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Like many here in Microsoft, I have recently installed the internal Beta release of Office 2010, as part of our extensive – if rather strangely named  – “Dogfood” program, that helps us test and validate our solutions before public release.

Being among the first to try out the newest releases of our solutions is one of the benefits of being on the inside, although it can also put the occasional crimp on your working day. But with Office 2010 running on Windows 7, I must admit dogfood never tasted so good.

There’s great functionality such as Conversation View and Quick Steps to help me shrink and manage my ever-bulging in-box, new tools to make my documents and presentations richer and more appealing, offline document synchronization for when I am working alone (and co-authoring functionality for when I am not) and, of course, presence information and search everywhere to make sure that I can find and be found.

And that’s just for starters. For our ERP customers, who are already used to great Office integration, the main course is still to come – not just with Office 2010, but also SharePoint 2010, and the rest of the Wave 14 release. But much more on that topic later…   

As announced at the 2009 SharePoint Conference in late October, the broad release of the public beta will be later this month, so the wait is almost over for those of you who want to get “hands-on” and test the Beta release for yourself. 

In the meantime, you can get a taste of what to expect – for yourself, and for your business – here. See loads of great videos highlighting new capabilities and functionality to help you deliver your best work – whether you’re at work or home, on a computer, Web browser or Smartphone. You can also take a look “Backstage”, and get the inside story from the developers and engineers who have been working so hard behind the scenes at Microsoft to get the solution this far.

So, enjoy. Or should I say “Bon appetit”?

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