Beta 2 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 (latest service pack).

This beta release of the Essentials Pack contains:

  • A stand-alone XPS Document Viewer
  • Microsoft XPS Document Writer to output files to the XPS Document format through the print command of any Windows application. 
  • iPreview and iFilter interface implementations for XPS Documents
  • XPSDrv printer driver to enable printing to XPS devices.
  • Shell extensions for inspecting and changing XPS Document properties in Windows Explorer

We built the Essentials Pack on Win32 platforms to provide XPS Services for Windows systems without the Microsoft .Net Framework 3.0.

Our iFilter implementation enables searching the contents of an XPS Document by search applications such as Windows Desktop. Our iPreview interface implementation enables previewing XPS Documents directly inside applications that support the interface such as Outlook 2007. If you have the latest beta of Outlook 2007 and the Essentials Pack, you can try this feature on an email in your inbox that contains and XPS Document attachment. By selecting the XPS Document attachment int he reading pane, the contents will display directly below the attachment within the reading pane.

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 XPSinfo@microsoft.com 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 http://www.microsoft.com/xps.

Install the Essentials Pack at: http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/xps/viewxps.mspx