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Office 2007 free to test online

Microsoft has announced a “try it before you buy it” program that allows end users to ‘test-drive' its 2007 Microsoft Office system, rather than having to download and install the full Beta version.

Microsoft has announced a “try it before you buy it” program that allows end users to ‘test-drive' its 2007 Microsoft Office system, rather than having to download and install the full Beta version.

Although the firm claims that over 2.5 million users have already downloaded its 2007 Microsoft Office system Beta 2 since its release last month, it is now aiming to attract yet more interested browsers with this less intrusive test version (find it online here).

“We’re seeing many firsts with this release of Office, including a new user interface, a new set of solutions to enhance your work experience and a record high number of people using Beta 2,” said Chris Capossela, corporate vice president of the Information Worker Product Management Group at Microsoft. “The level of interest is a nice validation that we’re delivering what our customers want and need, and the online test-drive offers the perfect opportunity for everyone to experience an easier and better way to work.”

According to Microsoft, the most significant Office advancement people can explore is the new user interface that has been redesigned based on extensive customer research to make it easier to find and use the features needed to get results faster. Additionally, with the system’s new graphics engine, it claims better visualisation capabilities and improved task management help people produce more professional content that has greater impact, find and consume information more quickly, and better prioritise their time and tasks.

The Office 2007 includes demonstrations of all the key apps within the system, from Access to Sharepoint, Word, Visio and Outlook. Users must just install a Citrix Browser plug-in as part of Test Drive set-up process, though users should be aware that at present the test drive system is very busy and at the time of writing the online wait was approximately 73 minutes.

Microsoft released the public, downloadable Beta 2 version of its next-generation Office software system last month. (This 440Mbyte download is available from here). A Microsoft spokesperson also told Windows that a CD version of this trial version of Office 2007 should soon be available from Microsoft’s Middle East site (at www.microsoft.com/middleeast).

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