Beta 2 Technical Refresh Available Tomorrow


This morning, we announced that starting tomorrow (Thursday, Septemeber 14) you’ll be able to download the Beta 2 Technical Refresh build of Office 2007 (build 4407.1005).


Note: There’s a newer post now with the download link. You can keep reading, though, to see a list of what’s new in the Technical Refresh user interface.


I’m travelling on the east coast this week (New York, Boston, D.C.) and I’ve been using this build extensively and can honestly say that it’s been very stable for me. I’m used to running bleeding-edge builds at work, so it takes a trip like this to really notice how far along the quality is in this build vs. where it was in Beta 2 and earlier betas (or a random daily build.)


If you’re running Windows Vista RC1, you’ll be happy to know that B2TR works great on RC1 (unlike the much earlier Office Beta 2, which has some problems on Vista RC1.)


B2TR represents an iterative step forward for the UI design—a refinement and polishing of each component. The UI is now totally feature complete, and you will see only cosmetic differences between B2TR and the final version in most areas.


As I wrote in June, there are a number of changes in B2TR, ranging from minor tweaks to relatively significant improvements. In particular, we’ve made nearly 1000 individual improvements to the content in the Ribbon—everything from redesigning the Home tab of PowerPoint to subtle changes to scaling or labels to work better on small monitors. Most of these changes are, of course, very minor, but they add up to a new level of fit and finish in the overall user experience.


Some of the more significant improvements to the user interface in Beta 2 Technical Refresh:



I hope you’ll give the new build a try and tell us what you think. A full list of new features and improvements to the entire product (not just the user interface) will be available along with the download tomorrow.


Thanks so much for your feedback which made these changes possible.

Comments (80)

  1. Ben R. says:

    Congratulations on reaching this milestone. I’ll be quite interested to try this out on my laptop tomorrow.

  2. MacBirdie says:

    Can’t wait!

    But is Outlook going to be faster and less momory hungry? 😉

  3. Adam says:

    So, as Thomas asked in a comment on "Things of Beauty" – what the hell does "Beta 2 Technical Refresh" mean, and how does this differ from what "Beta 3" would have meant?

    (Does MS have a web page where they explain all their weird-ass naming once and for all? A few MS bloggers have tried to explain what you guys mean by RC as well since Vista RC1 came out, seeing as MS use a different meaning for RC than everyone else in the world. However, it’s not been that clear and the explanations I’ve read aren’t that different from how most people define "Beta". *sigh* If MS are going to redefine a bunch of standard terms and make up a load of new ones, I’d have thought they’d have a page somewhere that lists and explains them so that the rest of us can figure out what you’re talking about. Do they?)

  4. netfreak says:

    Will it be available in 00:01 of 14th of September or somewhere near the middle of the day

  5. Finally, Office 2007 BETA 2 performance and stability on Vista x64 RC1 was just horrible – nightmare. I hope performance and stability improves especially for Outlook 2007, you guys need to put a lot of focus on that app.

    Going forward, I wouldn’t mind if you invest some uniformity across the non-ribbon apps such as InfoPath, Publisher and others to blend in with the rest of the Office 2007 core apps. When I change a theme in Word, I want it to apply not just only to Outlook, but Publisher, Project, SharePoint Designer and InfoPath.

  6. Hi,

    great to hear about the new release. Can we expect the corresponding VSTO refresh soon?

    Thanks,

    Thomas

  7. … and …

    what’s the download location?

  8. Wie aus verschiedenen Quellen ( Jensen Harris , ActiveWin ) zu erfahren, wird es am Donnerstag den Technical

  9. Doug Mahugh says:

    Tomorrow the Beta 2 Tech Refresh build of the 2007 Microsoft Office System will be available for public…

  10. Eric says:

    will this be available via windows updates or will it be a new download?

  11. No Eric, from the Preview site and to Technical Testers, MSDN and Technet Subscribers.

  12. Wictor Wilen says:

    Jensen Harris bring us good news, as always…

    This morning, we announced that starting tomorrow (Thursday, Septemeber 14) you’ll be able to download the Beta 2 Technical Refresh build of Offi…

  13. Great news.

    I love the suite and hate going back but please please lock the Outlook team in their offices, throw away the key and get that nailed down.

    There are days, like today, when it just will not start or it is so slow it makes me want to cry (no not really I just switch to web access). It is one of the flagship products and one that is in most use and most critical use.

  14. C. Moya says:

    Is the MDI issues with Excel and Powerpoint still present? This is a humongous issue. Excel and Powerpoint’s outdated MDI interface makes working with multiple monitors and things like time-intensive blocking macros extremely hard. Not to mention that it smacks against the true Single Document Interface of MS Word!

    Please tell me this has been addressed?

  15. C. Moya says:

    Also, the point brought up by "Andre Da Costa" above is very very important. Please don’t let the Office apps become an inconsistent hodgepodge of color schemes. All apps should be consistent. They don’t all have to have the Ribbon, but they should be *consistent* otherwise.

    And again, please address the MDI issue.

  16. Primexx says:

    Will it be a free download again or still a paid download?

