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Office 365 (2013) goes RTM

by on12 October 2012

Office 2010 after 19 Oct gets you free upgrade to 2013

The big boss of Microsoft’s Office business and corporate VP Kirk Koenigsbauer has confirmed that the new Office has just reached Release to Manufacturing (RTM) build.

Koenigsbauer calls this release the most ambitious that Microsoft ever done. It’s not just the traditional Office suite you install on your computer, it’s a whole family of applications, servers and could services. General availability is expected in Q1 2013 but starting October 19th, customers purchasing Office 2010 from local retailers or resellers will receive the new Office version free of charge upon availability. The Windows RT version of new Office 365 will show up with the launch of Windows 8 on the October 26th.

Enterprise customers will get new capabilities of Office 365 in the next service update staring in November. Volume Licensing customers with Software Assurance will 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 Center by mid-November. These products will be available on the Volume Licensing price list on December 1. IT professionals and developers will be able to download the final version via their TechNet or MSDN subscriptions by mid-November.

We have played with the new Office suite and the fact that it is ready for the artist formally known as Metro will bring a controversial and unfamiliar look to many old customers. The new Outlook looks pale but it does the job well, as does Word and Excel. It’s up to you to make your mind if the upgrade from 2010 to 2013 will be worthwhile.

If you haven’t tried it yet, you can get a preview release for home, small business or the enterprise here.

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