One thing you might have noticed in Office 12 demos and screenshots is that certain commands in the Ribbon have an orange dot as their icon.  People have speculated on what the orange dot represents; guesses have ranged from highlighting features you've used recently to indicating "hot" features in the new version.

The real answer is simpler: the orange dot icon is used to represent places in which we don't have the final artwork.  Long ago it was discovered that if you put in too much "temporary" artwork, sometimes people didn't notice until it was too late and it never got replaced with final art.  With literally thousands of pieces of artwork being managed, it's a humongous task to make sure nothing falls through the cracks.  So, the orange dot is used as the universally understood symbol within our team that an icon is missing.

When the final version of Office 12 comes out, it won't have any orange dots.  (Knock on wood.)

The reason you've never seen the orange dot before (even if you've participated in past Office betas) is that this is the first release in which we've used it.  In the last few releases, we used the "Magic 8 Ball" icon included in the Office command bar icon editor to have this same meaning.  (I think the joke was "look in the 8 ball, who knows what icon will appear?")

Unfortunately, we spent a lot of time during the Office 2003 beta cycle responding to internal bug reports from people saying "I don't know, it doesn't seem like Magic 8 Ball is that good of an icon for Insert Table Row".

Hence, the orange dot.  And now you know the rest of the story.