Office 2010 Public Beta to begin next week

Today, Microsoft sent out an email to Click-To-Run Technical Preview participants that outlined the public beta which was announced by Microsoft last month; next week an email will be sent out to give further details.

This news follows the announcement of other closing Connect groups, such as the fully-fledged Office 2010 Technical Preview group earlier last week.

According to the email, we might be seeing the public beta as early as next week - hopefully with some further new features and fixed bugs that were present in the early technical preview. Neowin will cover these developments as they happen.

Dear Technical Preview Participants,

Thank you so much for all your feedback on the Office 2010 Click-to-Run Technical Preview. Your feedback has been of great help to the product team.

We are starting to prepare the Microsoft Connect site for the next Office 2010 release that we will also be asking for you to provide feedback on to us. You will receive an email next week with more information about the new release.

Starting November 10, 2009, the Office 2010 Click-to-Run Technical Preview release will no longer have available for downloading. You can continue to use the product on any computer it is installed.

It is important that you plan for the next product release. This release will NOT be upgradeable. You will be required to completely uninstall the current version of your product on the machine. We strongly advise that you backup all of your data files, before you uninstall the Office 2010 Click-to-Run Technical Preview release.

Again, thank you for your participation and feedback in the Office 2010 Office 2010 Click-to-Run Technical Preview Program.

Office 2010 Click-to-Run Product Team

Update: The Office team have confirmed they have some exciting news to share at PDC next week (via Twitter).

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So why is this never posted on Technet? I paid good money to join Technet, and Office 2010 was one of the main reasons.

I've been wondering the same thing. I joined Technet for the testing of software and Office 2010 has been nowhere to be found. I've been looking for it since i joined back in June.

I'm sure it's been mentioned, but I am happy with Office 2007 for functionality... their primary focus needs to be on performance. I really hope that 2007 > 2010 runs the course that Vista > Win7 ran... they've got the functionality right, now fix the performance!

Just my two cent =)

This notification went out early last month.
Beta has been going on now for a short while, Nov 3rd to be exact.

This is the notification I received early last month.

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 http://connect.microsoft.com/office.

You can also access product news and updates at http://www.microsoft.com/office/2010/.

Thank you for your participation!

The Microsoft Office 2010 Team

Been using the Tech Preview and the Web Apps TP. The core applications are improved, but the web applications are extremely underwhelming in the beta stage. My expectations for the web apps remain low.

Been using the Technical Preview for some months now and I love what they have done. The Ribbon UI is much more user friendly and Outlook 2010 is the best version ever!

Office is exactly what makes me miss using Windows (I switched over to Mac a year ago). Office:mac 2008 is a joke compared to Office 2007, especially since I need to type equations quite frequently. It made me an avid user of LaTeX, which may actually be a good thing, but in any case, I have tried out the Office 2010 Technical Preview when I briefly switched to Windows 7 (but switched back because Boot Camp driver support was bad). Maybe I'll try that again.

Anyway, I wonder when news of the next Office:mac release surfaces. I really hope they actually keep feature parity with the Office for Windows this time.

Still not too late. Boot your "mac" with the OS X cd, start the disk utility, and then repartition the hard drive using the Master Boot Record and FAT...

That was it.... You will see that your "Mac" has actually always been a PC. Now you can go ahaed install Windows without the need of OS X or Bootcamp or what so ever.

I don't really get what you can do with outlook, for checking email, all I do is go online.
so can anyone tell me what's so useful about it?

Outlook is not meant for home users (hence the fact that it is not included in Office Home and Student), and although its primary use is checking e-mail, it's really an Exchange client more than an e-mail client. When used as designed in a business environment with Active Directory, Exchange, and Office Communicator it is unmatched for its abilities in e-mail and voicemail, global contact lists, task lists, calendars, scheduling appointments and meetings, instant messaging, voice communication, and the ability to share all of the above with others in the company. Then use it with Sharepoint and it just gets even better with discussions, documents, tasks lists, contacts, etc getting synched between Outlook and Sharepoint. Add on top the synching abilities with a Windows Mobile phone, and...well, you get the idea...

JonathanMarston said,
Outlook is not meant for home users (hence the fact that it is not included in Office Home and Student), and although its primary use is checking e-mail, it's really an Exchange client more than an e-mail client. When used as designed in a business environment with Active Directory, Exchange, and Office Communicator it is unmatched for its abilities in e-mail and voicemail, global contact lists, task lists, calendars, scheduling appointments and meetings, instant messaging, voice communication, and the ability to share all of the above with others in the company. Then use it with Sharepoint and it just gets even better with discussions, documents, tasks lists, contacts, etc getting synched between Outlook and Sharepoint. Add on top the synching abilities with a Windows Mobile phone, and...well, you get the idea...


Outlook has *always* been more than an Exchange client (it has always supported POP/SMTP from the beginning, and Outlook 97 even supported faxing out of the box, which was a no-cost add-on for Outlook 95); however, until recently, ISPs also provided Usenet services (which Outlook never supported directly unless you mated it to Exchange with the NNTP/Discussion Groups add-in). While you could (and, in fact, I always did) use Outlook for mail and Internet Mail and News (and later, Outlook Express) for Usenet, that flew in the face of *conventional wisdom*, which preferred *all-in-one* client software for ISP-based mail and Usenet (such as IMN, OE, Netscape Communicator, and Thunderbird. However, with the slow death of Usenet services from ISPs, and the increased use of multiple mailboxes, Outlook has come back into its own (and that doesn't even count sync services for smartphones).

