The next generation of Microsoft Office, currently in technical preview, has leaked to the web in an unsurprising move, as Redmond still struggles against the vigilante work of the renegade leaker. As the so-called "plumber" is making is rounds across campus, he continues to leave leaks throughout the teams, with Windows 7 being the most problematic.
Mary Jo Foley reported the leak early on today. Weighing in at over 1.4GB for the 32-bit version, it is most certainly the "chunkiest" version of Office to be leaked to date. The 64-bit version at technical preview stage is over 1.7GB in size, confirming both versions will be provided on DVD... obviously.
As of yet, it isn't easy discovering new things with Office 2010 for the simple fact you need to experience the software for a good while. Over time, you develop your skills and become more confident with the applications you use, and ultimately end up discovering new features which you either like or dislike.
This stage is incredibly important for the developers at Microsoft because nothing is set in stone. If by overwhelming majority something isn't to the standards which end users prefer, it can be yanked or refined until it is of satisfactory quality.
The 32-bit version, which I have been playing with, expands the setup process with more options in relation to previous versions. Not only will it allow you to keep previous versions of Office, the entire setup process takes considerably longer to install. I clocked the final install time to 8 minutes and 32 seconds, but as it is only a technical preview, this could well change by the time it is released.
The loading screen is interesting, and somewhat mesmerising to watch. To avoid my head exploding through uploading and embedding, the quality isn't as good as it could be because I converted it to an animated GIF. Still, you get the idea; eye candy is good.
For those who cannot wait for the public download or the bureaucratic waiting-list method, you can find it by tweaking Google's search results for anything posted "within 24 hours" or "in the past week".