In a blog post today, Kirk Koenigsbauer, Corporate VP of the Microsoft Office Division, announced that the company’s latest version of the Office productivity software suite has reached the Release to Manufacturing (RTM) stage. This simply means that Microsoft has wrapped up the final testing phase, and is now preparing to get the final product into the hands of its customers.
The general availability (that is, the public launch) of the new Office is slated for the first quarter of 2013. Those who buy Office 2010 from October 19 onwards will be entitled to a free upgrade to the new Office when it launches. A preview version of the new Office for Windows RT will be available come October 26, the day of the Windows 8 launch. While it isn’t exactly clear in the blog post, we don’t think consumers are able to download this preview, unlike the current Customer Preview of the desktop version. As far as we know, customers who buy a Windows RT device will find the preview version of Office Home & Student 2013 RT pre-installed on it. And when the final edition of Office Home & Student 2013 RT is released, this preview version will be automatically updated for free via Windows Update.
Microsoft has also announced that it’ll be adding new capabilities to Office 365 Enterprise in the next service update. Download availability dates for Volume Licensing customers in the Software Assurance program, and TechNet and MSDN subscribers are also detailed. To find out more, hit the source link at the bottom.
To find out more about the new Office, such as pricing and system requirements, check out this FAQ that we’ve prepared.