Microsoft today began sending out invites for the beta of Office Starter 2010 to users of Office Live Workspace. According to the blog I Think Different, potential enrollees must complete a survey and are contacted later if they meet the eligibility requirements. The survey is straightforward and asks questions about the productivity software and operating system you currently use.

Microsoft announced last month that it plans to allow system manufacturers to pre-install the complete version of Office 2010 on new computers. Rather than a trial, however, the suite will be tweaked to run at a limited capacity – hence, Office Starter 2010. The handicapped version of Office 2010 will provide users with the ability to view, edit, and create documents via Word and Excel.

Users will be able to unlock the full version buy purchasing Product Key Cards via OEMs and major retailers. The complete version of Office 2010 will also be available for download via Microsoft's "Click-To-Run" technology, and of course, you will be able to pick up a copy on DVD as well.

The first public beta of Office 2010 is expected to arrive this month, so keep your eyes peeled. Many predict that it will be opened next week in conjunction with Microsoft's Professional Developers Conference.