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 Microsofts site:
You can download Beta 2 or request a DVD be sent to you
through the mail. Once you select your delivery method, youll 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 andcan enter one of these here.
Next, youll 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 youwant 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), Microsofts 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 thefollowing error message:
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 theSmartSource help FAQ on Microsofts 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 theupper 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, Im still trying to get me hands on the Office
2007 Beta 2. Its possible that the SmartSource system is just being
overwhelmed and the problem will disappear once the traffic dies down. I justhope Office 2007 works better than the download process.
Ill post an update as soon as I have the application
installed. If anyone else has experienced this same problem or successfully downloadedBeta 2 using Microsofts site, please let me know.
Bill Detwiler has nothing to disclose. He doesn't hold investments in the technology companies he covers.
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 support specialist in the social research and energy industries. He has bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Louisville, where he has also lectured on computer crime and crime prevention.