Software giant Microsoft is winding up the beta downloads for Office 2007. On October 25, Microsoft will close its Office Preview site and stop allowing downloads of the beta version of the same. Microsoft is doing this in readiness for the release of Microsoft Office 2007.
The Beta 2 Technical Refresh was made available for trial last month in September, and this will be the last build available to testers. Microsoft will not be issuing a third beta or even a release candidate of Office 2007, even though the Microsoft team has continued to make necessary changes to the product.
Starting October 28, the support site for Office 2007 will be shifted to Microsoft’s primary Web site. Then on October 30, Microsoft plans to closes the BetaPlace web site and support newsgroups for the beta test. SharePoint team sites will be decommissioned on October 31, and all data will be destroyed.
“Office 2007 products will be available in retail channels early next year,” Microsoft wrote in an e-mail to testers. “The Beta2TR build is set to expire on March 15, 2007 for all client products and May 31, 2007 for all server products. This should allow you to use Beta2TR until you can upgrade to the retail version.” “We are thrilled with the incredible excitement around the upcoming 2007 Microsoft Office system as is evident by over 3 million people installing the Beta 2 and later Beta2TR builds. With your help, we have far exceeded our technical participation goals,” the company added.
However, Microsoft is not supplying beta testers with copies of Office 2007 final. The company added that the beta program was a volunteer effort for the mutual benefit of testing the new Office in the “real world usage scenarios”, so that improvements could benefit all users.
Microsoft Office 2007 is most likely to hit the store shelves along windows Vista in early 2007. The Standard Edition will sell for $399 USD, with Office 2007 Professional priced at $499 USD. A new “Ultimate” edition with every Office component will cost $679 USD.