Microsoft Office 2010 Beta is now available!

November 17, 2009

I got the email from Microsoft that the Microsoft Office 2010 Beta is now available.  This is an early release for members of the Technical Preview (which we are), but I believe general availability will happen tomorrow (November 18th).

The download wasn't too bad.  A couple of hours and I had images for SharePoint Server 2010, SharePoint Foundation 2010, Office Professional, Project, Visio, SharePoint Designer, and the Office Web Applications.

There is no upgrade path from the Technical Preview to the public beta, so our first step was to get a new clean server setup.  I love HyperV for this kind of work.  We have a development server with quad quad-core procs, 64 Gb RAM and lots of disk.  We can spin up 25+ servers on the one box for development and testing work.  Mark Campbell from my team fired up a clean Windows Server 2008 SP2 image, got it all patched up for me, and I was set to go.

The first step was doing the pre-installation requirements.  This went through clean, and validated or installed all the required components.  I then started the main install, which stopped saying I needed to install a hotfix (KB971831).  The link provided is, which just redirects to  Interesting content, but not particularly useful right now.

A quick Bing search gave me, which was more useful.  This pointed me to  To get the hotfix you need to request it from Microsoft.

Another search took me to Jie Li's GeekWorld ( and a link to the download from Microsoft (  This downloaded and installed fine, and then setup started going along happily.

Once setup completed, I provisioned a default publishing template site, and started going.  We already had rules on our ISA server for the technical preview site, so I flipped those to publish to the new server.  Some IIS setup to install the certificate, change the alternate access mappings in Central Admin, and lo and behold the site is coming up externally.  It's not anonymously available (sorry, that's the next one, which is our web site), but it's handy to be able to show it from the outside.

The only real problem I found was that the site is referencing a GIF file through http, so I'm getting the mixed mode warning in IE.  I'll have to do some playing with Fiddler to see where it is and see about fixing it.  It's not in the page source, so it must be some JavaScript that is loading it.

All in all at first glance the site looks very good.  There were a lot of alignment problems in the technical preview, with menus and the ribbon overlaying other content.  It worked, but it really didn't look good.  I haven't played extensively yet, but so far I haven't seen any of that.