsoft officials have confirmed to Neowin that the company recently released a Release Candidate (RC) build of Office 2010 to private beta testers.
Early Release Candidate builds began leaking to the web in January this year as Microsoft was preparing for the RC release to Technology Adoption Program (TAP) testers. Russian site Wzor recently confirmed that build 14.0.4734.1000 is an RTM escrow build that Microsoft is testing internally. Screenshots of the build leaked last week and a download was made available on torrent sites early this week.
A Microsoft spokesperson confirmed to Neowin: "Microsoft made a release candidate available to members in the Technology Adoption Program (TAP). This is one of Microsoft's planned milestones in the engineering process; however they do not have plans to make this new code set available broadly."
In January Microsoft announced Office 2010 pricing. The professional edition will retail for $499 boxed. Office 2010 will be released in at least five different flavours, including a free version that includes Microsoft Word and Excel, but comes with limited functionality and includes advertisements. The editions of Office 2010 will include Starter, Home and Student, Home and Business, Professional and Professional Academic.
Microsoft is expected to hit the RTM milestone in the coming months with a general availability date of June.