Office 2010 SharePoint 2010 Available to IT Pros
Microsoft opened up the bits of the release-to-manufacturing version to its TechNet Plus and Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) subscribers on Thursday. The new products are available in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions. However, Microsoft is not recommending production use of 64-bit Office 2010 because many of the add-ins and controls used with the productivity suite aren't quite ready yet.
Here are the links for TechNet Plus subscribers: Office 2010 download; SharePoint 2010 download.
MSDN subscribers can use these links: Office 2010 download; SharePoint 2010 download.
Microsoft is offering a 25 percent discount to new TechNet Plus subscribers who sign up with a special code, available at this blog. The offer is available to U.S. subscribers only and comes with this caveat: "This offer is only for new TechNet Plus Direct orders only and is only valid for redemption in the US. Offer is valid 4/1/10 to 6/30/10, subject to change."
Microsoft generally released two other related products this week: SharePoint Foundation 2010 and SharePoint Designer 2010. SharePoint Foundation 2010 is a Web-based collaboration platform that succeeds Windows SharePoint Services 3.0. SharePoint Designer, currently available in 32-bit form, is a development tool for creating SharePoint business solutions.
There's also a new capacity management portal that provides help for deploying SharePoint 2010 across data farms, as described in this blog.
Other applications now available to TechNet and MSDN subscribers include Office Web Apps for SharePoint Server 2010 (x64), Project 2010 (x86/x64) and Visio 2010 (x86/x64), according to this blog.
As previously announced, Microsoft's volume licensing customers with Software Assurance can get the RTM versions of Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010 starting on April 27, while those without Software Assurance will have access beginning on May 1.
Microsoft is floating an acute window of time for those wanting to purchase Office 2007 with Software Assurance and still get upgrade rights to Office 2010 at no additional cost. That deadline is April 30, 2010, according to this blog.
Those who are not Microsoft volume licensing customers and who are buying Office 2007 through a Microsoft authorized reseller have a longer window of time to gain upgrade rights at no cost. They can buy Office 2007 until Sept. 30, 2010 and still retain upgrade rights to a comparable edition of Office 2010. This Office 2010 "Technology Guarantee" program has lots of restrictions. The eligibility requirements are described here.
Of course, waiting until June for the general public release of Office 2010 is another option. However, Microsoft's blog noted that the retail prices for Office 2010 editions will be higher than those for Office 2007.
Finally, those wanting to get documentation on Office 2010 features can download Office 2010 Product Guides here. Microsoft's download page lists about 22 Product Guides, ranging from a general overview to guides for specific applications, such Office Web Apps, Outlook, SharePoint Workspace and many others.
Kurt Mackie is online news editor for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.