Feeds

Office 2013 hits RTM, will ship starting in November

Buy Office 2010 now, get a free upgrade

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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." ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Preview redux: Microsoft ships new Windows 10 build with 7,000 changes
Latest bleeding-edge bits borrow Action Center from Windows Phone
Google opens Inbox – email for people too thick to handle email
Print this article out and give it to someone tech-y if you get stuck
Microsoft promises Windows 10 will mean two-factor auth for all
Sneak peek at security features Redmond's baking into new OS
UNIX greybeards threaten Debian fork over systemd plan
'Veteran Unix Admins' fear desktop emphasis is betraying open source
Entity Framework goes 'code first' as Microsoft pulls visual design tool
Visual Studio database diagramming's out the window
Google+ goes TITSUP. But WHO knew? How long? Anyone ... Hello ...
Wobbly Gmail, Contacts, Calendar on the other hand ...
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
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.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
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.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.