Sunday, May 9, 2010

Microsoft Office 2010 Beta - Get it Now

"Hey, did you see you can download Office 2010 for free?" Yeah, I did. It's right here:  It looks great.  A bunch of expensive, free software without the need to jump through hoops or sign your e-mail address away for life.  You can even say you're an "IT Professional" and access the download page that has additional applications and a bunch of "tech-heavy" terms on it.  Looks great.


Can I use that?  The 1990's "NOT!"?  Well, I did; so there.  

Here's the string.  First, it's recommended you uninstall all existing versions of MS Office currently on your computer.  Ok, that's fine.  However, remember that many installations of MS Office allow only a limited quantity of "activations" after install, so if you've recently purchased a new computer and then shortly thereafter upgraded (or tried, but failed to upgrade) to Windows 7, you may be desperately short of additional activations.  Uninstalling might just mean a hassle to re-install later. Keep that in mind.

Second, the Beta software is BETA SOFTWARE.  It's not final.  It has bugs that are known that will not be fixed or supported unless you upgrade to the final software.  It's like buying a BETA car that has lots of engine trouble, but looks great.  Do you want to get it for free now and get stranded on the highway in the snow at 2am, or wait until they work out the engine kinks and then buy it, knowing it will get you home on a cold Buffalo winter night?  

Third, the Beta license runs out in October of 2010.  That's 6 months from now.  Just about the right length to get you hooked, make you forget you have one more activation of Office 2007 left, and want to just pay for the upgrade.

What would I do?  (Like you really care.  You've made up your mind to love or hate my argument above by now.  You're only still reading because you want to make yourself feel like you're open-minded and considering others' opinions.)  Well, I'll tell you what I will do.  I will wait until I can purchase supported, less buggy software.  Then I will evaluate the advantages of the new features of the software and make a purchase decision.  Is the new stuff going to improve my life (or balance sheet) enough to justify the cost?

"Hey, did you see you can download "Turkish Hits Vol. 1" from Amazon for free?"  Yup, I sure did.  It's right here: 

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