  17. Jensen, will the Beta 2 TR enable Live Icons for Office files in Windows Vista by default without the user having to manually do so by going to the properties of the file?

    Also, template icons, file icons some others on the File menu have not been updated to fit the look and feel of some the new command bar icons in Office.

  18. Jan Ilacqua says:

    Where do we download it from?  Or, will it be an Update to download and install.  More clarification please.

    Jan 🙂  

  19. A User says:

    Jensen – Kudos to the whole team for a very open, and open minded beta process.  In spite of all my grumbling, I am impressed with the quality and scope of work dome to refine the suite.

    About the grumbling of folks just can’t MDI – I *like* SDI in Word, but I *need* MDI in Excel. Are there instabilities when a user elects to run Excel in SDI mode?

  20. 北斗公园 says:

    Microsoft is planning to release the 2007 Microsoft Office System Beta 2 Technical Refresh tomorrow,…

  21. Ed says:

    Are we required to update if we are running Vista RC1?

    I don’t want to update, because I have used the "Save to PDF" feature a ton, and thanks to Adobe it is gone.

    Will a plugin be availble shortly to reinstute that feature?????

  22. Jonathan says:

    Thanks for the news.

    I, however, am just an interested follower in the development and did not get into the beta when it was still open. Some of the comments here sound as if it won’t be available to the public, but a couple seem to suggest it will be; any clarification on that, anyone?

  23. This post has no (discernable) tech value, but I’m sure some people out there like to know what I’ve…

  24. In case you have not seen Jensen Harris’ announcement, you will be able to download Microsoft Office…

  25. M.Giguere says:

    At 1.50 $

  26. Mary says:

    hey, I left a comment yesterday and it disappeared? anyway, thanks for the heads up!

    I signed up and I’m waiting w. baited breath for the refresh download to become available.

  27. n00b says:

    I’ve been really happy using beta 2 of Word and Excel 2007, and I was gonna take some screenshots so I could check out the before-and-after once I installed the refresh. But then I ran into one of the weirdest problems I’ve ever had:

    Inside Word, I can’t type a lowercase "c", "h", "t", or "v". Any other key works just fine.  Switch to another window and can type ’em to my heart’s content, including inside Excel 2007. Can cut and paste them into Word. Can use those letters with the CTRL key — at least copying and pasting was working with CTRL-c and CTRL-v, I don’t know what CTRL-h or CTRL-h are supposed to do?

    I’m not all that put out by this, I’m sure — or at least I hope! — it would all go away if I closed Word and brought it back up. And I plan to install the refresh ASAP anyway. It’s just more of a curiosity thing, wondering what could be going on to produce such an odd behavior.

    Any ideas?

  28. Dylan Greene says:

    Can you please offer some usability advice to the Office beta site team.  The product download page is a nightmare.  

    At least remove the dozens of animated NEW!!! gifs thrown about the page – instead the date the information was added is sufficient.  

  29. I haven’t seen any news about this yet, but it’s already available for download. Check out this post…

  30. Microsoft has released today, as promised, the Technical Refresh for the Second Beta of the Microsoft

  31. OK, so we’ve been a bit quiet recently, but my excuse for the last week is that I updated my system and…

  32. Andre says:

    Can the B2TR installed over B1TR or only over B2?

  33. RLFerrett says:

    My wife and I just installed the beta 2 refresh on our machines. On mine the Word paragraph defaults are 10 pt. after and 1.15 spacing, with 1" margins. Hers are regular, no extra spacing, 1.25" margins. These Which is the actual set of program defaults??? I don’t know who else to ask… Thanks!

  34. Frustrated says:

    Me, and many others on online forums, are having big trouble with the Beta 2 TR.  It won’t open old documents!!!  The error is: "You are trying to open a file created in a previous version of Microsoft Office. Your administrator has blocked the file from opening in this version."

    No thanks.

  35. This morning, the Beta 2 Technical Refresh of the 2007 Microsoft Office system became available for download….

  36. Frustrated Too says:

    I’m just having trouble getting the application to open at all.  Every time I open the Word Beta 2 TR it tries to reconfigure the system settings, then it tells me it can’t open the normal template (Normal.dotm).  Then it goes ahead and tries to install and configure some more stuff.  

    After about 10 minutes of this I can actually try to open a file.  For a Beta 2 non-TR it tells me it contains non-readable information, and goes ahead and configures/installs again, with the result being it gives up and tells me me it just can’t open the file.  Still waiting for it to load again so I can try opening a file I created in the TR….

    Now, there was supposed to be some installations notes, but as someone else mentioned, it’s hard to find anything on the download pages.  Either it gave no instructions or it was a dead link.

    ….Ah, finally finished the configuration thing agian….nope, it couldn’t even open files it created itself, there were "problems with the content".

    Anyone else have this problem?

  37. Andre says:

    Ok, I’ve uninstalled B1TR, then installed B2 and then B2TR and all Office programs are corrupted.

    Excel crashes everytime, all tabs, icons and dialogs in Word are corrupted etc.

    I haven’t rebooted Windows after the installation of B2 and the setup of B2TR has thrown an error message at the end of the installation and left Office 2007 entirely corrupted.

