As of October 30, 2012, the development and testing of Microsoft’s (News - Alert) new Office suite (codenamed Office 13) was completed and its release to manufacturing (RTM) is now available for volume license customers.
Microsoft also made its offering available to MSDN and TechNet subscribers who can now download the software now through the Volume Licensing Service Center.
The latest version of Microsoft's Office suite also contains the 2013 versions of Exchange Server, SharePoint Server and Lynch Server. While the revamped solution was actually released on October 11, Microsoft’s Vice President of the Office Division had preannounced that the volume licensees were not going to see their release until the middle of November.
So, contrary to forecasts then, Microsoft released the version ahead of its predicted schedule. This is positive news, as it allows the program to be evaluated long before it is actually released to the general public which is said to be some time in the first quarter of next year.
The new Office offering is supposed to be a great improvement over the previous version with a number of features that are important especially for IT professionals including Active Directory-based activation, new group policies, and downloadable proofing tools are some of the added features.
An Office 2013 version through Windows Runtime (RT) for smaller devices like tablets will also be available soon. The company revealed that its clients can expect the release of Office Home and Student 2013 RT, Surface RT and a number of other Windows 8 RT devices as well as they are also reaching a release date at a faster pace than expected.
The Office 2013 Home & Student version will include essentials like Word, Excel and PowerPoint as well as OneNote. It is said to have capabilities that were tailored for users’ on-the-go in mind; allowing users to take full advantage of the touchscreen functions provided.
Again, Office 2013 will be released to all users in the early part of 2013 with more information (pricing included) becoming available as early as December. Customers who can’t wait for the Office 2013 release will be able to buy the 2010 version now, with Microsoft’s pledge that they will be given a free copy of 2013 version as soon as available.