Microsoft Ships Office 12 Beta 1 - 17 Nov 2005

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In the News
- Microsoft Ships Office 12 Beta 1

==== In the News ====
by Paul Thurrott, [email protected]

Microsoft Ships Office 12 Beta 1 Wednesday night, Microsoft announced that it had shipped the Beta 1 version of its next office productivity suite, code-named Office 12, to beta testers. Office 12 Beta 1 is a closed beta, open only to technical beta testers and partners, according to the company. However, at the Microsoft Professional Developers Conference (PDC) 2005 in September, Microsoft had promised to open up the Office 12 beta to the public. That will now occur in early 2006 with the public release of Beta 2, Microsoft says.

"Office 12 will redefine the Office experience," says Microsoft's Chris Capossela, corporate vice president of the Information Worker Product Management Group. "The next version of Office is the most significant release in more than 10 years and includes new technologies designed to allow information workers to drive greater business success. Now, after many years of research and development, we're eager to put the software to the test and solicit technical feedback from select customers and partners."

Office 12 Beta 1 features the new ribbon-based UI that centralizes all authoring commands, which Microsoft first revealed at PDC. Microsoft also added new functionality for all core Office applications, including Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Access, InfoPath, OneNote, Publisher, Project, Visio, and Groove Virtual Office.

I will review Office 12 Beta 1 on the SuperSite for Windows in the weeks ahead. Individuals interested in registering to test Office 12 Beta 2 can do so at the Microsoft Web site below. http://www.microsoft.com/office/preview

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