The bread and butter at Microsoft is software. The company offers a slew of other products from hardware and peripherals to internet search, but most of the fuel for the Microsoft coffers comes from Windows and Office.
Microsoft is set to launch new version of Windows and its Office productivity suite in the coming months. Windows 7 is expected in October with Office 2010 coming in the first half of 2010. ComputerWorld reports that the latest technical preview of Office 2010 hit BitTorrent tracking sites over the weekend.
The new version of the anticipated productivity application is Office 2010 build 14.0.4302.1000 and both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of the application were leaked. About 30 computers had fully downloaded copies of the torrent file and about 400 systems have partly downloaded the torrent. So far, about 1,200 copies of the application have been downloaded.
This isn't the first time that a leaked copy of Office 2010 has hit the torrent sites. In May, an earlier version of the productivity suite was leaked from the invite-only technical preview Microsoft is running. Microsoft is expected to announce today at its Worldwide Partner Conference that it is ready to hand out copies of the invite only preview to developers.
The software giant is also expected to show some demonstrations of its new web-based Office Web applications that will offer online versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote. ComputerWorld reports that later this year Microsoft will also hold an open public beta for the Office application as it has done in the past, however, Microsoft has not year announced when it will start the open beta for Office 2010.
Along with the leak of the newest version of the technical preview come some new screenshots of Office 2010. On the surface, the app looks much like Office 2007 with a slightly different tab-style layout and a full ribbon UI. The newly leaked version of the suite reportedly allows you to switch themes for the application.
Microsoft's Office Web Applications 2010 and Office Mobile 2010 have also been detailed a bit more today. The software company has a “What's New” video that is available for viewing that shows some highlights for the new Office Web Applications 2010 with info on Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. The apps will work on Windows or Mac computers and will run on Firefox.
Mobile 2010 offers mobile document viewers that allow just about every smartphone on the market to view Office documents without having to download the files first. Supported platforms include the iPhone and Blackberry devices. The Office Web applications will be available without any cost via the Windows Live portal. The free online products will include Word, Excel, and PowerPoint along with OneNote.
The free Office software will presumably be ad-supported and is intended to help Microsoft fight other free productivity applications like those offered by Google. Google's free online applications have so far been unable to gain significant ground on the Office productivity suite. Microsoft says at launch that there will be about half a billion users who have access to Office Web.
quote: Microsoft says at launch that there will be about half a billion users who have access to Office Web.