SOFTWARE HOUSE Microsoft has released Office 2013 to consumers ahead of its launch event in New York later on Tuesday.
The Home and Student version is available for download or shipping from the Microsoft UK store priced at £110, while the Home and Business version can be purchased for £220 or the high-end Professional version for £390.
IT professionals and developers have been able to download Office 2013 via a TechNet or MSDN account since November 2012, but this is the first time general users have been able to buy a copy.
Microsoft will be hosting an Office 2013 launch event in Bryant Park, New York later today.
Office 2013 was unveiled by Microsoft in July, and is described by the firm as "the most ambitious release of Office" it has ever delivered. It includes touch optimised versions of the familiar Office applications to support Windows 8 and tablet devices, plus a greater emphasis on the cloud to store documents and settings.
Microsoft tried to encourage sales of the software suite by offering anyone buying an eligible version of Office 2010 between October and April 2013 a free upgrade to the 2013 version.
Microsoft has also launched Office 365 Home Premium, a cloud-based version of the firm’s productivity suite aimed at consumers.
Office 365 Home Premium includes the latest versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher and Access, and works across up to five devices, including Windows tablets, PCs and Macs. It also features 20GB of SkyDrive storage and 60 minutes of free Skype calling per month, and is priced at £79.99 for an annual subscription, compared to the £110 price tag for the Home and Student version of Office 2013.
Microsoft was also keen to point out that with the cloud based version, users will get access to any software updates straightaway.
A version of Office 365 for businesses will be released globally with new capabilities on 27 February. Microsoft did not share further details of these capabilities. µ