Office 2010 enters public beta next month

The next version of Microsoft’s flagship application suite, Office 2010 is to be available as a public beta program from November, CEO Steve Ballmer announced today.

Ballmer was speaking at Microsoft’s SharePoint Conference in Las Vegas, where he also talked up some of the new SharePoint Server 2010 capabilities for the first time. SharePoint will enter public beta at the same time as Office. The products have been available to a limited number of people – including TG Daily – as a technical preview since July and it’s proven to be both reliable and fast.

“By taming the overflow of information across systems and technologies, SharePoint enables organizations to thrive,” Ballmer said. “SharePoint 2010 is the biggest and most important release of SharePoint to date. When paired with Microsoft Office 2010, SharePoint 2010 will transform efficiency by connecting workers across a single collaboration platform for business.”

During his keynote, Ballmer described SharePoint Server as a business collaboration platform and highlighted three key areas. One was how organizations can respond quickly to business needs with an improved developer platform that makes it easier to build rich content and collaboration applications. Another topic was the enhanced Internet site capabilities that help businesses drive revenue and retain customers on a single platform. The third was the choice and flexibility between on-premises and cloud solutions.

Ballmer added that SharePoint Server is one of the fastest-growing products in Microsoft’s history, generating over $1.3 billion in revenue, representing over a 20 percent growth over the past year.

The public betas of Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 and Office 2010, along with Project 2010 and Visio 2010 will become available in November 2009. More information is available here.