Microsoft Office 2013 has graduated to Release to Manufacturing which means the coding and testing phase of the project is complete. The engineering team at Redmond recently signed off on the productivity suite, leaving Microsoft to focus on releasing the new version of Office to consumer and business customers through multiple distribution channels.
The most ambitious release of Office yet will first roll out to enterprise customers in November. Additionally, volume licensing customers with software assurance will be able to download the new Office application by mid-November. Related Office products including SharePoint 2013, Lync 2013 and Exchange 2013 will be accessible for volume licensing customers as well. TechNet and MSDN subscribers will also have access to the final version around the same time.
General availability is slated for the first quarter of 2013. Microsoft also points out that customers purchasing Office 2010 from local retailers or resellers starting October 19 will receive the new Office for free once it is available. If you’re in the market to pick up Office 2010, it’d be best to wait until next Friday to do so.
Those interested in trying before buying are invited to download the pre-release version which is available now. Furthermore, a preview version of Office will be available on Windows RT devices once the OS is launched on October 26.
Microsoft promises to release more specifics on general availability dates and other Office-related news in the near future. The next few months are certainly shaping up to be extremely busy for Microsoft.