It's really amazing how quickly this summer is going by. The Seahawks are starting up training camp out in Cheney, and we are now just a little over a month away from PDC where we'll be introducing a lot more of the new functionality for Office 12. A simple look at the "Office & SharePoint" track on the PDC website shows that we'll actually be talking about a lot of stuff that week.

I'm really looking forward to getting into more of the details on the new XML formats at PDC. By that time I'll be able to show examples in all three applications (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint). I'm also really pushing to get an initial draft of the schemas sometime between PDC and Beta 1 (hopefully closer to PDC than Beta 1). Here's the description on the file format session I'll be doing:

Assembling, Repurposing and Manipulating Document Content Using the New Office File Format
The new Microsoft Office Open XML Formats are the default XML file formats for "Office 12". The power and accessibility of these XML file formats are designed for programmability and open up numerous scenarios for manipulating files, creating files from scratch, repurposing content and merging files with business data. This session explains the architecture of the new Open XML Formats, details of the application schemas and walks through how to create a couple of detailed solutions using the WinFX API to control file content.

Let me know if there are specific demos you guys would like to see and I'll work on getting them included. Personally I'm also really excited to be able to talk more about the work we've been doing with customer XML support in Word. Tristan Davis will be presenting this session. Tristan was an intern working on the XML functionality in Office 2003, and now he's come on full-time for Office 12. I've already talked a bit about the functionality in Word 2003, but I can't wait until PDC when we can talk about what's new in this are for 12. Here's a description of Tristan's session that will touch on this specific topic:

XML-Based Programmability for Flexible ''Word 12'' Document Solutions
Word 2003 introduced the concept of structured documents. This session shows how "Word 12" takes XML document programmability to a new level, offering new flexibility and intuitive user interaction. A few of the new concepts and capabilities are introduced that enable a greater use of custom-defined schema, and then the power behind those is shown through a more complex scenario.

It really should be an awesome session. We haven't built the demos yet, but one thing I'll make sure we include are some examples of how you would build a solution with XML in Word 2003, and then what we've done to make that a lot easier in Word 12. There really are some great advances here.

Another area that you guys might find interesting is covered in these two sessions:

''Office 12'': Introduction to the Programmable Customization Model for the Office 12 User Experience (Part 1)
"Office 12" is introducing a new, declarative model for customizing the Office user interface using XML. Learn about what is possible and how your Office solutions can benefit from the new technologies.

''Office 12'': Developing with the Programmable Customization Model for the Office 12 User Experience (Part 2)
"Office 12" is introducing a new, declarative model for customizing the Office user interface using XML. This session dives into the details of the markup and the resulting behavior, describes how the markup interacts with DLL-based code, and provides guidance for migrating existing solutions and developing new ones.

As I'm sure you've noticed by now, we are continuing our progression on the use of XML both in the file formats as well as in other technologies in Office. This session shows yet another example of that, and it really is an exciting topic.

Have a great weekend everyone. Sorry I haven't been posting everyday, but it's been really busy. We have a group of customers and partners coming out next week for some presentations and we've been working on getting all the demos and decks together. Any chance I get to talk with customers and partners and get feedback on Office 12 I take pretty seriously and try to make sure I have all the material together I want to cover. As a side effect, it's also pretty nice getting some of the talks and demos done at this point since we can then use a lot of that content for the PDC sessions.

-Brian