Forget about that paltry 30-day window you have to activate your copy of Office 2010, because if you want to, you can extend the trial for up to six months, Microsoft recently confirmed on its TechNet site. Here's how you do it:
Make sure all office 2010 applications are closed
Open an elevated command prompt (Click Start, type CMD, right-click cmd.exe and select Run as administrator)
Go to %installdir%\%Program Files%\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\OfficeSoftwareProtectionPlatform. If you installed the 32-bit edition of Office 2010 on a 64-bit operating system, %Program Files% is the Program Files (x86) folder.
The above rearm trick can be used up to five times, and if used at the tail-end of each 30-day grace period, you can run Office 2010 for up to 180 days without inputting an activation key. The rearm feature is primarily aimed at enterprise admins using a single copy or image to deploy a supported OS and accompanying software on hundreds of PCs, but anyone can use the trick.
As an alternative to the above steps, IntoWindows.com has made available a handy Office 2010 Trial Extender Tool that does the same thing with the click of a button. You can download the tool here.
Not a whole lot is being planned for this month's Patch Tuesday, just a couple of relatively low-key updates to Windows and Office, Microsoft says. According to at least one security researcher, this is on par with Microsoft's modus operandi.
"It's the predictable off month for Microsoft," said Andrew Storms, the director of security operations with nCircle Security. "That's all within the predictable pattern they've created."
Storms says Microsoft frequently alternates large and small sized updates, and since the software maker issued some 11 security updates in April to fix 25 flaws, it's no surprise that this month is much less ambitious.
The single security fix for this Tuesday is considered "critical" for Windows 2000, XP, Vista, Server 2003, and Server 2008, and "important" for Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2.
"Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 customers will be offered the Windows-related update but they are not vulnerable in their default configurations," said Jerry Bryant, a security program manager, in an entry on the Microsoft Security Response Center (MSRC) blog.
In a blog post on Friday, Microsoft announced it has reached the release-to-manufacturing (RTM) milestone for the next version of Office, which includes Office 2010, SharePoint 2010, Visio 2010, and Project 2010.
"RTM is the final engineering milestone of a product release and our engineering team has poured their heart and soul into reaching this milestone," said Takeshi Numoto, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft Office. "It is also an appropriate time to re-emphasize our sincere gratitude to the more than 5,000 organizations and partners who have worked with us on rapid deployment and testing of the products."
Numoto went on to say that over 7.5 million people have downloaded the beta version since it went public in November 2009, which is more than 3 times the number of 2007 beta downloads.
Office 2010 will land in retail stores in June, though U.S. customers can already place preorders through the Microsoft Store. Pricing has been set to $150 for Home and Student, $280 for Home and Business, and $500 for Professional.
More bad news for Microsoft, who again was found guilty of willfully infringing on i4i's patents, this time by the U.S. Federal Court of Appeals.
Microsoft is quickly running out of avenues. This latest verdict is the second time an appeals court affirmed i4i's patent win, which requires Redmond to fork over more than $240 million in damages, as well as remove a feature in versions of Microsoft Word 2007 that lets people create custom XML documents.
"A reasonable jury could have concluded that Microsoft 'willfully' infringed the 449 patents based on the evidence present at the trial," the judges wrote. "Similarly, there is no evidence Microsoft ever made a good faith effort to avoid infringement, internal emails show Microsoft intended to render i4i's product 'obsolete' and assure 'there won't be a need for [i4i's] product.'"
So is it time to throw in the towel? Not quite. According to InfoWorld.com, the panel will now circulate the document to the rest of the judges on the appeals court, who will then decide whether honor Microsoft's request for an en banc review. If the request is approved, all 12 appeals court judges will reconsider the case.
"From our perspective, there are only so many more avenues for appeals for them," said Loudon Owen, chairman of i4i.
Good news for business owners chomping on the bit for Microsoft Office 2010. Come May 12, Microsoft will begin selling the full version of its upcoming productivity suite to businesses, about a month before the general public will be able to get their hands on a copy.
"For businesses, we will launch the 2010 set of products, including Office 2010, SharePoint 2010, Visio 2010, and Project 2010 worldwide on May 12," Jefon Fark, senior marketing manager for Microsoft Office, wrote in a blog post. "For consumers, Office 2010 will be available online and on retail shelves this June. Until then, you can get the Office 2010 beta."
All of the above mentioned products are on schedule to be RTM (released to manufacturing) in April, eWeek reports. And for those participating in Microsoft's Office 2010 Technology Guarantee, the blog outlines eligibility requirements, which entails purchasing and activating either Office 2007, or a new PC with Office 2007, between March 5 and September 30; either have or create a Windows Live ID; and redeem the actual guarantee right here.
