SOFTWARE COBBLER Microsoft has announced that it has completed the Release to Manufacturing (RTM) build of its Office 2013 productivity software suite, saying that the full version will go on sale in the first quarter of next year.
Microsoft Office corporate VP Kirk Koenigsbauer said in an Office News blog post on Thursday that the release is "the most ambitious release of Office we've ever done" since it "spans the full family of Office applications, servers and cloud solutions".
Koenigsbauer continued, "[The release] means the coding and testing phase of the project is complete and we are now focused on releasing the new Office via multiple distribution channels to our consumer and business customers.
"[It] has a fresh, touch friendly design that works beautifully on Windows 8 and unlocks modern scenarios in social, reading, note-taking, meetings and communications."
There will also be a number of additional programmes to provide business customers with early access so they can begin testing, piloting and adopting Office 2013 within their organisations. These will include providing new capabilities to Office 365 Enterprise customers in the next service update, starting in November, along with the ability for developers to download the final version via their TechNet or MSDN subscriptions by mid-November.
Volume Licensing customers with Software Assurance contracts will also be able to download the Office 2013 applications as well as other Office products including Sharepoint 2013, Lync 2013 and Exchange 2013 through the Volume Licensing Service Centre by mid-November. These products will be available on the Volume Licensing price list on 1 December.
Koenigsbauer said customers buying Office 2010 from local retailers will receive the new Office 2013 software for free from 19 October. Customers will also see a preview version of the new Office 2013 on Windows RT devices, beginning with the Windows 8 launch on 26 October. µ