It seems like the big milestones just keep coming for Office '12'. Today, a select group of our customers and partners were given access to the first beta of Office '12'. This is just our next step towards the final release of Office '12' which is scheduled for later in 2006, and it's a great chance for us to gather technical feedback. This is the biggest release of Office in a long time, and the first Beta is pretty sweet. I'm sure most of you have been reading the news over the past 5 or 6 months about all the new things in Office '12', but I wanted to give a quick recap in honor of the first beta. If I had to sum up Office '12' with just a few key points, here's what I'd say:
Those are pretty high level, but I wanted to try to sum everything up in a few really simple statements. There are of course a lot of different areas we could drill into, but I doubt you have time to read it all. Here are some of the more interesting areas though that I wanted to specifically call out:
We've already spent a lot of the project talking with customers about the features in Office '12', and now that we've released beta 1, we can really start to dig into the features and make sure we haven't missed anything. There are going to be a lot of partners that will want to build on top of this new feature set, especially the new file format. This first beta is a great opportunity for that.
So, what do you do if you aren't on the list of folks receiving the first beta? Don't fret, Beta 2 will be even more solid and will be made publicly available when we release it next year. You can register for it at the Office '12' preview site: http://www.microsoft.com/office/preview