Microsoft has made the release candidate (RC) for its Office 2010 productivity suite available to a select few in its tech adoption program, the company confirmed Wednesday.
"Microsoft made a release candidate available to members in the technology adoption program (TAP)," a spokesman said. "This is one of Microsoft's planned milestones in the engineering process; however they do not have plans to make this new code set available broadly."
Office 2010 was made available to the public last November at the company's Professional Developers Conference (PDC). Microsoft later announced that the final software version will be released this June.
Key new features include a ribbon interface for Outlook, new typographic features in Word, and in-cell graphing in Excel. PowerPoint will also have the ability to embed video and multiple presentation windows. For the full scoop on what's new in the suite, check out Edward Mendelson's thorough preview of Office 2010 beta.
Possibly the most anticipated feature isn't even in the software itself but in an online version of the suite, Microsoft Office Web Apps. These will allow users to store and edit documents online, as well as collaborate with other online users. They're clearly a response to Google Docs, an online-only office suite.
Microsoft has also announced a "Starter" edition of Office 2010, which will replace Microsoft Works on new PCs and will be upgradeable to the full versions of the software. A Click-to-run downloadable version will allow users to try the new suite alongside their existing version.
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