Office 12 is announced, and will go out at the same time as Windows Vista! The main goal is to make features more discoverable. I agree, that should be the main goal. Half the time, the feature I so wished Office should have already exists :)
Some features I liked:
* Resizing a table directly
* Preview of what a chart, table colors would look like before I apply the changes
* Galleries that you can drag and drop from into your application for increased productivity
* Discoverability of the most common tasks has definitely become easier. Having task specific menus automatically show up is definitely helpful as well in discoverability of the commands.
* Powerpoint has a nice feature to create common diagrams...something I typically do in Visio before copying to Powerpoint :)
* Working with Sharepoint - Special stuff done with powerpoint where you can directly link in with a slide library, so that if you make changes on a slide in sharepoint, then it automatically changes the powerpoint deck as well.
* Outlook enhancements- you can flag a mail as something you'll get to later, that automatically creates a task. Given that I'm very task driven (create a task list), this is pretty helpful. I also like the idea of being able to view my attachments right in Outlook itself instead of opening some random application! Pretty cool RSS integration, and good search integration as well.
All in all, pretty cool. There are some new features, but it looks like a LOT of focus (which I agree with) has been on making the product more usable by getting most used features to the forefront.