Today, the product I've been blogging about for the last six months as Office "12" officially became the 2007 Microsoft Office system.

Along with the naming announcement, pricing and packaging information has been revealed, and you can find all of the details on the Microsoft web site.

In particular, I'm jazzed about the very affordable Microsoft Office Home and Student 2007 which, in addition to all the improvements I've been telling you about in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, also includes the great new OneNote 2007. Of course there are several different versions available to meet your needs, so you should check them all out.

Now is also a great time to sign up to receive a copy of Beta 2 on the Office preview site. We're committed to shipping a great Beta 2 for you, and so I hope you'll let us send it to you to try out when it's available.

This 2007 release has really been a labor of love for so many of us. It's been said many times that this is the most significant Office release in over a decade--maybe ever. I believe that's true, but more personally, I know it's a release that the team is really proud of and are working so hard to get in your hands.

There are improvements and innovations in so many key areas: user interface, open file formats, a new graphics engine, redesigned charting and diagramming, workflow and business process integration, instant search, RSS, and time management in Outlook, document themes support across the apps, a redesigned Access, a new OneNote, SharePoint, and SharePoint Designer, Groove, Publisher, Project... and this only scratches the surface. I'm leaving out literally hundreds and hundreds of improvements, huge and small.

For those of us working on the new user interface for the 2007 Office system, it's tweak tweak tweak as we work every day to improve the product based on the feedback given by so many of you.

There's still a lot of work left to get the product ready, but 2006 will be the year productivity software takes a huge leap forward.

It is an honor to have you along for the ride.