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Beta Test Overview of Microsoft Office 10


For those of us still getting to grips with Office 2000, how does it feel to know that already testing is taking place on the latest version intended to replace this which is Microsoft Office 10?

There is talk that Mac Office 2001 expected release date is October as well as plans to create an on-line version of Office as part of the .NET initiative of Microsoft.

Microsoft has recently starting shipping code for Office 10 to beta testers and here is some feedback so far.

Office 2000 was the first version that integrated with Web functionality, with this versions there is no single feature or collection of features that distinguishes the beta release, however, there appear to be lots of little enhancements, that should make Office more efficient for most types of users.

Upgrading appeared to work extremely smoothly but that was on a workstation that already had Office 2000 and Windows 2000, no comment was made about earlier versions. Microsoft has promised that all file formats will be backwards-compatible with Office 2000 (excepting Access).

Individual users will notice a new feature called the Task Pane, and this toolbar puts at your finger tips many document control options such as: formatting, cutting and pasting, power searches, mail-merge and even document translations!

All these features will be intelligently web-enabled, so that you can create a new document from templates on Microsoft's Web site. This version will also start using speech recognition.

In Office 10 multiple users can work on documents at the same time (don't know whether this is a good thing)? and set up and manage intranet sites with many fancy features, including document libraries, team announcements, events, public address books and even surveys.

Here are a few more features mentioned:

  • Word Count toolbar, provide one-click recount
  • Inline icons, otherwise known as short-cuts, drop-down menus that let you do things such as undo or permanently turn off annoying AutoCorrect features
  • Much improved support for multiple cut and paste using side pane
  • New features such as sharing Outlook without needing Exchange Server and an integrated instant messaging
  • Built-in Web statistics usage in FrontPage

The final version is not expected until well into next year as it appears as though Microsoft are sort of testing areas to see how they will be accepted by these beta testers before letting it loose in the market.


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