Microsoft is to start charging users who download its Office 2007 beta 2 version from 2 August.
The beta 2 version has already been downloaded for free by three million people in the two months since its release.
A spokesperson for the software giant said, “Given how dramatically the beta 2 downloads have exceeded our goals, we have made the business decision to implement a cost recovery measure for downloading the beta.”
Users would be charged $1.50 (£0.80) for every beta 2 downloaded from 2 August. But the online preview of Office 2007, which allows users to “test drive” its features without downloading the beta, would continue to be free, Microsoft said.
Feedback from beta 2 users has already highlighted problems. Earlier this month, Microsoft said release of the final version of Office 2007 had been put back from the end of 2006 to early 2007, following internal testing and the beta 2 feedback.
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