Microsoft has just sent out the first wave of "Office 12" technical beta program invitations. In the e-mail received by many of our members here at Neowin, Microsoft revealed that Office 12 Beta 1 is scheduled for release within the next 2-3 weeks.
"Thank you for completing our nomination survey sometime within the past several weeks, and letting us know about your interest in participating in the Microsoft® Office "12" Technical Beta program. We are pleased to announce that your request for participation in the Office "12" Technical Beta has been approved. You will be provided with access to the Office "12" Beta software, documentation, and support within the next 2-3 weeks. But we wanted to let you know now that you have been accepted, so that you can make any preparations that you need."
Office 12 is set to completely revamp the traditional look and feel of Microsoft's authoring tools. Microsoft has completely redone the UI and user-program interaction by using sets of contextual 'ribbons'. These ribbons replace the standard 'drop down menu' type interaction with the program, grant quick access to common commands, and enable features once hidden or considered advanced to many users. Office 12 will also feature a new set of XML-based documents types, support for Microsoft's new XPS Print Path, and naitive PDF file support.
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