Listen up Office users, Microsoft has made available a free tool to help you level up your productivity skills. It's called Ribbon Hero and it offers up different 'games' or challenges for Word, PowerPoint, and Excel 2007 and 2010.
"Ribbon Hero watches what features you do and don't use, and then it recommend challenges for you to play, to hopefully expose you to new features," Microsoft writes in an Office blog. "The first time you complete a challenge, you'll earn points. But then we want you to use those same features in the app (on another day) to prove you've mastered those features! You can max out a feature using it twice, on two separate days -- and one one of those times can you get points from playing the challenge."
Ribbon Hero also serves up Facebook integration so you can spam your friends' walls with PowerPoint updates right next to your latest Farmville achievement. Oh joy.
You know Adobe's portable document format: PDF. It's everywhere, from downloadable documentation for a motherboard you need to tweak to press releases from the assemblyman from Lower Someplace, PDFs rule. Why? It's not hard to understand:
PDF files are supported by computers and mobile devices, including smartphones; comparable formats such as Microsoft's XPS don't enjoy nearly as wide a level of support
PDF files are cross-platform, enabling you to create a PDF on a PC and read it on any other device with PDF support
PDF documents can be optimized for web display, eBook readers, PC printing, and high-resolution professional printing
Add up these reasons, and it's easy to see why PDF make sense if you need to distribute a document that can be read everywhere.
Although Adobe sets the standards for PDF files with its Acrobat PDF creation and Reader PDF display software, Adobe isn't the only game in town when it comes to PDF creation. In this article, you'll discover if your system is already ready to spit out a PDF on demand, how to add PDF output to your system, and how to track down free tools that enable you to perform some PDF editing.
In a recent blog post, the Microsoft Office team laid out the hardware requirements it will take to run Office 2010, as well as how they came to those determinations.
To begin with, don't fret over your CPU and RAM. Unlike the jump from Office 2003 to Office 2007, in which both of those resources were essentially doubled (233MHz/128MB to 500MHz/256MB), you won't have to buy a new processor or memory this time around.
But while the CPU and RAM requirements went unchanged, if you want to take full advantage of Office 2010, you'll need a GPU that supports DirectX 9.0c or later and at least 64MB of video memory. And should you "intensively use graphics features," you'll get more out of Office 2010 with a beefier videocard.
For those of you rocking an older GPU that doesn't meet the requirements, you can still use Office 2010.
"A graphics processor that meets or exceeds the standard will help speed up some of the graphics features youv'e used in earlier versions of Office, and it will help you use advanced transitions, animations, and video features new to PowerPoint 2010. [But] if your computer doesn't have one, you can still run Office 2010," Microsoft said.
Probably the biggest complaint surrounding Microsoft's Office productivity suite (other than the ribbon) is the cost. Starting with Office 2010, Microsoft hopes to alleviate some of those complaints by charging users less if they're willing to forgo a boxed copy and make do with a card containing a product key code.
The savings are pretty significant. According to CNet, Office Professional (includes Word 2010, Excel 2010, PowerPoint 2010, OneNote 2010, Outlook 2010, Publisher 2010, Access 2010, premium tech support, and the Office Web Apps) will run $499 for the full boxed copy. But for users content with a product card only, the price drops down to $349. The Academic version, meanwhile, will sell for $99.
Microsoft will charge $149 for the boxed version of Office Home and Student, while the product card will run $119, saving buyers $30. This version will include World 2010, Excel 2010, PowerPoint 2010, OneNote 2010, and the Office Web Apps.
Finally, there's the new Office Home and Business, which bundles in Outloook 2010 to the above. It will sell for $279 for the boxed version, and $199 for the product key card.
Can't get enough box art? Well then you're in luck. Polish website CentrumXP has posted what appear to be leaked images of the retail boxes for Microsoft's upcoming Office 2010 productivity suite, or at least four of the versions.
The site posted shots of Office 2010 Home and Student, Home and Business, Professional, and Professional Academic. Standing out among the four versions is Office Professional Academic 2010, which is an edition no one seems to have known was in the works. In July of this year, Microsoft announced the other three versions above, plus Standard and Professional Plus (both of which will only be available via volume licensing).
So are these leaked shots the real deal? We don't know, but since Standard and Professional Plus will come via volume licensing, it would explain why those box shots weren't shown. And CentrumXP is also the same sight that leaked photos of Windows 7 retail boxes, half of which turned out to be legit.
What's the verdict, real or fake? Hit the jump and tell us!