With so much information coming out now about SharePoint 2010 and related technologies, I’m sure many are wondering how they can get their hands on the actual software. Well, the public beta is scheduled for this month (November 2009). However, this does not mean that you will automatically be able to download it. You need to pre-register first to participate in the beta. Here is the page where you can pre-register: http://sharepoint2010.microsoft.com/try-it/Pages/Trial.aspx.
Before you go to pre-register however, you should also consider the hardware requirements for installing SharePoint 2010. If you plan to run it on a physical server, make sure it’s a 64bit machine. On the other hand, if you want to play with it in a virtual environment, then here are your options:
I used to have many virtual machines for SharePoint 2007 (in fact I still do) which were created in Virtual PC 2007. Virtual PC does not support 64-bit so that’s out of the question now 🙁