Feeds

Office 2013 hits RTM, will ship starting in November

Buy Office 2010 now, get a free upgrade

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Microsoft has put the finishing touches on Office 2013, paving the way for the latest version of Redmond's flagship productivity suite to reach general availability in the first quarter of 2013.

An early preview of Office 2013 has been available for download since July, but that trial version lacked some features, including promised touch-friendly apps for Windows 8. With the announcement of the Release to Manufacturing (RTM) build, Redmond has signaled that the suite is now feature-complete and ready to ship through various distribution channels.

"This is the most ambitious release of Office we've ever done," Kirk Koenigsbauer, corporate VP of Microsoft's Office Division, wrote in a blog post on Thursday. "We are proud to achieve this milestone and are eager to deliver this exciting release to our customers."

Of course, some of those customers will take delivery sooner than others. As is generally the case, subscribers to the Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) or Redmond's TechNet program for IT professionals will get first crack at the final Office code, which should hit Microsoft's download servers sometime in mid-November.

Current Volume Licensing customers who are enrolled in Microsoft's Software Assurance program should get access at around the same time, while new Volume Licensing customers will be able to sign up beginning on December 1.

Retail customers may be left waiting until as late as March – the exact ship date for the boxed version of Office 2013 is as yet unspecified. But retailers will be pleased to hear, at least, that they won't be stuck with lots of unsold copies of Office 2010 while customers wait for the new version to hit the channel. Beginning on October 19, anyone who buys Office 2010 will automatically be eligible for a free upgrade to Office 2013 once it hits general availability.

That might not be as good a deal as it sounds, though. Microsoft has been aggressively promoting its Office 365 subscription program as an alternative to the perpetual-licensing model it has offered in the past. In addition to the full suite of Office applications, Office 365 customers get access to bonus cloud services and additional features not available to buyers of the boxed version of the suite.

Unfortunately, it wasn't immediately clear when Office 365 customers would get access to the new versions of the Office apps.

"We will begin rolling out new capabilities to Office 365 Enterprise customers in our next service update, starting in November through general availability," Koenigsbauer wrote – but he neglected to explain just what this meant, or when non-enterprise Office 365 customers could expect similar upgrades.

When contacted for clarification, Microsoft reps told El Reg, "We don't have specifics to offer at this time on what Office 365 subscribers will receive. Please stay tuned for more specifics on general availability dates and other Office launch news." ®

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
Nexus 7 fandroids tell of salty taste after sucking on Google's Lollipop
Web giant looking into why version 5.0 of Android is crippling older slabs
Be real, Apple: In-app goodie grab games AREN'T FREE – EU
Cupertino stands down after Euro legal threats
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
SLURP! Flick your TONGUE around our LOLLIPOP – Google
Android 5 is coming – IF you're lucky enough to have the right gadget
Microsoft: Your Linux Docker containers are now OURS to command
New tool lets admins wrangle Linux apps from Windows
Bada-Bing! Mozilla flips Firefox to YAHOO! for search
Microsoft system will be the default for browser in US until 2020
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
The hidden costs of self-signed SSL certificates
Exploring the true TCO for self-signed SSL certificates, including a side-by-side comparison of a self-signed architecture versus working with a third-party SSL vendor.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.