We have arrived!

Well, after much speculation and conjecture, we’ve arrived at one of those big product announcements we’ve all been waiting for!

Today we are pleased to announce the release to manufacturing of the 2007 Microsoft Office System! That’s right, the Office client and server products have gone gold.

If you are a MSDN Premium subscriber, you should be able to download the RTM version now from MSDN subscriber downloads. If you thought it was going to be seven days after RTM before you could get Office, we are also announcing today that MSDN Premium subscribers will be able to download both Office and Vista as soon as they RTM - which is a great segway to remind you of the 15% discount available on MSDN Subscriptions.

On the developer side, we’re also announcing the release to manufacturing of the .Net Framework 3.0, Visual Studio 2005 extensions for the .Net framework 3.0 and Visual Studio 2005 Tools for the 2007 Microsoft Office System (aka VSTO 2005 Second Edition).

In case you’ve been hiding under a rock the RTM of the Visual Studio Tools for Office allows you to extend your applications into the 2007 Microsoft Office client applications that your customers are going to be spending time in.

But wait, there’s more!

We’ve also released Beta 2 of ASP.Net 2.0 AJAX Extensions and the AJAX Library (the framework formerly known as “Atlas”), and finally we’ve also released the release candidate of SQL Server 2005 Compact Edition (think of it as SQL Mobile but for any version of Windows for any platform). And in case you missed it, we also released Windows Media Player 11 last week.

If you were hoping this would be the RTM announcement for Vista – fear not – it is very close. We’ve announced that November 30 is the day of the official launch which will be done by Steve Ballmer in New York City. There’s more to come here so stay tuned...

Oh – and have you seen the new product boxes for Office and Vista? Pretty cool...

Hopefully, that should ease the number of things in your “coming soon” list.