blimey what a lot to say - so much so that I've hit bloggers block for a few days.  Just been in Seattle for a week at our internal "TechReady" conference.  This is the main way that Microsoft teaches us about what's coming up.  You get to live like a student, sharing a hotel room and wandering round sessions all day with a back pack on, dosed to the gills with Seattle's best coffee and influx of sugary snacks at every turn.  Coming back from my sugar/caffeine high is hard - along with the jet lag but wow was Office 12 centre stage all week!  There was over 90 sessions at the conference about Office 12 - and the keynotes by Steve and Bill were very Office 12 oriented. 

I can't emphasise enough what an increadible period we are about to enter with the best, most integrated and complete platform with Vista and Office 12 that we have ever built.  I've been at Microsoft nearly 9 years now (eek) and have seen several windows and office releases but never so much architectural elegance and integration all in one wave.  This really is a great time to be working for Microsoft or with Microsoft technologies. 

The real bummer is that I now know a lot more than I'm allowed to say which is KILLING me!  Now I know how good it is, I'm busting to tell you but we are under NDA until beta 2. 
Builds leading to beta 2 have the refreshed user interface which is like the one in beta 1 but a lot more polished.  It really does look the business now.  So stick with it.. we are not far from beta 2 now and then you'll get your hands on it!  In the meantime keep your eye on the preview site.