[Updated: 1/30/2011 All Links]
Office and SharePoint hands on labs
The best way to get started learning about Office and SharePoint is to use the Channel 9 training kits. The training kits contain and number of videos and hands on labs. In order to complete the hands on labs you will need to install Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010. This can be a daunting task for someone new to SharePoint. Luckily the SharePoint team has released a Hyper-V based Virtual Hard Drive (VHD) that contains almost everything you need. But to complete the hands on labs from the Channel 9 training kits you will need to install a few more things.
Office 2010 Training: https://channel9.msdn.com/learn/courses/Office2010/
SharePoint 2010 Training: https://channel9.msdn.com/learn/courses/SharePoint2010Developer/
The downloadable Training Kit contains all of the HOLs. http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=9702451
Download the base SharePoint VHD image
The download contains 2 VHDs, 1 for SharePoint 2010 and Office 2010 (2010-4a) and 1 for Exchange 2010 (2010-4b). Running both virtual machines will allow you to test out workflow and email scenarios with SharePoint and Office. The download site contains documentation on how to setup and run the VHD file so I won’t duplicate that information here. After you have the VHD up and running you will need to install the following software. I will also call out which are optional and which are required.
AdventureWorks Sample DB (Required)
The AdventureWorks database is used in a number of the hands on labs.
Open XML SDK (Required)
The open XML SDK is used in a number of the hands on labs to create Office documents.
VS2010 SDK (Required)
The Visual Studio 2010 SDK is required to complete the Visual Studio Extensibility hands on labs.
Adobe Reader (Optional)
The Adobe Reader can be used to read some of the lab files which are in both PDF and docx format.
Expression Blend 4 (for Silverlight development)(Optional)
If you are going to develop Silverlight applications for SharePoint then Expression Blend provides the best design experience. Also you will need this version to develop Silverlight 4 applications.
Silverlight 4 (Optional)
Silverlight is a great way to rapidly develop rich experiences in SharePoint. Although you can use Silverlight 3 (or v2), I would recommend using the Beta of Silverlight 4.
Fiddler is a tool that can monitor the http messages that are being passed between the browser and the server. This is helpful for debugging web services and the client OM applications.
Reflector is a tool to decompile .net assemblies. This is a great way to look into the source code of SharePoint to understand what is going on behind the scenes.
ULS Viewer (Optional)
ULSViewer allows users to open a ULS log file and display its contents in a user friendly format. Users can then perform advanced functions such as filtering, sorting, highlighting, loading logs, appending logs, etc. in order to single out the data that is important to the user. This information can be used to diagnose problems with machines running ULS services, or to monitor machines and the events they create in real-time.
Zoomit is a great tool for presenters. If you want to record a screen cast or present to a live audience then ZoomIt is a must have tool.
Forefront Security (Optional)
If you intend to expose the virtual machine to the internet you will need to have some security software.
ISA Firewall client (Optional)
If you are behind a proxy server you may want to have a proxy client help configure how Internet Explorer gets out to the world. Of course you will need to install the correct proxy client for you environment.