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9/15/2006
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Microsoft Refreshes 2007 Office System

Microsoft released the 2007 Microsoft Office system beta 2 technical refresh yesterday.  This technical refresh is the final milestone (at least that customers will see) until the product is released.  The technical refresh, which we'll be studying in the coming weeks, appears to deliver improved performance than previous versions.  In addition, Microsoft is promising better product integration and they've made improvements to a number of collaboration tools.  Let's take a quick look at what they've done.Bloggers will be happy to see enhanced picture support for blogging in Word.  Outlook power users will benefit from improvements to indexing and searching.  Excel power users will find charting improvements, and those addicted to PowerPoint will find enhancements to Pictures and Graphics functionality.

In addition, the user interface benefits from minor enhancements including a new silver color theme and changes to the design of the Office button.

Finally, Microsoft released the public beta of the new Microsoft Office SharePoint Server for Search 2007.  This is a subset of the complete Office SharePoint Server 2007 and provides knowledge workers with core search capabilities.  Customers can set it to either crawl content in common data repositories or extend its reach to other information repositories using third-party or custom-built connectors.

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