I just found out that the release is supposed to happen at 9:00 A.M. PST. Now you won’t have to stay up all night waiting for it. ;)
Jensen Harris, who is working on the Office 2007 interface, has said that Microsoft will be offering Office 2007 Beta 2 TR (Technical Refresh) tomorrow for users to download. Here is the nice list of improvements, since Beta 2, that he provides:
- Improved support for the minimized Ribbon
- Visual redesign of the “Northwest” corner of the programs
- Double-click the Office Button to close the window
- Silver color scheme
- Redesign of the PowerPoint Home tab
- Improvements to default styles for all objects (pictures, tables, charts, SmartArt, headers, footers, etc.)
- Quick Customize Menu
- New product icons
- Usability improvements to the Office menu
- Send button in the form in Outlook
- Over 1000 changes (most minor) to the content of the Ribbon
All of those links above direct you to Jensen’s blog because he does a really great job explaining each new feature. The new Quick Customize Menu (pictured above) has been changed around so that it has some of the most popular options in it, as well as the new “Minimize the Ribbon” feature.
The other cool thing that I really like is the ability to transform images into something that looks a little more professional:
I thought it was funny to see the “Web 2.0″ style located in the bottom-right corner. I think this is really great because there are so many people that I know who want to make their pictures look cool, but they have a hard enough time sending an email. They will now be able to transform their images into something that would amaze a lot of people with just a single click.
I can’t wait to get my hands on this tomorrow! This will be the site to watch for the download so if anyone notices a change before I do please shoot me a tip.
Note: BetaNews is reporting that Microsoft will charge $1.50 for the download unless you have previously downloaded Office Beta 2. They also say that you’ll have to uninstall Beta 2 in order to install the Technical Refresh.