Office 2010 RC released to testers

Microsoft has released Office 2010 RC to technical beta participants today.

The software giant has made available the release Candidate Builds of Microsoft Office 2010 client (build 4734.1000) and server products (build 4730.1010). Earlier this week Microsoft officials confirmed to Neowin that it had made the build available to TAP 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 the release candidate 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.

In an email, the Office team thanked testers, "as a valued Technical Beta participant, you play an important role in preparing Office 2010 for the rest of the world! We thank you for your continued participation, feedback, and hard work."

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.

Thanks to Tom for the news tip

Image Credits: Wzor

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42 Comments

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Anyone know if the x64 one plays nicer with iTunes when syncing an iPhone. Got all kinds of errors last night although in all likleyhood its iTunes that needs patching too. Just curious.

Microsoft Office 2010 is pleased to announce the release of the Release Candidate build for Microsoft Office 2010 client (build 4734.1000) and server products (build 4730.1010), now available at http://connect.microsoft.com/office.
As a valued Technical Beta participant, you play an important role in preparing Office 2010 for the rest of the world! We thank you for your continued participation, feedback, and hard work.

Non-Disclosure Update: Please review the updated NDA notification on the Office 2010 Connect site. Though the Office 2010 products are now fully disclosed, information made available to you as part of the Technical Beta program is still governed by NDA.
IMPORTANT! End User License Agreement (EULA) for Release Candidate: In order to gain access to this Release Candidate, all participants must accept the Microsoft Pre-Release Software License Terms, implemented through a mandatory survey hosted on Connect. As a reminder, these license terms supersede the license terms that accompany the Release Candidate software.

When you visit https://connect.microsoft.com/office, you will be prompted to complete a mandatory survey. The survey will display the corresponding pre-release license terms for both server and client software, and will require all users to accept both terms. Once the agreements have been accepted, you will have access to the Release Candidate builds.

Important Information about this release: This Release Candidate is intended for testing only. There is NO "upgrade" path from this release to any future releases of Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010 including the final "RTM" release. All pre-released applications will need to be uninstalled before any future releases, including the final "RTM" release, can be installed. Additionally, all data and customizations created in the beta and release candidate versions of SharePoint products will be lost when moving to the final "RTM" release of SharePoint 2010.

Please carefully review and read the known issues, installation requirements and access the product download links now available on Connect. Access this key information here.
Key Information IMPORTANT: Please carefully review the Office 2010 product release page on Connect with known issues, product installation requirements and download links for all newly released products.

Bug Reports and Feedback: It remains the highest priority for you to download, install, test, and report any issues you find about the Release Candidate build as soon as possible. Please use the bug reporting tool to notify us of bugs, unexpected behavior or any other issues you encounter at your earliest convenience.

Activation Instructions: Starting with this build release, Office 2010 will no longer accept Beta keys. Please request new product keys here.

Newsgroups: We encourage you to continue to use the Office 2010 private newsgroups for support, to post your questions or answers.

Thank you again for participating in the Microsoft Office 2010 Technical Beta Program. We look forward to your valuable feedback.
Sincerely,
Microsoft Office 2010

Activation Instructions: Starting with this build release, Office 2010 will no longer accept Beta keys. Please request new product keys here

Can't wait to get home and find some torrents of this. I support the RTM when it comes out by buying it, as i did for 2007 on my main machines, but this will be a play project on my laptop.

I find it funny that some of you complain about this and that and don't even REALLY TEST its available features only to write something negative about it here. For example the Ribbon Bar and the small little arrow up that would minimize it. They have also brought in color customization to it as well if you go looking for it. Silver, Blue and Black. Perhaps more in the future or someone can make tweaks to get more colors. The ability for Social Networking will be in the final version. Most likely syncing your contacts with Facebook, Google, etc.

If you are truly going to criticize a BETA product then TRULY test its features before commenting. Or at least ask and don't assume.

No I don't work for Microsoft but I am in the TAP program. I am glad they don't release it on TechNet/MSDN at the same time they provide it to the TAP testers.

There is a very positive response from the corporate world for this. My clients are very happy with it and have been using the BETA for live production because they know I can resolve most of the issues they have. I didn't recommend it but when asked about my use of it in my own production environment I told them that it was being used daily for a while. That was all it took.

BTW - once I explained and showed how the Ribbon features worked it was their number one feature improvement to them. We are talking about REAL MS OFFICE power users not just checking emails. They also like the consistent Ribbon UI as well as the ability to add multiple emails to one account easily.

Kirkburn said,
Btw, theme choices are in 2007 as well - black, silver and blue.

