The Release Candidate of Microsoft XML Paper Specification Essentials Pack (XPS Essentials Pack) is now available for download to all our customers. XPS Essentials Pack RC1 is supported for Windows XP SP2 and Windows Server 2003 for both 32 bit and 64 bit machines.

The XPS Essentials Pack contains:

  1. XPS Viewer EP - A stand-alone viewer for XPS Documents.
  2. Microsoft XPS Document Writer (MXDW) - Ability to generate XPS Documents by using the print command.
  3. XPS Document metadata and thumbnail handlers - Extensions for inspecting and changing XPS Document properties in Windows Explorer.
  4. XPS Document rich preview provider - Ability to preview XPS Documents in Outlook 2007.
  5. XPS Document search and index filters - IFilter provider to enable indexing of XPS Documents for faster search.
  6. XPSDrv print driver components – Components to enable printing to XPS devices like XPS printers.

XPS Essentials Pack does not require the installation of .NET Framework 3.0. To have a complete XPS experience, XPS Essentials Pack does require MSXML 6.0.

The XPS Viewer EP is a light-weight application that provides a rich viewing experience for XPS Documents. There are many exciting features built into the viewer, such as inherent support of HD Photo images and cool thumbnail views. The Microsoft XPS Document Writer (MXDW) complements the XPS experience by providing the means to generate XPS Documents, just by printing from any application to the MXDW print driver. The Essentials Pack search and index filters enable faster searching of XPS Documents using  applications like Windows Desktop Search. The IPreview implementation enables previewing XPS Documents in Office 2007 without actually launching the viewer. For example, you can preview an XPS Document attached to an email in the reading pane of Outlook 2007 with a single click on the attachment. And finally, the Essentials Pack also provides the XPSDrv printer components that enable printing to the new generation of XPS-based devices like the XPS printers.

Your continued feedback on the experience in using XPS Essentials Pack RC1 helps us make this product better. Please provide your feedback to XPSinfo@microsoft.com

You can download the XPS Essentials Pack from: http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/xps/viewxps.mspx