According to the Redmond company, the Beta testing program for Office 2010 Service Pack 1 (SP1) is planned for debut by the end of 2010.

Invitations have already been sent out to a select pool of Beta testers that are close to the software giant.

Early adopters are invited to participate in a very exclusive testing program for Office 2010 SP1 Beta but also for SharePoint 2010 Beta.

“We are contacting you about an opportunity to participate in an upcoming Beta testing program. You may be a previous tester of Microsoft products, or someone who has been nominated,” reads the email sent by the Microsoft Office Customer Programs Team.

“Beta programs are unique ways to experience product updates and provide feedback to the development teams. More »

The Guide for IT Pros for Microsoft Office Web Apps is now live on the Microsoft Download Center, and as the label implies, the guide is tailored to IT professionals.

Essentially, the resource is focused on one aspect of Office Web Apps, namely the on-premise deployment available to volume licensing customers for introduction on top of Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Products in their organization.

The latest iteration of the guide is designed to allow IT pros to get familiarized with the final version of Office Web Apps.

Back in April 2010, the software giant made available for download a version of the resource that dealt with Office Web Apps on-premises deployments involving the Beta Build of the solution. More »

Over the past weeks, Microsoft has released a number of resources designed to get customers running older versions of its productivity suite such as Office 2003, become easily familiarized with the evolution of the graphical user interface in office 2010. Softpedia readers have already been able to read about and download the Word 2010: Interactive menu to ribbon guide and the Excel 2010: Interactive menu to ribbon guide. However, there are additional downloads from Microsoft focused on unraveling the mysteries of the Office 2010 Ribbon/Fluent UI for additional components of the productivity suite.

In addition to Word 2010 and Excel 2010, the following Office 2010 components also have Ribbon UI interactive guides available for download: PowerPoint 2010, Publisher 2010, OneNote 2010, Visio 2010, Project 2010, and InfoPath 2010. There’s quite a gap between the old interface in Office 2003 for example, and the new overhauled UI in Office 2010. The redesign is bound to leave some users perplex, especially customers that know the old Office by heart are guaranteed to at least raise an eyebrow when faced with the new UI. More »

The RTM version of Office 2010 (Build 14.0.4760.1000) is now available for download straight from Microsoft. Today, June 15th, 2010 marks the General Availability (GA) deadline for the latest iteration of the Redmond company’s productivity suite. This means that users can now purchase Office 2010 RTM via retail outlets both online and “offline.” At the same time, customers can download free copies of Office 2010 RTM from the software giant, and test-drive the productivity suite ahead of deciding to actually buy the product.

There are no less than three trial downloads of just as many Office 2010 SKUs. The editions that are offered for testing include: Office Home and Business 2010, Office Home and Student 2010 and Office Professional 2010. The differences between SKUs are marked by the amount of components they contain. More »

According to Microsoft, there are no less than two main categories of functionality when it comes down to integration with the next version of the Office System. Instant messaging (IM) applications can hook into Office 2010 only at a basic level, or go deeper and deliver presence integration. Microsoft has made available for download a document which outlines “Presence Integration between IM Applications and Microsoft Office 2010.” The resource is offered for free via the Microsoft Download Center, along with another document titled: Office Communicator 2007: Presence Integration Between IM Applications and 2007 Microsoft Office System.

“With basic IM and Presence integration, a third party can use IM applications to leverage Presence and integrate IM functionality in Office applications within the following: Outlook 2010, SharePoint Server 2010, Word 2010, Microsoft Excel 2010 and Microsoft Powerpoint 2010,” the company explained.

Of course, at the same time, third-party developers can go deeper than just basic IM and Presence Integration. In this regard, instant messaging applications can integrate with Office 2010 components for search, contacts and even conferencing features. More »