Microsoft Preps Office 2010, SharePoint Betas

Microsoft on Monday revealed that it will ship public betas in November for its Office 2010 productivity suite and SharePoint 2010 content and document management, enterprise search, and collaboration server suite. The news arrived during a keynote address at the SharePoint Conference 2009 in Las Vegas.

"SharePoint 2010 is the biggest and most important release of SharePoint to date," Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said. "When paired with Microsoft Office 2010, SharePoint 2010 will transform efficiency by connecting workers across a single collaboration platform for business."

To date, Microsoft has offered only a limited technical preview release of these products, as well as one for Office Web Applications, the company's attempt to push Microsoft Office to the web. The beta releases next month, however, will be public, and open to anyone wishing to kick the products' virtual tires.

The public betas will also be feature complete, according to Microsoft. The tech previews for Office 2010, SharePoint 2010, and the Office Web Applications are all only partially complete, with some glaring functional holes. A future public beta for Office Web Applications is all but certain, but Microsoft didn't discuss timing for that this week.

As for SharePoint, the server has emerged as one of Microsoft's strongest non-Windows platforms. It's certainly the fastest-growing: SharePoint generated over $1.3 billion in revenue in the past year, representing over 20 percent growth year-over-year

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