Office 11 Beta 2 Approaches

Office 11 testers are eagerly awaiting the arrival of their Beta 2 kits, scheduled to hit doorsteps worldwide in the next month. Beta coordinators recently informed testers that Microsoft will be upgrading the Hosted SharePoint Team Services to Beta 2 bits in mid-February, indicating a release is near.

"The current plan is that the upgrade will begin at any time after February 10, 2003," the notice read. "We strongly advise you to ensure that you have copies of any data that is stored on your beta site. The EULA that was included with the beta explains that there are no guarantees for the use or reliability of this beta software. You should be aware that during the beta 1 to beta 2 upgrade process, some or all the changes you have made or information you have stored in the beta site may not be migrated properly, and could be permanently lost."

Office 11 Beta 2 will include a local install version of SharePoint Team Services, a feature missing in Beta 1. The Beta 2 release will also ship with Microsoft's new OneNote Office application, which debuted at COMDEX last Fall. OneNote captures notes within a tabbed interface for easy organization and access.

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"Yes it will be included with Beta 2," Microsoft beta coordinator Tom Oliver wrote in an Office 11 newsgroup posting. "You can get more information on the product from here http://www.microsoft.com/office/onenote/. You do *not* need to signup there. You will get it if you are on the Office beta."

Microsoft began accepting nominations for the second Office 11 beta last November. Beta 2 will be the last full beta phase before Microsoft releases Office 11 mid-year. As with Office XP in 2001, Microsoft will likely issue at least two release candidates before Office 11 goes gold.

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