If you’re looking for an environment to use to get up to speed, you can now download a publicly available SharePoint and Office 2010 VHD to use for demo or coding purposes.  You can download the VM here:

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=0c51819b-3d40-435c-a103-a5481fe0a0d2&displaylang=en

These are the beta versions of SharePoint and Office 2010, and other technologies released on this VM are listed on the download page.

You can also download some complementary SharePoint 2010 and Office 2010 training that you can use against this VM. This training is available here:

SharePoint 2010 Developer Training - http://channel9.msdn.com/learn/courses/SharePoint2010Developer/

Office 2010 Developer Training - http://channel9.msdn.com/learn/courses/Office2010/

OS support information is as follows: Windows Server 2008 R2; Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise; Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard

Note: In order to run this VM you will need the following:

  • Windows Server 2008 R2 with the Hyper-V role enabled.
  • Drive Formatting: NTFS - Processor: Intel VT or AMD-V capable
  • RAM: 8 GB or more recommended
  • Hard disk space required for install: 50 GB

I would recommend you allot at least 6.5GB or more RAM when running the VM.

This VM is a great way to get started with demoing and developing on SharePoint and Office 2010!

Happy coding.

Steve