Most likely you're aware that Microsoft is working on the next version of its Office suite, which it has dubbed Office 2010. The invitation-only technical preview phase of Office 2010 has ended, and now anyone can access the 684 MB download for free at http://www.microsoft.com/2010. The download includes these applications:
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· SharePoint Workspace
A free Microsoft Live ID, as well as Internet Explorer, are required to access the download. Your computer must have Windows XP with SP3; Windows Vista with SP1 or SP2; or Windows 7. You can also install this on a Windows Server 2003 or 2008 computer. Microsoft recommends that you install the beta on a secondary computer, and that you remove any previous versions of Office before installing the beta. You'll be required to activate the beta immediately after setup.
There are Office 2010 beta versions for three types of users:
Further, the application is available for download in multiple languages:
· Chinese (Simplified)
If you're hesitant to install Office 2010 on any of your computers, consider trying the Office Web Apps technical preview instead, which is Microsoft's answer to Google Docs and Zoho. Or, if you forge ahead with the beta, be sure to try the beta of the free PowerPivot add-in, which we wrote about recently.
You can follow the progress of Office 2010 in a variety of ways: