Software

Microsoft Office 2007 Beta 2 public release


Microsoft has just released the 2007 Microsoft Office system

Beta 2 to the general public. This is the first chance the general public has

had to test and evaluate the next version of Microsoft Office. According to

Microsoft the Beta 2 release “contains all the functionality of the regular

release, but is not the final product”.

To get the public Beta 2 release, visit the following page on Microsoft’s site:
http://www.microsoft.com/office/preview/beta/getthebeta.mspx

You can download Beta 2 or request a DVD be sent to you

through the mail. Once you select your delivery method, you’ll be asked to

enter you Windows Live ID and password. If you have a Hotmail address, MSN

e-mail address, or Microsoft Passport, you already have a Windows Live ID and

can enter one of these here.

Next, you’ll be asked to complete a brief, but annoying, online

survey about yourself and your company. Once you finally get past the survey,

you be asked to choose the 2007 Microsoft Office system Beta 2 applications you

want to download. You can choose from the following:

  • Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2007
  • Microsoft Office Groove 2007
  • Microsoft Office SharePoint Designer 2007
  • Microsoft Office OneNote 2007
  • Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 with Business Contact Manager
  • Microsoft Office Project 2007
  • Microsoft Office Visio 2007
  • Microsoft Office Groove Server 2007
  • Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007
  • Microsoft Office Project Server 2007
  • Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services

Once you make your selection(s), Microsoft’s Web site will give

you product keys for your chosen products (print this page) and then prompt you

to download and install SmartSource for Microsoft Office, which will manage the

download process. After several “Server busy” errors and countless page refreshes,

I was finally able to download and install SmartSource.

Unfortunately, my quest for the Office 2007 Beta 2 abruptly

ground to a halt. I started the SmartSource manager and was prompted for my

e-mail address. I entered the same e-mail address I used when requesting the Beta

2 download and after several agonizing minutes, SmartSource presented the

following error message:

“ERROR!
Unable to obtain the user profile for the given user”

I tried repeatedly to enter a valid e-mail address, but to

no avail. I also tried to find a customer support contact, but unfortunately the

SmartSource help FAQ on Microsoft’s Web site said the following:

“Customer support representatives from License Technologies

Group, Inc can be reached to answer any SmartSource related question using the

information specified on the About Section of SmartSource. (Select help in the

upper left hand corner, then about from the list of options)”

I guess they never planned failure with someone logon as there is no “About Section” on the SmartSource Login page.

As of this posting, I’m still trying to get me hands on the Office

2007 Beta 2. It’s possible that the SmartSource system is just being

overwhelmed and the problem will disappear once the traffic dies down. I just

hope Office 2007 works better than the download process.

I’ll post an update as soon as I have the application

installed. If anyone else has experienced this same problem or successfully downloaded

Beta 2 using Microsoft’s site, please let me know.

About

Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop supp...

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