The beta of Office 2010, expected this week, is now available to developers who are part of Microsoft's MSDN and TechNet developer programs.
Members of the public are also expected to get access to the beta this month, with the announcement likely to come on Wednesday as Office executive Kurt Del Bene gives his keynote speech at the Professional Developers Conference in Los Angeles.
As noted by ZDNet blogger Mary Jo Foley, Microsoft has already set up public Web pages for downloading the beta, although clicking on the download links returns a message that the beta is not yet available.
In addition to the desktop applications, the beta would appear to include the browser-based Office Web Apps (although I am still checking the details on that one).
Also expected at the PDC is the formal launch of Windows Azure, Microsoft's cloud-based operating system as well as demos from the Seadragon and Live Labs teams, among other announcements.
Microsoft is already making some news at PDC. The company said on Monday that it is making available as open-source code its .Net Micro Framework.
Two pieces of the framework, though, its TCP/IP stack and its cryptography features are not included in the open-source release. In a blog posting, Microsoft's Peter Galli said that Microsoft is expected to remain involved in the development of the .Net Micro Framework, working alongside the community.
CNET News will have live coverage of the show, including Ray Ozzie's keynote speech, on Tuesday.