    Funny enough Office repair says everything is fine.

    Btw. the B2TR setup installs hundreds of MBs on the C drive, although B2 is installed on a different drive and the temp folder is also not on C. Maybe that’s ok for the average Joe who only has 1 partition, but if I select a different drive I don’t want to have 400 MB on C.

    Also the B2TR setup took like 20 or 30 minutes which is unacceptable.

  38. jensenh says:

    Andre,

    I don’t know much about setup, but this sounds like what I’ve seen happen when mismatched files end up installed.  Perhaps some program was holding on to a lock of the older file for some reason?

    I’m checking into where you can get help on this.

    The reason it’s a patch (and it takes so long) is that the setup team is testing the patch technology.  Normally, patches are designed to update a few files (not the entire suite.)

    Obviously you’ve hit some sort of bug (which unfortunately is why the setup team needed to test the patching code.)

    If I get more info, I’ll post it here.  In the meantime, you might try an uninstall, make sure there’s nothing at all in program filesmicrosoft officeoffice12, and try again.

  39. Andre says:

    Thanks for your reply Jensen.

    Why hasn’t the setup team tested incremental patches too? B1TR could haven been patched to B2 and then to B2TR in one step rather then uninstalling B1TR first.

    The Office12 folder was gone after the uninstallation of B1TR only the Office11 bits where left. But I haven’t rebooted Windows after the installation of B2, so maybe the B2TR setup tried to patch files which haven’t been copied yet. But that’s not an uncommon scenario that a user installs an app and then applies all patches.

  40. jensenh says:

    Andre and other folks having problems:

    Try following the instructions in this article: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/923718

  41. Andre says:

    "The installation of this package failed. Please see  for more information."

    See what for more information? The reason why it fails is that it runs out of disk space on C without any notification.

    I’ve only installed Word, Excel and Access of B2 – which is around 450 MB – on drive E, and for the B2TR setup 800 MB free disk space on drive C – although I don’t have my program or temp folder there – isn’t enough. That’s just poor.

    Windows has a setting where I want my temp folder so Office setup should respect that and shouldn’t touch my C drive except it is absolutely neccesary for some files. Why does it create a hidden Config.msi folder on C?

    And if the setup fails because it runs out of disk space it should notify the user and roll back the setup. Instead a corrupted installation is beeing left. And so are 500 MB on my drive C.

    Bottomline is that I can’t install B2TR because I can’t free up 2 GB disk space on C.

  42. Jeff R says:

    After installin B2TR, all of my Office apps work except for SharePoint Designer. When I attempt to launch it, I get the following error:

    Unhandled exception at 0x380ba4c5 in SPDESIGN.EXE: 0xC0000005: Access violation writing location 0x0000040c.

    Any ideas on how I can get around this?

  43. Patrick Schmid says:

    Jeff,

    there is a separate B2TR patch for SPD. Did you install that one?

  44. WilCarl says:

    I have Office 2007 Beta 2 installed on my computer. I down loaded Office technical refresh beta 2 and none of my program documents won’t open. How could I remove technical refresh from my computer since it does not have an uninstall icon in the program section in the control panel?

  45. Patrick Schmid says:

    WilCarl,

    you can’t uninstall B2TR. You can only remove all of Office 2007. However, this won’t be necessary. Check http://pschmid.net/blog/2006/09/16/43. Read the section titled File Not Found / File Not Available and follow the steps there.

  46. Wictor Wilen says:

    I have been running Microsoft Outlook 2007 Beta 2 Technical Refresh now for a while and it’s a great improvement to the Beta 2 but. There have been a lot of changes to the user interface in this relea…

  47. Corinne Hoisington says:

    I can’t run Sharepoint Designer after installing the Technical Refresh. I get this error:

    Unhandled exception at 0x380ba4c5 in SPDESIGN.EXE: 0xC0000005: Access violation writing location 0x0000040c.

  48. Patrick Schmid says:

    Corinne, SPD requires a separate B2TR patch. You need to download and install that.

  49. Hugues de Grandmaison says:

    Beta 2 doesn’t work and it has created a wrong set up. I need to reinstall all Office 2007..

    A nightmare !!!

  50. Amy says:

    I’ve downloaded the B2TR & now the "save as" function does not seem to work, so I am unable to save any of my documents in any of the programs.

    Can anyone help?

  51. Beth Dayley says:

    I installed the technical release and suddenly I couldn’t access any of the word, publisher, powerpoint files I had used before. It told me they weren’t available, or they were infected with a virus. I finally uninstalled Norton Utilities (by Symantecs) and suddenly everything worked fine. I installed McAfee and it works well with the technical release, but Norton doesn’t for some reason. I also had to reinstall the pdf utility for publisher, which is handy, but it was worth it.

  52. Anil Sarwal says:

    I cannot get the link to office designer 2007 after installing the office beta, technical refresh and even sharepoint server and sharepoint designer.  Can some one help?

    sarwalanil@sify.com

  53. Scott Martin says:

    Beta is now telling that Microsoft Office is not setup for current user. wont open and Word error message that it has an issue with Norton Antivirus software. My system is now in a right mess, what, when and how to fix this is getting beyond me.