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Users get to test drive Office suite preview

Tash Shifrin

Microsoft has launched an online preview of its Office 2007 suite that users can try without downloading the beta version.

The software company said 2.5 million people had already downloaded the beta 2 version of Office 2007 since its release last month, which makes it the most popular Office beta ever.

The preview, offered by Microsoft as a taster in a bid to drive sales, provides sample data so that users can test document editing, e-mailing and other functions.

The "test drive" version lets users post to Office Sharepoint sites to demonstrate real-time collaboration. It is also set up to let users experience server functionality, and a series of product-specific tutorials is included.

As well as the English original, the online test version will be made available in French, German, Japanese and Spanish later this week.

Last month analysts urged IT directors to assess how Office 2007 would affect their internal business processes. The new version of the suite would have a different user interface and other changes could also require staff training, they warned.



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