Microsoft Office Beta 2 No Longer Free

Dennis Faas's picture

Now that Microsoft knows you want it, Office 2007 Beta 2 downloads are no longer a gratuity.

Since its release two months ago, the extremely popular program has been downloaded a total of three million times, leading the Redmond-based company to start charging $1.50 USD, beginning August 2.

According to Microsoft, the beta program -- 550 MB for the basic version, 2GB for the full suite -- and its explosive popularity have put a fantastic strain on the company's networks. Even Microsoft itself has been caught off guard by the intense downloading of the Office beta, stating that the 3 million requests have exceeded expectations by a whopping 500%.

The charge of a buck and a half is, according to Microsoft, a "cost recovery measure" in order ensure the quality and quantity of future downloads. (Source:

For those wanting just a quick sneak-peak of Office, the online test-drive version of Office Beta 2 remains free. (Source:

In order to calm techies who will now have to give up the morning coffee in order to download the Office trial, Microsoft has assured its followers that future betas will be free. And although was unsure whether the upcoming Technical Refresh version of Office would feature a cost, Infopackets has learned that Microsoft intends on releasing it free of charge.

As for the $1.50, Microsoft considers it to be similar to a shipping and handling charge if the Washington company were to physically send out DVDs. (Source:

Unexpectedly, Microsoft is elated with the popularity of Office. "It really speaks well for the product and the excitement surrounding it that after 2 months and over 3M downloads, it's still going strong," an enthusiastic representative gushed.

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