Thus far, Microsoft’s Office Beta 2 has been downloaded over 3 million times for free. According to a spokeswoman for Microsoft, that is 500% more than what was originally expected. Because of the high costs of downloading from the servers, beginning next Wednesday at 6 p.m. those who download the new beta will be charged a $1.50 fee.
While new downloads will cost a small fee, the current users of the software will be able to get the ‘technical refresh’ or ‘updates’ and it will remain free. If you want to try out the Beta 2, you’ll be able to test drive online for no charge. However, if you want to install it on your computer you’ll need a download or a CD in which case you’ll be charged.
If you haven’t yet gotten a download of Beta 2, you may want to get it before they start charging! While $1.50 isn’t a whole lot, it’ll still be more of a hassle to pull out your credit card. This is the first and hopefully last time Microsoft will charge for a beta.