Also, while Outlook wasn't included with Office Home and Student, it *is* included with Office Home and BUsiness (which largely replaces Office Home and Student), largely because of multiple mailboxes and the increased use of smartphones (such as various BlackBerries) in non-office settings.

Been using Beta 2 since last month. Everything is great except Outlook. It's a piece of ****. I reverted back to Windows Live Mail.

LAMj said,
Been using Beta 2 since last month. Everything is great except Outlook. It's a piece of ****. I reverted back to Windows Live Mail.

Whats your problem with outlook? Its the best outlook yet!

LAMj said,
Been using Beta 2 since last month. Everything is great except Outlook. It's a piece of ****. I reverted back to Windows Live Mail.

By being happy with reverting to Windows Live Mail you've shown that you have no need for the advanced features of Outlook. Outlook is much, much, more than an e-mail client. It's really an Exchange client, and was designed to be used as such.

It sounds like for you, using WLM was the right choice, but please realize that just because Outlook wasn't designed for you, it doesn't mean it's useless. There's really nothing that approaches what Outlook can do when used to its fullest in a business environment with Active Directory, Exchange, and Office Communicator...

JonathanMarston said,
By being happy with reverting to Windows Live Mail you've shown that you have no need for the advanced features of Outlook. Outlook is much, much, more than an e-mail client. It's really an Exchange client, and was designed to be used as such.

It sounds like for you, using WLM was the right choice, but please realize that just because Outlook wasn't designed for you, it doesn't mean it's useless. There's really nothing that approaches what Outlook can do when used to its fullest in a business environment with Active Directory, Exchange, and Office Communicator...


The problem with Outlook (as a Hotmail client) is mostly in Outlook Connector, which is solely due to Hotmail preferring MAPI. Outlook is far more than just an Exchange client (especially in 2010's case), it's actually the first IMAP client I find bearable (and that is entirely because of Outlook 2010 64-bit). Normally, I'm no fan of IMAP clients, because you often have to jump through extra hoops compared to POP3/SMTP; however, Outlook's IMAP support is no harder to configure than the POP3 support (especially for services like GMail/GoogleMail, which not only supports both, but uses the same settings for both in Outlook). In fact, I haven't used Outlook as an Exchange client since Outlook 2000 (which was, in fact, the only version of Outlook I used as an Exchange client), and that was only because I actually used Office in an office setting. I've used Outlook almost entirely as a POP3/SMTP client (with the exception of Outlook 97/98, which I also used as a faxmodem front end; I didn't go broadband until 2000). Outlook has always been, by far, my POP/SMTP mail client of choice; however, with the improved IMAP support (and the ability to handle large volumes of mail without requiring Exchange as a mail server), I see little reason to run any other mail software in Windows if Outlook is available.

I have to agree on the Outlook front even though they've improved it a lot and I use it from time-to-time. That being said, I tend to use Google Apps Mail via my Browser for the most part because of Outlook's still pathetic IMAP implementation. As funny and absurd as it is, WLM actually has better IMAP support when it comes to Gmail and Google-hosted mail (like what the company I work for uses, we're just a small business and Exchange is way out of our budget). At least in WLM I can tell it where is my Spam, Trash, Drafts, etc folders - in Outlook you can only specify Trash, turn off Junk filtering (and it still creates its stupid "Junk Email" folder) and tell it not to store copies of sent messages. When I want to get to my Drafts I have to either manually open [Gmail]Drafts folder or user Outlook's local Drafts folder - very convenient.... :-/

Simple things like that can make one's experience so bad that I'm much more productive firing the shortcuts Google Gears made for me and access my Mail, Calendar, Contacts and Docs even Offline...

At first I was excited about the new Office and would jump through all the hoops to get it just to end up barely ever using it....

We will see, I'd sure love to try it. Most likely they will fail at the release, unless they pull out anouther Win7 here, and decide to do us all well.
I'd Like to know why this product isn't upgradeable is it based on new or diff architecture?

I think they made it not upgradeable to avoid any complications or bugs that could result from only upgrading it from the older versions, to this version.

Hope that made sense.

DarkNovaGamer is correct. Don't confuse that with upgrading from Office 2007 to Office 2010. They are only saying that you cannot upgrade from the Click-To-Run version to Beta, not that the you cannot upgrade from Office 2007 to Office 2010.

The technical preview runs in some sort of VHD. You install it and drive Q: is created on your machine and that's where all the office files are stored, that is most likely why it's not upgradable. The actual beta will install like a normal program.

RaidenX said,
The technical preview runs in some sort of VHD. You install it and drive Q: is created on your machine and that's where all the office files are stored, that is most likely why it's not upgradable. The actual beta will install like a normal program.

Are you talking the click-to-run technical preview...or the regular office preview? Because I am running the regular preview...and I have no Q drive.

The Burning Rom said,
Are you talking the click-to-run technical preview...or the regular office preview? Because I am running the regular preview...and I have no Q drive.

It's Click-to-run.
And the visibility of the Q drive is a glitch.