Beta testing - technical preview - the words make me tingle, and getting the opportunity to actually get my hands on alpha/beta/RC software makes me tingle even more. I've done my fair share of pre-rtm testing in my time, e.g. running Firefox before it actually was called Firefox, writing this blog post on my Windows 7 64 bit RC box, loving Opera 10 which had many of the features that IE and Firefox later adopted and doing QA for OpenOffice.
So last week I tingled a lot as I had the opportunity to join the technical preview community of Microsoft Office 2010. I grabbed the chance to install the 64-bit version, which is one of the new features of Office 2010, on my windows 7 box, and installation was a breeze.
Having a 64-bit version of Office 2010, the Office package probably being the defacto stadard of productivity suites, is a clear indication that 64-bit software is the future, and that 64-bit will most likely be gaining ground in production environments: "With Office 2010 64-bit edition, advanced users will be able to leverage the increased memory capabilities of 64-bit computing and harness this capability for analysis and manipulation of very large data sets and documents" though some VBA code require reengineering to work with the 64-bit version ( from the technical preview site ).
So let's get on the with the preview, starting off with Word 2010
One of the things I do at work is writing documentation, both technical and user-oriented. In AX 2009 ( and 4.0 - with the prober add-on ) I have Task Recorder at my disposal for easy and fast creation of user-oriented documentation. However, sometimes I need finer detailed screen shots than Task Recorder can provide so I use SnagIt for my needs. This works fine.
In Office 2010 this features has been combined with Windows 7's Snipping Tool so that you can actually past previously snipped screenshots directly into your word documented, e.g.:
This functionality does not make third-party programmes superfluous, such as SnagIt, which has many more excellent and useful functions; the funcinality in the Snipping Tool is pretty basic, but it demonstrats how Microsoft manage to integrate/couple standard Windows functionality with other products in the software portfolio.
This is just one of the new features of Office 2010 and as I spend some more time using it, I will most likely post some of my findings. If you have any questions regarding features of Office 2010, drop me a comment and I will see if I can find it.