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Microsoft Office 2010 beta available in November

Microsoft is expected to release a beta version of Office 2010 next month, according to news site Cnet.

Microsoft is expected to release a beta version of Office 2010 next month, according to news site Cnet.

The product, which has been available as a technical preview, supports collaboration, allowing users to share documents and move files between PCs, the web and smartphones.

According to Microsoft, Office 2010 will offer better collaboration, enabling multiple authors to edit the same document. Similar to the "lock cell" function in multi-user Excel spreadsheets, each user can edit a different paragraph in the same document simultaneously. To aid collaboration over e-mail, Outlook 2010 offers GMail-style threaded conversations. It allows users to "ignore" unwanted threads

It also provides basic image editing functions, which allows users to edit images directly in Word or PowerPoint and offers a new user interface called BackStage, which enables users to work on, print and manage Office 2010 documents in a common workspace.

While the product works standalone, Microsoft is urging users to upgrade desktop PCs to Windows 7, available from 22 October, to make the most of the new features in both products.

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