Microsoft debuts 'streaming' Office 2010 beta

Unveils second suite preview, admits possible problems with 'Click-To-Run' process

Microsoft launched the beta of Office Home and Business 2010 over the weekend and is delivering the preview using its new "streaming" download technology.

The beta was the second that Microsoft made available to the general public, and followed the enterprise-grade Office Professional Plus 2010 test edition that it unveiled last week .

Microsoft's move came just three days after it sent invitations to a small group of people asking them to test Home and Business.

The preview gives the general public a chance to try one of the three editions Microsoft will sell at retail, and includes Word, Outlook, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote. Microsoft has not yet set prices for Office 2010, or slated a ship date more specific than sometime during the first half of 2010.

Home and Business is the first beta of Office 2010 that Microsoft is delivering via its Click-To-Run system, which "streams" pieces of the suite as users begin a download, letting them start working with the suite in minutes. While users work with the trial, the remainder of the code is downloaded in the background. The technology also places Home and Business in a virtualized environment, separating it from the rest of Windows by running its applications from a virtual "Q:" drive.

Although Click-To-Run lets users run the beta on a PC without disturbing existing installations of Office -- with the exception of Outlook, since only one copy of the e-mail client can run on a given machine -- it also presents some problems, Microsoft has acknowledged.

According to a Nov. 6 entry on the Office engineering team's blog, users may find that some Office add-ons won't work when running software delivered by Click-To-Run. "In some cases, add-ins might have trouble locating the Click-to-Run Office products on the machine, or they might have issues communicating with Office products when they are running in the virtual environment," the team admitted.

Click-To-Run products like Home and Office also ditch Microsoft's usual patching process, and instead update automatically and without any user approval. "Click-to-Run users also get updated automatically over time, with no need to download or install patches," added the Office team in its blog post. "The product seamlessly updates itself in the background."

Home and Business can be downloaded in English, Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Russian and Spanish editions from Microsoft's Web site.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Microsoftbeta

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Gregg Keizer

Computerworld (US)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?