Microsoft Office 2010 beta review

The beta of Microsoft Office 2010 is now available for the public to download. We find out what’s new since the Technical Preview rolled out over the summer.

The new People Pane, at the bottom of the Reading Pane and in all the item forms, shows you all the other activities, emails, attachments, meetings, and status updates Outlook can find for that person in its index. The indexed search is fast and effective and will reach out to SharePoint 2010 and soon to other social networking sites such as LinkedIn or Facebook as soon as those companies write interfaces for the new Outlook Social Connector.

People pane

The People Pane quickly shows mail, attachments and meetings involving this person.

Publisher

Publisher's update to use the ribbon interface and Backstage greatly enhances its usability. It inherits some technology from Visual Studio which makes laying out pages and aligning objects much easier. It also gets typography improvements including ligatures, swashes and alternative numeral forms for cursive and calligraphic fonts.

Publisher

The ribbon interface makes working with Publisher much easier.

Access

Access gets a minor update to include conditional formatting as seen in Excel and a major overhaul to work more closely with SharePoint. You can easily design an Access database and then publish it to SharePoint for everyone in a department or company to use. The macro editor has been completely replaced and you can design data macros (equivalent to SQL Server triggers) which work on the data whether it is shown in a form, a datasheet or a list. A new Navigation control replaces the ancient "Switchboard" model and the report designer integrates with SQL Server Reporting Services.

Access

Access' completely redesigned Macro editor is much easier to understand.

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