Microsoft promises public beta of Office 2010

Microsoft has denied rumours that it will not run a public beta programme for its forthcoming Office 2010 suite.

A company spokesperson said that Microsoft will follow its regular development pattern, and allow the public to get their hands on working beta copies of the office applications package.

"Although we are not disclosing a date for the public beta, there definitely will be one. This development cycle for Office is no different than in years past, " the spokesperson said.

"In the third quarter of this year, Office 2010 will enter technical preview, which is an invite-only programme, and this will be followed by a public beta where millions can try out Office."

Microsoft's statement came shortly after word broke that the upcoming version of Office would not be available as a public beta.

Office 2010 will be the first major update of the company's productivity suite since Office 2007 was released alongside Windows Vista in January 2007.

Like its predecessor, development of Office 2010 is taking place as Microsoft readies its next version of Windows. The company is expected to publish the first release candidates for Windows 7 in May, and possibly ship a final version by the fourth quarter of this year.


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