Microsoft Wants YOU to Test Out Office 2010 Beta on a Loaner Laptop

by Michael Sheehan on January 21, 2010

in General, Hardware, Microsoft, Review, Software

A very cool program from Microsoft just came across my email and I thought that it was important to share with my readers. Essentially, with this program called the “Microsoft Office 2010 Real Life Stories“, you are loaned a laptop PC (a Dell Studio 17 running Windows 7) that has Office 2010 Beta installed on it and all that you have to do is use it and report on your thoughts. This outreach program is pretty impressive actually since not only do you get to test out the latest and greatest Microsoft Office Suite, you also get support and training well before the rest of the world.

Note: This program is now closed. I hope that you entered! I did (fingers crossed).

2010Professional_web

The Details

If you are selected (and yes, you do have to apply for consideration), you get the following benefits:

  • Office 2010 pre-installed on a “loaner” laptop PC – before it ships!
  • Unlimited email support Monday – Friday, with phone support for escalations
  • Webcast training and Q&A sessions
  • Community site access, so you can connect with other participants and stay up to date
  • FREE copy of Microsoft Office Professional 2010 (when available)

So what’s the catch? Well, you do have to commit to some time providing feedback and share your experiences. From what I understand:

  • You need to use the laptop and Microsoft Office 2010 beta on a regular basis
  • You can use it for work or personal items
  • You need to agree to take part in training, surveys and conference calls
  • You agree to talk to the press, give quotes, do some video testimonials and generally do some other PR efforts

The commitment time is about 6 months which should give you adequate time to fully evaluate Office 2010. But you also get to play with Windows 7 on a Dell Studio 17!

studio-1747-hero

Who Microsoft Is Looking For

Essentially, Microsoft wants active Office users who are interested in making a difference. This could be Families, Small Business or Students. For example, in my household, my wife manages the entire family schedule using Microsoft Outlook. She would be an ideal candidate for this program. And, couple that with the fact that our family is very gadget and technology driven (my doing), I may just throw my hat into the ring for this program! (Disclosure: I have already been using a “press” version of Office 2010. It’s pretty impressive!)

The “Real Life Stories” site spells out their ideal candidate as follows (taken from their site):

Families

Ms-story1 This is a family with children under the age of 18 who considers themselves moderately technology savvy who uses the computer regularly at home.  They use a productivity suite such as Microsoft Office to support their family life.  From lesson plans and chore lists, budget management or blogging- to managing their family’s busy schedule, the computer plays a role (or could play a role) in their weekly routine.  They most likely use the computer to help their kids with his/her project, homework, blogging, email, volunteer work, etc.  This person is comfortable in front a camera and is a great communicator.

Small Businesses

MS-story2 This is a person who manages a small or home-based business involving no more than 4 PCs.  They are technologically savvy and use computers on a daily basis to help them run their business.  By using a productivity suite such as Microsoft Office, they are able to save time or track their business results more easily, or add efficiency to their process.  They may use the computer to add value to their business in other ways like tracking ROI, planning projects, or attracting new customers to their business.  This person is comfortable in front a camera and is a great communicator.

College Students

MS-story3 This is a person who attends school part-time or full-time.  They use productivity suite like Microsoft Office, are technology savvy,  and use computers regularly for school, blogging, and collaborating on projects or assignment with other students.  They use the computer to help them with their schoolwork, stay connected, or to stay organized.  They may also use the computer to pursue job opportunities or to prepare for the working world.  This person is comfortable in front a camera and is a great communicator

To Apply

First, be sure you read through the FAQs. For example, this program is only U.S. based for now and if you are camera-shy or don’t want to be quoted, you might not want to apply. But aside from that, it’s a pretty neat program.

Note: This program is now closed. I hope that you entered! I did (fingers crossed).

To apply, you just need to fill out the form here and answer the following questions:

  • Name
  • Company
  • City
  • State
  • Email
  • Phone number
  • Descript current activities/employment status
  • Answer if you have children or not in your household
  • Answer how many PCs you have in your home
  • Answer how many PCs you have in your small business
  • What your hobbies/interests are
  • Answer why you want to join this program
  • Answer why you should be chosen
  • Answer how often you update your blog (if any)
  • Tell what version(s) of Office you have
  • Talk about unique uses of your productivity software
  • Describe what you currently aren’t doing with Office that you would like to do
  • Talk about usage of online productivity applications
  • (optional) Give you ethnicity
  • Agree to share your experiences in the program

That’s it! Pretty simple to apply. If you do choose to try out for this program, be sure to tell them that you heard about it on HighTechDad.com! And GOOD LUCK! Hope you are accepted! Please let me know if you are.

Oh, and share this with your friends, family and co-workers as well!

HTD says: This seems to be a great way to try out the latest and greatest Microsoft Office suite before everyone else, and make your opinion be heard!

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