The Microsoft Office 2010 beta was released Wednesday, and though there aren't many major changes from the Technical Preview from July, there are some new features and enhancements worthy of note. This post will focus on the changes to the beta, but if you want a larger overview of new features across all the applications, check out our rundown of the Microsoft Office 2010 Technical Preview.
Outlook is the cornerstone of many companies' communications and daily schedules, and as such received a lot of enhancements in Office 2010. In the beta version, Microsoft has added even more ways to connect with coworkers and contacts. The new Outlook Social Connector is an added information pane that gives you more info about everyday contacts. Once set up, you'll be able to view pictures of contacts (even in large cc lists), previous conversations, attachments shared, meetings attended, and much more. Though not complete in the beta, Microsoft says the Outlook Social Connector will soon be able to connect with social Web sites like Facebook and Twitter, so you can follow status updates and more all in one location.
The Office 2010 Technical Preview introduced the Back Stage view, an enhanced File menu (accessed from the Office Icon tab) that lets you manage your documents, set permissions, and share your projects with colleagues. In the beta version Microsoft has decided to return to calling it the File menu, but with all the functionality and flexibility of Back Stage. They also have made it possible to access all the other tabs in the Ribbon, which were previously inaccessible in the Technical Preview, so you can get to the information you want quickly without the added step of exiting Back Stage.… Read more