Jensen Harris made it official - Microsoft will release the Technical Refresh for Beta 2 of 2007 Microsoft Office system (small "s") tomorrow. This is a patch to an already installed version of Office 2007 Beta 2 and not a full installer. Microsoft has said there will be no charge for this download.
Jensen reports the following major changes in this release:
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:
- 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