Microsoft is opening up access to the Cloud-based components of the Office 2010 System. September 17th, marked the second Technical Preview development milestone associated with Office 2010. However, this time around Microsoft was not introducing a new testing build of the productivity suite, but unveiling to a limited pool of testers the Could components associated with Office 2010. In mid-September 2009, the software giant launched the Office Web Apps Technical Preview.
The successor of Office 2007 is the first productivity suite from the Redmond company no longer anchored exclusively on the desktop. In fact, in order to provide an alternative to rival web-based offerings and services such as Google Docs and Spreadsheets, Microsoft has decided to also stretch Office into the Cloud. Office 2010 comes with a collection of alternative services offered as components of the productivity suite running in the Cloud, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote, all intimately connected with Windows Live SkyDrive and accessible via a Windows Live ID.
“About a month ago I [told you] about the Technical Preview on Windows Live. Since then we’ve seen a lot of interest in Office Web Apps and received numerous requests from people wanting to try them out. To make this possible, we are opening up the Technical Preview and inviting more people to try out the Office Web Apps,” revealed Nick Simons, program manager, Office Web Apps.
While Microsoft is indeed welcoming additional participants to the Technical Preview of Office Web Apps, fact is that it still considers only a limited number of extra testers. “For a limited time, you can sign-up for a Technical Preview account here (if you are already a part of the technical preview, this link will generate an error): http://skydrive.live.com/acceptpreview.aspx/.documents?aobrp=browse. The features in this expanded Technical Preview are the same as the initial preview; however, during the preview (and beyond) you can expect to see new functionality added over time. Thanks for helping us make Office Web Apps even better,” Simons added.
The public Beta of Office 2010 is expected to drop in November 2009, with the final version of the productivity suite expected to be made available come spring 2010. Microsoft did not indicate when it expected to debut the public Beta of Office Web Apps.