In a blog post, KD Hallman, Microsofts general manager for Visual Studio Tools for Office, said VSTO 2005 SE Beta enables developers to leverage the new features of the 2007 Microsoft Office system to build feature-rich, highly collaborative solutions.
Hallman said VSTO 2005 SE Beta, previously known by the code name Cypress, is a "fully supported add-in" for Visual Studio, available free to all users of Visual Studio 2005 Professional Edition or Visual Studio Tools for Office 2005.
In addition, by using VSTO 2005 SE Beta, "developers can take advantage of add-in support for the six most popular Microsoft Office applications—Outlook, Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Visio, InfoPath—and support for key 2007 Office system features," she said.
Perhaps the most important aspect of the beta release is that VSTO 2005 SE gives developers the power to take advantage of the 2007 Office system as a development platform and create scalable Office-based solutions, Hallman said.
Meanwhile, the 2007 Office system provides a variety of new features that developers can leverage to help make users of the applications they create more productive.
"From the new Ribbon [user interface] and custom task pane to SharePoint services, developers can now build applications with more robust user interfaces and collaborative features," Hallman said.