Microsoft’s development routine is well-documented: when a product is near-ready to ship, it enters the Release Candidate stage. That means it is feature-complete and ready to ship. All they are doing now is looking for bugs serious enough to warrant not shipping the product. Office 2010 has hit that stage. Datamation explains what that means.
Microsoft confirmed that it has begun “Release Candidate” testing on Office 2010, triggering suspicions among some observers that the productivity suite may ship earlier than expected.
The copies being distributed, which are in the last testing phase before the product’s release — thus the name “Release Candidate” or RC — are going out to members of Microsoft’s (NASDAQ: MSFT) Office 2010 technology adoption program, or TAP.
TAP is a long-running initiative that aims to involve important Microsoft customers in testing and providing feedback on product development. By definition, TAP participation is limited.
“Microsoft made a release candidate available to members in the technology adoption program,” a Microsoft spokesperson told InternetNews.com in an e-mailed statement.
“This is one of Microsoft’s planned milestones in the engineering process,” the spokesperson said. “However, they do not have plans to make this new code set available broadly.”