Microsoft gears up for Office launch

Claims Beta downloads have smashed its own expectations
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Microsoft is “quietly confident” about the imminent launch of Office 2010, after clocking millions of beta downloads and receiving positive feedback from retail and reseller partners.

The company has tied down the release date for volume sales to May 12th, with the general release scheduled for June. With seven million beta downloads currently registered, Microsoft’s head of Office, Chris Adams, told PCR demand has smashed its own expectations.

“We’re certainly surpassing all the targets that we set ourselves for the testing phases, so it’s really great that there’s that amount of interest,” he commented. “I think that the interest in beta is a good forward indicator for consumer demand once the product is released.”

The company is also keen to highlight the cloud possibilities for the new suite, and has underlined the benefits that these new methods can bring to the business sector.

“We’ve been hearing some fairly consistent themes from our partners. It’s all about improving their business without having to increase or decrease their headcount, so it’s all about efficiency,” said partner engagement group manager Tanya Shirlow.

“Customers seem to be cautiously optimistic; they want to see how they can grow business through the use of technology and, as far as we can see, that is where the opportunity exists for channel partners right now. With the extensive deployment of the beta and the confidence that our channel partners feel around the product, we’re quietly confident ourselves.”

To read our Microsoft interview in full, click here.

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