Yes, I'm a member of the Office 12 Beta testing team. And yes, I'm under NDA (non-disclosure agreement). That means I've agreed not to talk about anything related to what I learn about Office 12, which is not public information.
And yes, Office 12 was demoed at a recent technical conference, so lots of geeks who saw the demo or had an opportunity to play with the program in a user lab at the conference are already giving thumbs up or thumbs down on the software.
Personally, I think that's silly. Sure, lots of people want to be the first to give an opinion. But how valid can those opinions really be until you've had enough time to work with the software in a production environment. And this is something only those testing the software, under NDA, are currently able to do.
So my advice to you at this point is to take all the opinions with a grain of salt. Once the new version is available, those who have been using the program regularly in a production environment will then be free to tell you what they really think about how the new version works. And you can bet that I'll tell you all about it, as soon as I can.
Since I haven't yet installed the beta, I can only tell you about what public information I've seen. And that is that I'm very excited about Office 12. Yes, change can be scary, so I am anxious to find out if what I do now will be fully compatible with the new version. I'm optimistic that it will be. In fact, at this point...the only negative thing I can say about Office 12 is that it appears that it will be so easy to use that it will probably mean my training requests will become minimal!
But I'm sure you're also anxious to see what's coming down the pipe. So here's a link to a video that will give you a chance to see Office 12. In this 41 minute video, by Rob Scoble, former MVP, now Microsoft employee, you'll get to see Office 12 and hear the details about how it works, from those who created it.
And for those of you who don't have the connectivity to watch a 41 minute video online, here are a couple links that will allow you to read about it and view screen shots.
Finally, for those of you who want to know the latest information as soon as it's available, including an opportunity to register to receive the beta version before it is released to the public, hit this link: