Office 12 beta 1 ships!!

Its the first milestone in our journey to ship this product - beta 1 was released to the Rapid Deployment Programme today. [:D]  This is a significant stage in the development of the products and its great that we are running to schedule nicely.

Having used it now on my live machine for a couple of days it is pretty stable and much more complete than DF4.  It is a bit slower than Office 2003 at the moment but that is to be expected as nothing has been optimised yet.  Features I'm finding I'm using a lot are: Search feature in outlook, tasks in outlook, the floatie is great, filtering in Excel, powerpoint IGX is cool.  I really like the ribbon and have adjusted to it immediately.  I also like the clean, spacious layout of the read mode in Word which I find I am using a lot.  I really love the preview pane in Outlook where you can view attachments as well now - seems to save a lot of time if you just want to have a quick skim of a doc someone emails you.
This is a private beta release for a limited number of customers and partners at this stage.  The beta 2 will be out in the spring and will be widely available. 
If you are using it, post your comments about what features you find yourself relying on now. 

Comments (6)

  1. PDC05 attendees were promised that they would receive beta 1 of Office 12. Do you know how I, as a PDC05 attendee, will get access to beta 1?

  2. Colin Walker says:

    Not got it installed yet (hadn’t finished downloading before I left for work this morning) but I can imagine the floatie being used a LOT.

    All of the conditional formatting and table functionality in Excel is going to make life so much easier as well.

    Any idea how much bloggers are going to be able to talk about it NDA-wise?

  3. Grace S Long says:

    Having attended the recent Office Professional Solutions Trainng of the OPS Sales Academy, I am extremely interested in participating in the beta release of Office 12. I feel that to effectively market the system, it is important to be able to capably use it first.

    How do I get to participate, please.? Thanks.

  4. dstrange says:

    To answer these:

    The PDC attendees should receive a DVD in the post with the beta 1 bits by about mid Dec.

    If you are a blogger blogging about beta1 you are under NDA and so should only talk about the stuff that we have announced publicly. However if you are talking about the Pro EE client bits that should be fine because that is what we are giving to the press.

    If you did not attend the PDC I’m afraid you will need to wait for beta 2 in the spring. Partners with IW competency are getting beta 1 I believe.

    hope this helps,


    To register for beta info go to

  5. Grace S Long says:

    I have seen the power of the new Office '12' at a training session in Reading last week. It is

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