Beta 1 of the XML Paper Specification (XPS) Essentials Pack has been released. The Essentials Pack contains XPS technologies that are based on the Win32 API. This pack is supported on Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, and Windows 2000 SP4.

This beta release of the Essentials Pack contains:

  • Shell extensions for inspecting and changing XPS Document properties in Windows Explorer
  • A stand-alone XPS Document Viewer

Anyone can take advantage of the simple, clean, extensible features of the XPS Document format to build useful and practical technologies. We built the Essentials Pack with an independent parser and renderer on Win32 platforms to provide XPS viewing on Windows 2000 and Windows systems without the WinFX Runtime Components. This is a great validation that independent XPS implementations are possible.

Your feedback is very valuable in shaping the future of these technologies, so please keep it coming, and stay tuned for future updates! You can provide feedback by emailing or by joining the community in the XPS Developers Forum of MSDN. For ongoing updates on XPS technologies, visit us on this blog and at

Install the Essentials Pack at: