Microsoft's Office 2010 Technical Preview program closing

As Microsoft gets closer to a public beta of the next version of Office (Announced last week), the company has just announced that the Technical Preview program for Office 2010 is coming to an end. In the e-mail sent to participants, Microsoft noted that the public beta will be available sometime next month. Participants will still be able to access the Office 2010 Connect site for the next few weeks until the public beta.

"Hello Sean,

Thank you for continuing to utilize, evaluate and provide feedback on the Microsoft Office 2010 Technical Preview.
We wanted to notify you the Office 2010 Beta will be available for you to download next month (November 2009).
The Beta release of Office 2010 marks the end of the Technical Preview program you currently belong to. We will release the Beta on public download sites, where you can download and install a newer build of Office 2010 client software. At that time, you will also get your first look at the exciting new features we have added to server products such as SharePoint.

What this means to you as a Technical Preview Program participant is that the Office 2010 Connect site that you have been using will essentially be shut down and you will be directed to the Beta site (location to be announced) for Beta downloads, product information, links to forums, and more. We will provide you with links to the new Beta site on the current Office 2010 Connect site, but product downloads, articles, product information, and newsgroups currently found there will no longer be available on Connect.

In the weeks between now and the release of Beta, you can still access all of the Technical Preview materials on the Office 2010 Connect site.
A reminder, you can access connect at

You can also access product news and updates at
Thank you for your participation!

The Microsoft Office 2010 Team"

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Liked the tech preview a lot, though I wound up reverting back to '07 for now because the TP didn't connect to Office Live.

The Office 2010 launch has many of the hallmarks of the Win7 launch. Office 2007 has been a controversial release, mainly because of the Ribbon interface but also because of the new default XML-standards-based file formats. There aren't any such major changes in this release, and many users have had a few years to get used to the more controversial elements.

There are some nice usability enhancements in 2010, and if the beta works with Office Live I'll try it out.

Disengage said,
Tried the Tech preview and I liked it.
On a side note: my work school still uses Office XP. -_-.

Now that really has to sting.

What's really frustrating about that is, except for Outlook 2010 (which has issues with older versions of Exchange) you can still use the rest of the Office apps as usual (I haven't changed file formats since Office 97, not even with Word, and despite protesting from the Office-haters, you've never had to; you just have to remember to use Save As to get those old file formats). That is why I don't recommend this version of Office for work desktops and portables that connect to Exchange 2003 or earlier mail servers.

PGHammer said,

That is why I don't recommend this version of Office for work desktops and portables that connect to Exchange 2003 or earlier mail servers.

I haven't had any problems using the tech preview of office 2010 at work, and we still have an Exchange 2003 mail server.

Running Office 2010 Build 4514 with my serial number from the Connect site and it works just fine for me. I have two serials available to me (O2010 Professional) and were able to use both to install on home and work laptops without a problem. It also says Beta everywhere so I'm not sure if it'll be the same build as the public beta but the connect serial numbers worked so maybe it is. That build is a great improvement over the Technical Preview. Much more faster, stable and complete (no missing graphics).

Hope its better than 2007. I still prefer Office 2003 over 2007. I like the direction they went with 2007 with the ribbon interface, but felt like they dropped a lot of features to get there. I also disliked the stupid MS office ORB thingy. That was so ridiculous and out of place.

Shadrack said,
Hope its better than 2007. I still prefer Office 2003 over 2007. I like the direction they went with 2007 with the ribbon interface, but felt like they dropped a lot of features to get there. I also disliked the stupid MS office ORB thingy. That was so ridiculous and out of place.

I came to the 2010 TP *from* 2007 SP2, and I like this version tons more.

Three reasons:

1. x64 (all applications). This is the first 64-bit productivity suite; for once, it wasn't half-stepped.
2. Faster file conversions (Word). Word's Save As no longer chokes on large documents, even when saving as PDF, ODF, or XPS (all three formats are now exportable directly, without add-ins or fake printer drivers).
3. Larger capacity for mail and attachments (Outlook). Multiple mailboxes with lots of mail and atachments no longer cause Outlook to slow to a crawl. Outlook also has improved IMAP support (which I personally tested with GMail/GoogleMail).

What "features" are you talking about? When I first switched to Office 2007 there was a lot of the "where in the world did ... go???" Especially in Excel. Some of the more complex stuff I had to look up in the help or online to find but it was all there. To date I have not found a single feature dropped in any Office 2007 product and I am a pretty heavy user. A few defaults changed in a way I didn't prefer or a UI change that makes something require a few more clicks but I wouldn't consider those feature drops.

I normally hear the opposite, that 2007 has many more features than 2003. In most cases whoever is making the claim is referring something in 2003 but so hard to find they never knew it was there. Stories like that are a testimony to how much better the new UI really is. Though for old time power users there is quite a bit of a relearning curve. It probably took me a month of pretty regular use before I felt as comfortable in Excel 2007 as I was in Excel 2003.

I too am looking forward to Office 2010. 2007 was a first stab at the ribbon interface and I would say it is far from perfect, would love to see what they have tweaked after 3 years of feedback.

well, unofficially, it's already out by wzor. those who were beta testers on beta-1 can activate their copy by using their old product keys.

A one year trial? In other words, free software? o_O Most people here reformat their computers at that rate. I don't think MS would do that... 90 days is generous as it is.

i beta tested office before but we never got a free copy for our efforts, just a special offer of sorts but who know.

Wonder if us Tech Preview testers get a free copy..... I use Outlook 2003 at work but never used it for home.....until i used 2010 but i wont pay $$$ for the Pro version.

I don't think people in the tech preview program will get copies... that was more of a "enter your e-mail and we'll let you download office" program. Usually only official beta testers who send x amount of bug reports get it.

I was an official Office 2007 beta tester, got free DVDs of the beta version in the mail and everything. I submitted a number of bugs, one of which got a lot of traction and was contacted by an MS developer. After the beta I got a note thanking me for being an "active" beta tested and that I would get a free gift soon. I assumed it would be a copy of the full version once it was released. Nope, not so much, it was a $5 nearly useless LED light with the office 2007 logo on it!!

Can't friggin wait for Outlook 2010. Gosh If I could port Apple's "Mail" to Windows, I'd do it in a heartbeat. I need an icon overlay for unread mail on my awesome Superbar :-(. Gmail Notifier comes close but I hate how it opens the browser to see each message. I need a proper, hot-looking mail client NOWWWWWWWWWWWWWW :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-(

I've only just noticed in this last week that Outlook 2010 has a different icon on the superbar when you've got new unread mail! But this might be because I've only just switched back to the default superbar style.

Apple Mail... well if you don't want a big, bloated app like Outlook, maybe Windows Live Mail is the solution.

When I boot my Windows partition, I have everything in Windows Live Mail. It's not incredibly good, but it does a very nice job and has this simple interface that I look forward to have in any app.

I liked Apple Mail as a simply little mail app, but to compare it to Outlook? They are in completely different categories. Try downloading Windows Live Mail (which is different from the mail client included with Vista) its a pretty nice looking simple mail client. I haven't used it much but Thunderbird also looks pretty good.

devHead said,
I tell you what, the 64-bit Technical Preview was smoking fast! Can't wait to get my hands on this sweet puppy. :)

Two words: still is!

I got the Not-So-Good news today via Outlook 2010 x64.

I will move both PCs with the Tech Preview installed (mine and Mom's) to the beta ASAP; I see no reason to go back to Office 2007.