Office 2010: Tech Preview Hiccups, Limited Official Browser Support for Office Web Apps
Article by George Norman
On 12 Aug 2009
The “premier productivity solution across PCs, mobile phones and browsers,” as Microsoft said last month, is Office 2010. Currently the software is available to a select group of users as part of a Technical Preview program – program that is now experiencing a few hiccups, mainly the fact that the maximum number of available activation keys has been reached.

Office Tech preview testers that want to activate the software are presented with this message: “Due to an incredible rate of download and installations of Microsoft Office professional 2010, it has come to our attention that we have already reached the maximum number of key activations originally created for the Technical Preview build. We are working hard to provide you with more product keys for this build and will do so on the Product Keys page as soon as possible. Please be patient with us as we make more product keys available for you. Please do not contact the Microsoft Connect team for assistance with this, as the Office 2010 team is already very much aware of the situation and is working hard to fix it. Thank you for your eager participation in the office 2010 pre-release program you belong to!”


Global Partner Experience Lead with Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Group, Eric Ligman, explained that this is only a temporary setback. He said that new product keys will be updated to the Microsoft Connect webpage as soon as they become available. Just have patience as this cannot take too long. Whatever you do, do not contact the Microsoft Connect team or the Microsoft Office team as they are aware of the current situation and are already working on a fix.

Once the final version of Microsoft Office 2010 is released, it will provide the following functionality:
Work anywhere – you can do your work directly in the browser window thanks to Office Web applications, a lightweight version of Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote. Office Web Applications will be made available via Windows Live, Microsoft Online Services, or on-premises for all Office volume licensing customers.
Collaborate better – Word, PowerPoint and OneNote in Office 2010 come with co-authoring while Outlook comes with advanced e-mail management and calendaring capabilities.
Bring ideas to life – it is now easier than ever to set up documents thanks to the new Microsoft Office Backstage view, thanks to PowerPoint that comes with video editing, picture editing and broadcast capability, and thanks to the new data visualization and trend spotting functionality provided by Sparklines in Excel.

Microsoft has confirmed that Office Web applications will not be available to Chrome and Opera users – Office Web apps will only provide official support for to Internet Explorer 7 and 8 (obviously), Firefox 3.5 for Windows, and Linux and Safari 4.0 for Mac.

“As we were building the Office Web Apps we set out to provide an Office quality experience regardless of which platform and which browser you use. We know that our customers will have diverse configurations, and in some cases (such as working from a library or airport kiosk) there isn’t an option to install a different browser. If you prefer to use another browser you should still give the Web Apps a try. While we cannot officially support all browsers, customers will not be blocked from using them. It is a goal of the Web Apps to have broad compatibility and reach,” explained Program Manager with Office Apps, Gareth Howell.

Tags: Microsoft, Office 2010, Tech Preview, Browser
About the author: George Norman
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