Would you like to explore SharePoint 2010, but don’t want to build your own SharePoint server? A year or two ago I would have told you to build your own servers, or download the Information Worker evaluation virtual hard disk.
There’s a third option that will serve the needs of many of the curious… Office 365. Just go here and sign up for a demo account and explore away for thirty days!
1) Signup for a SharePoint / Office 365 demo (free for 30 days)
You will get access to SharePoint from the point of view of a Site Collection Administrator and be able to create Site Collections, Sites, Lists, Libraries and even create and upload Visual Studio sandboxed solutions.
2) Download the 2010 Information Worker Demonstration and Evaluation Virtual Machine from here
You will get a full SharePoint Enterprise Edition, FAST search, Office 2010, Visual Studio 2010, Lync server, SQL server and a whole lot of other stuff! You will need a server running HyperV or a PC running Virtual Box.
3) Build your own server or virtual machines using the 180 day evaluation copies of SharePoint, Windows, SQL, Office, Visual Studio, etc.
You'll both learn how to build SharePoint farms and how to use all of the tools.