I just saw that the VSTO Group announced that we will have a fully supported version of VSTO for Office 2007 before Orcas!!!

I have included below the post KD Hallman made into the VSTO forum:

 

 

I’m excited to announce “Cypress”, a fully-supported free add-on to Visual Studio 2005 which will give developers the ability to build applications targeting Office 2007.  This is an important announcement brought about because of your feedback regarding Microsoft’s developer tools support plans for Office 2007. 

 

Cypress will include the following functionality and release at about the same time as Office 2007:

 

·    Application-level add-ins for the most popular Office applications including Outlook, Excel, Word, PowerPoint, InfoPath and Visio.  This is currently the #1 most requested feature for VSTO – safe loading, unloading, and management of managed add-ins.  I’m thrilled that we’re going to be able to provide this functionality to developers much earlier than anticipated.

·    Office key feature support: programming model and runtime support for Ribbon, Custom Task Panes, and Outlook forms regions.  Office’s new UI contains exciting extensibility opportunities and Cypress will enable VSTO’s simple coding experiences like IntelliSense. 

·   Maintainability and compatibility are core principles for the VSTO team and Cypress will also ensure that your applications built on Office 2003 with VSTO 2005 continue to run with Office 2007. 

 

Cypress is an add-on and is incremental.  It is not, itself a complete Visual Studio product release.  Anyone who has a licensed version of Visual Studio 2005 will be eligible to download Cypress for free.  However, I want to be clear that Cypress is not a super-set of all the VSTO 2005 functionality that was made available for Office 2003 replicated for Office 2007.  As promised, Excel Workbook and Word Document project support for Office 2007 will come on-line in VSTO “Orcas”, and be made available in upcoming “Orcas” CTPs.   Also look for the exciting new VSTO “Orcas” functionality, such as the visual designers for the Ribbon and Custom Task Panes, and Outlook in these “Orcas”CTPs.

 

I’m impressed by the Office platform and VSTO tools energy in the market.  It’s clear that this value packed combination is resonating well with customers and developers.  Office 2007 is an exciting release with features that are clearly interesting for developers.  It’s no wonder that developers want make use of these features when Office 2007 ships, and not wait for Orcas to get started.  Cypress will get you started.

 

You can get a CTP of Cypress by going to http://msdn.microsoft.com/vstudio/future/ and a beta version will be out later this summer.