If you live and breathe Microsoft Office and/or Outlook and OneNote (and Publisher even) when it comes to correspondence, notes, presentations, biographies, etc., for your genealogy work, and you are a Windows user (or Mac with the appropriate Windows virtualization software) and interested in where Office is going, Microsoft has made the Office 2007 Beta 2 available for public users.
You can get it (and the free license keys) here: www.microsoft.com/office/preview/beta/getthebeta.mspx
It’s got a radical new interface, and quite a few other things have changed. It runs okay if you are using it under a Mac setup with Parallels Desktop for Mac.
It expires on February 1st, 2007. Keep in mind, it’s highly recommended you don’t use this for “production” work, i.e., don’t install over your old Office, and don’t load and save documents you have created with older versions of Office without first backing all of them up. That said, it’s interesting to see where they are going with this – obviously they are going after more online-collaboration and business, but still, it’s interesting to look at it. Personally, it doesn’t offer me anything that I absolutely need – I’ve been using other word processors for my normal word processing, and for publishing newsletters, etc., I’ve been using Apple’s Pages, but I do like to check things out.
If you don’t want to go through with downloading it or ordering it by mail, you can read eWeek’s review of it.
Roxanne Moore Saucier has a good article in the Bangor Daily News (Maine), Ancestors magazine a rich resource, that covers many of the resources available through a membership in the New England Historic Genealogical Society, especially their publication, New England Ancestors.
MacPAF is (I think) nearing a public release. MacPAF if modeled after Personal Ancestral File (PAF) for Mac, and for those who are waiting to upgrade their genealogy software and who are looking for a replacement for PAF for Mac, this might just be the application you are looking for. While there are more mature Mac genealogy applications (and the list has grown to a dozen or so active Mac applications, which really surprised me), and that have more features, MacPAF is more geared towards those used to PAF for Mac.
Victor Keegan has an article in The Guardian’s technology section, Meet the ancestors – they’re coming online, about how much genealogy information is being placed online. It’s just kind of a general overview of the major genealogy sites, although with a tilt towards UK-oriented sites/companies.
Can you imagine genealogy software branded with the name of a popular TV show? That’s what happens when you combine the hit BBC TV show, ‘Who Do You Think You Are?‘ with Family Tree Maker. Genealogy Software News has information on a review of the software.
I’m not surprised considering the popularity, and it looks like it’s only for the UK market. It’s interesting. The reviewers that Genealogy Software News points to complained that it felt like it was trying to pull them into subscribing to Ancestry.com (or Ancestry.co.uk in their case). Hmmmm…didn’t see that coming….