Microsoft on Monday released a public beta of Office 2010 Service Pack 2 (SP2), the first major update to the suite in almost two years.

The preview of Office 2010 SP2 can be downloaded from Microsoft's Connect website, the company said.

In addition to Office 2010 SP2, the download includes the code necessary to upgrade several server products, such as SharePoint 2010 and Office Web Apps 2010.

Microsoft shipped Office 2010 SP1 in June 2011, about a year after the suite's debut.

Office 2010 SP2 includes the usual roll-up of past security and hotfix patches, as well as "previously unreleased fixes that were made specifically for this service pack," Microsoft said in an accompanying document. Those range from stability, performance, and security fixes to compatibility updates for Windows 8, Windows Server 2012, and Internet Explorer 10 (IE10).

Microsoft did not describe the contents of SP2 in detail, but said it would when it shipped the final code.

According to the beta's end-user license agreement (EULA), the license -- and presumably the software itself -- will be valid until either Dec. 31, 2013, or the service pack's commercial release, whichever comes first.