The end of 2009 saw the introduction of the first and only public beta of the ever popular and indispensable Microsoft Office 2010. Directed at the masses, this was first released as a technical preview for a smaller audience. The best things about this beta version are the changes in interface and productivity brought about by increased connectivity to the internet.

What’s New?

As such, versions of Outlook have been upgraded to included apps like the Microsoft Outlook Social Connector. Being in constant contact with colleagues and maintaining a swift share network has been made all that easier with the connector. Microsoft claims that the Social Connector will soon be equipped to connect with social networking websites like Twitter and Facebook. This will allow the checking of all such status updates in one platform, that of the Microsoft Outlook Social Connector.

Another option added to the public beta which increases its versatility and productivity is the new and enhanced File Menu, called the Back Stage View in the technical preview. This functionality enables the users to set permissions, handle all your documents as well as share all existent projects and notes with your colleagues. Enjoy accessibility to all tabs directly from the Ribbon without having to repeatedly back out of the File Menu View.

A few Web App implementations have been included in the beta which makes it more user and network friendly. An external memory slot of 25 GB has been added. Known as the SkyDrive, this allows all users to access their data from anywhere using a Windows Live ID. Options like PowerPivot allow consumers to access external servers and requisite data easily while negating the need of extensively downloading all said data. These program apps can also be accessed through your Windows Mobile handset. Microsoft’s aim is simply to make the Microsoft Office the communications ‘lifeline’ of any company. With that in mind, the Microsoft Office 2010 Beta seems to be moving in the right direction.

Free Preview

As for the general public, this beta is available for preview and use in all its functionality with immediate effect after its launch. What’s more, the program remains free for download till the 31st of October 2010. There are no limits to the number of downloads available to each person or computer. The Microsoft Office 2010 beta is the first of its kind that has been available in both 32-bit and 64-bit. Check with the version of your Microsoft Windows Operating System before downloading it.

To download and install the Office 2010 beta, the user only has to access the Microsoft website where the free download is available to the public. There are five variants of the Office 2010, namely, the Office Home and Student, Office Home and Business, Office Professional as well as the Office Standard and Office Professional Plus. Of these the first three are freely available in the beta itself while the last two are to be made available tolicensed users in a volume package. Installing the Office 2010 beta will be easy as there is no need to update the software on your computer. The same provisions that worked the Microsoft Office 2007 are needed for the Office 2010 beta edition.