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Office 2007 Beta 2? That'll Be a Buck Fifty

Microsoft said this week that downloads of Office 2007 Beta 2 have been so popular it has decided to start charging for them.

Stating that downloads have dramatically exceeded expectations since Beta 2 shipped in late May, the company will begin charging $1.50 per download as of Wednesday, Aug. 2, according to Microsoft statements.

Office 2007 has been downloaded more than 3 million times since it began shipping in late May.

"Having exceeded our beta 2 participation goals by 500 percent, we have had to make the business decision to implement a cost recovery measure for future downloads of beta 2," a company spokeswoman said in an e-mail to this reporter.

For those of who a buck and a half is a budgetary strain, there is still the free online test drive preview. The preview is available here.

Office 2007 is expected to ship simultaneously with Windows Vista early next year.

About the Author

Stuart J. Johnston has covered technology, especially Microsoft, since February 1988 for InfoWorld, Computerworld, Information Week, and PC World, as well as for Enterprise Developer, XML & Web Services, and .NET magazines.

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