Microsoft Office System 2007 Beta Ends

We are thrilled with the incredible excitement around the upcoming 2007 Microsoft Office system as is evident by over 3 million people installing the Beta 2 and later Beta2TR builds. With your help, we have far exceeded our technical participation goals.

At this time, we are pleased to announce that the 2007 Office system will be released to manufacturing (RTM) in the next few weeks. We thank you for your participation in the planning, development, and testing of this new release. As we approach the end of the beta testing phase of Office 2007, we would like to make you aware of several upcoming events that will affect you.

10/25 - Office Preview website closes down
On October 25, the Office Preview site will be closed down. Since this is the home of all Beta2TR product downloads, you will not be able to download Beta2TR after 10/25. All other information currently found on the Office Preview site will be migrated to the Office Online website (accessible via online help from within Office 2007 applications). This includes the FAQ, Product Guide, Top 10, Overview, the Demo tab, the New UI tab for programs, and other related information.

10/28 - Technical support gets a new home
Beginning October 28, support for Office 2007 products will transition from the Beta support newsgroups staffed by Office employees to the in-market product support provided by Microsoft Customer Service and Support. Starting 10/28, you will need to use https://support.microsoft.com to receive support for Office 2007 products.

10/30 - BetaPlace website and support newsgroups close down
The BetaPlace website (https://beta.microsoft.com) will close down on 10/30, signaling the end of the formal beta testing phase of the 2007 Microsoft Office system technical beta. At that time, the betanews.microsoft.com support newsgroups will also be closed down.

10/31 - SharePoint team sites decommissioned
The team site that you have been using at [name].spbeta.iponet.net will be shut down on October 31. If you have any important files or information stored on your team site, you need to store a local copy before 10/31, as all data on your site will be destroyed when the site is decommissioned.

Common Questions About the Transition NEW
Will there be a release candidate or other beta release beyond Beta2TR?
No. We are not planning to make any further builds available to technical beta testers. Office 2007 products will be available in retail channels early next year. The Beta2TR build is set to expire on March 15, 2007 for all client products and May 31, 2007 for all server products. This should allow you to use Beta2TR until you can upgrade to the retail version.

How will upgrading to the retail version work?
You may upgrade/migrate server products from Beta2TR to the retail release. However, all Beta version client applications (Office Professional, OneNote, SharePoint Designer, etc.) will need to be uninstalled before you install retail versions on your machine.

Will I still be able to access old newsgroup posts?
No. We will not be providing access to archives of any newsgroup posts. Please refer to Office Online for information and training, and https://support.microsoft.com for technical assistance beginning October 28, 2006.

Will I receive a free copy of 2007 Office system products?
Copies of 2007 Office system final product are not automatically distributed to all participants at the end of the Technical Beta. This program has been a volunteer effort by participants for the mutual benefit of you/your organization and the Microsoft Office team to enable feedback on your testing of 'real world' usage scenarios, and improvement of the final product quality for all Office users.

Thank you again for your willingness to help us make the 2007 Office system better than ever. We appreciate your participation and look forward to teaming with you again for future beta programs.

News source: Microsoft
View: Activewins Report on Office 2007 RTM

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