Yeah was referring to the comment from a poster about the white background in Office 2010. I would like to see more theming abilities without tweaks from MS. Perhaps they might listen to us :)

mrmomoman said,
Yeah was referring to the comment from a poster about the white background in Office 2010. I would like to see more theming abilities without tweaks from MS. Perhaps they might listen to us :)
Ah, gotcha :)

Edited by Kirkburn, Feb 4 2010, 6:57pm :

I have a feeling Office 2010 would not be a hit compared to Office 2007.. for some reason, the beta was not all that impressive. Also, based on those screenshots, and my own speculation, I highly doubt it would be that different!

dimithrak said,
I have a feeling Office 2010 would not be a hit compared to Office 2007.. for some reason, the beta was not all that impressive. Also, based on those screenshots, and my own speculation, I highly doubt it would be that different!

Then your speculation is in error.

For those running a 64-bit flavor of Windows, the only reason NOT to crossover and run Office 2010 x64 will bed lack of compatible plug-ins or add-ins. My application I'm in most of the time (Outlook) gains the Ribbon this spin (in fact, it is the last Office application to do so), and despite my being seriously NOT used to using the Ribbon in Outlook, I actually require fewer (not more) mouse-clicks in 2010 to do the same tasks as I did in 2007. (In short, Outlook's Ribbon actually is a plus, not a minus, even for Ribbon Newbies.)

I find the new ribbon bar awkward as much as the next guy, but I can say the new 2010 Ribbon, for those who don't know makes things a little easier to find stuff by highlighting the panel relevant to the item you have selected. Example if you select a table in a word document you will see highlighted in the ribbon Table Design and Table Layout tabs.

eangulus said,
I find the new ribbon bar awkward as much as the next guy, but I can say the new 2010 Ribbon, for those who don't know makes things a little easier to find stuff by highlighting the panel relevant to the item you have selected. Example if you select a table in a word document you will see highlighted in the ribbon Table Design and Table Layout tabs.
How is that different to 2007?

Kirkburn said,
How is that different to 2007?

I never noticed it in 2007. My mistake it was already there. In that case its more noticeable in 2010 then.

I see they haven't removed that big ugly ass ribbon bar from the top that takes up 2 inches of landscape on my desktop!!

RawGutts said,
I see they haven't removed that big ugly ass ribbon bar from the top that takes up 2 inches of landscape on my desktop!!

you can minimize it.

@eangulus
Same here. It may take one or two days to be available, I guess. ... Can't wait to install it on my computers :)

torrentthief said,
the OP needs changing, 4734 didn't leak, only screenshots! I'm sure it will leak with 48hrs now though.

It has leaked now. It was made available on at least one Torrent site that I know of yesterday.

nodii said,
A shame Outlook won't be included in the free version. It would make the ideal combination.

There wouldn't be much point in making an ad-supported version of Outlook available when Windows Live Mail is already available as part of Windows Live Essentials.

Kristan K said,

There wouldn't be much point in making an ad-supported version of Outlook available when Windows Live Mail is already available as part of Windows Live Essentials.
Are you saying the feature set of Outlook is comparable to that of Live Mail?

Northgrove said,
Are you saying the feature set of Outlook is comparable to that of Live Mail?

The free versions do not have full functionality. So, I'd guess a limited version of Outlook wouldn't be much more useful than Windows Live Mail.

Northgrove said,
Are you saying the feature set of Outlook is comparable to that of Live Mail?

He's not saying that, what he means is why make a ad supported free version of outlook when they have a free, non-ad mail client already? Maybe they don't share all the features but the key ones you want in a free client are in live mail already.

Northgrove said,
Are you saying the feature set of Outlook is comparable to that of Live Mail?

Yes probably in Windows Live Mail Wave 4. It's definitely better than an ad-supported "Outlook Starter".

GP007 said,
He's not saying that, what he means is why make a ad supported free version of outlook when they have a free, non-ad mail client already? Maybe they don't share all the features but the key ones you want in a free client are in live mail already.

Does Live Mail connect to Exchange Server? I'd love to move away from this horribly heavy Outlook client, but nothing else I've tried works very well with Exchange.

vaximily said,

Does Live Mail connect to Exchange Server? I'd love to move away from this horribly heavy Outlook client, but nothing else I've tried works very well with Exchange.

I have used Outlook as my preferred mail client since Outlook 97, and I am a home user. Why? No mail client (not even Evolution or KMail, which come the closest outside of Windows/OS X) has as much firepower for taming a mailbox (POP3 or IMAP) that Outlook brings to bear. Outlook has one failing - it has issues with nonstandard proprietary back-ends (such as GroupWise and Notes); however, that isn't Outlook's (or even Microsoft's) fault.

In fact, back in my pre-broadband days (pre-2000), my biggest use for Outlook was sending faxes, not e-mail.