Office 2010, latest version of Microsoft Office, enters public Beta – get it for free

Do you use Microsoft Office?  There’s a good chance you do. There’s also a pretty good chance you have heard about the new and upcoming Microsoft Office 2010. However, you probably didn’t know about the public beta Microsoft is running for Office 2010; anyone and everyone can use Microsoft Office 2010 Beta for free until October 2010.

Before I tell you how to get the Beta, why should you use Microsoft Office 2010? Microsoft gives you ten reasons why (warning: a great amount of corporate cheerleading is involved in the following list):

2009-11-18_191857

Anyway, to get started with Office 2010 Beta, just visit Officebeta.microsoft.com:

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From there, just follow the links that say things like “Download” or”Get it Now”:

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After two or three clicks you’ll reach the Windows Live sign in page:

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Just enter your credentials and click “Sign In” (if you don’t already have an account you will have to register – registration is free).  You’ll be redirected to a page featuring your activation code, and at the very bottom, a “Download” button:

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Be sure to read the “Important: Read This” section:  It’s, well, important.  Down at the bottom of the page is a download section; in it, they offer two downloads:  One for 32bit, one for 64bit.  If you don’t know which one to get, use the 32bit version.  Click on the “Select Language” dropdown and select your language.  Then just click the large blue “Download” button.

A window like this should pop up:

6Just wait until it turns into this (but if boxes pop up click Allow or Yes):

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Allow it to download the ~750 MB file.  This may take some time!  When it is done, click Launch:  it takes the place of the Pause button:

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Then let it extract the files:

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Then, it’s on to the install!  Accept the EULA and click whichever type of install you please:

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I selected Custom and then selected everything there was to install:

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Click Install Now and wait;  it may take some time:

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After it installs it will add a smile and a frown to your status bar:  to show that you’re happy with a feature, click a smile.  To show you dislike something, click a frown:

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You will also be prompted register online; you don’t need to do it so click close.  Then open the main window from the start menu; I will open Word for the purposes of this article:

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(Looks nice doesn’t it?  They even have a cancel button!  I’ve always wanted that.)

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Click on the “File” tab and from there the “Help” tab on the left.  Click on “Change Product Key”.

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A box will pop up.  Type in the product key you received earlier (or paste it in if you have it copied) and click Continue:

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It will prompt you to do an “Install” or a “Custom Install”.  Click install and it will register the Office programs:

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And then you’re set:  MSOffice 2010 is yours (for free) until Ocotober of 2010.  At October 2010 the beta will expire and you’ll be left with a cold dark feeling as though you should pay Microsoft to permanently keep the software you’re so familiar with.

Version reviewed: 14.0.4536.1000

Supported OS: Windows XP(SP3)/Vista(SP1)/Windows Server 2003 R2/Windows Server 2008 (SP2)/Win7

Office 2010 Beta homepage

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37 comments

  1. calebstein

    @OldElmerFudd: Yes, the 32-bit installer installs over your current office installation if it is 2007, if your current installation is 2010, it requires you to uninstall it completely before installing. The 64-bit installer requires that you manually uninstall any 32-bit versions of any office programs (all of them).

  2. Samuel

    @Mario: No problem. Another thing you could try installing Office 2010 in a VM. Thats what I might end up doing since I want to use all the 2010 programs but I want to keep 2007 for the times when it reminds me that it’s still a beta.

  3. Samuel

    @Mario: You should be able to, just make sure you have all the settings correct. The only problems I can for see is if Outlook opens or is opened by an Office 2007 program, but I can’t think of any reason that would happen (attachments don’t count here since it’s really windows opening them).

  4. Mario

    @Samuel – as for the Outlook subject – I had problems with this on previous 2010 install so had to reinstall office 2007. You think one can install the whole 2010 package without the Outlook and use the 2007 Outlook?
    mario

  5. Jack

    I use office 2003, then went to office 2007. to be honest I thought it didn’t make me work faster or any more easier.in fact i found it to be intrusive. nor could i get it to work my way. so I went back to office 2003.they can keep office 10

  6. chinaguy

    @Liam K: Actually you can hide the ribbon but I do not think that you can disable it and change it back to the normal ribbons. But for the record I do like the ribbon.

    @< href="#comment-18412">Ozzie: You can choose the options for cutting copying and pasting under the word options menu in the advanced category. It is near the top. I am not sure if you can choose to coy only text but there is a button which allows you to select the settings for smart cut and paste. There might be an option there which you are looking for.

  7. Steelers6

    Hey I heard it was coming out, I’ve been on the web apps beta for awhile. Nice to hear you can download it with Office 2007. But that’s a lot of computer real estate.

    This is the first I heard of it and I’ve been working on web apps, so your way ahead of the game. Most news I get is from the other testers or here.

    Thanks for such a nice explanation, I know a lot of people have office 2007 preinstalled and don’t want to lose it.

    Thanks I’ll tell my fmaily and friends right away.

    Wow what a great post, you really put some work into this one.

    Vidimo Se!

  8. Rob

    If I owned a copy of Office 2007, I would give that to you for free (tied with a ribbon)
    PS
    I hope they come up with another new file format, so it forces those that don’t want it, to buy it, so that they can read the 2010 files sent to them by others foolish enough to buy it.

  9. OldElmerFudd

    @calebstein:

    Out of curiosity, a) Does it replace the current edition of Office users have installed?

    b) When uninstalled does a user have to re-install their original software?

    @Liam K:

    Liam K.– All I ever use is Word and occasionally Access, but the “ribbon” was a deal-breaker for me in Office 2007.

  10. calebstein

    Technet subscribers like me got it 2 days ago.

    3-4 GB File? 64-bit Pro Plus from Technet was only ~734 MB.

    I like this a lot more than the Technical Preview because the beta never crashes.

    P.S. I love the new icons.