Microsoft has just finished their development stage of their latest Office package known as Office 365. The team behind the Office package has just signed off the RTM (Release to Manufacturing) build. Microsoft has confirmed this news on their official Office blog post.
As the actual coding and testing phase is done, now the team is focusing on the release of the new Office suite through multiple distribution channels. The Office team has defined this release as their “most ambitious release ever done”.
Unfortunately, this Office package won’t be available for general purchases right away. Users can expect to buy it from the retailers anytime in first quarter of 2013. However, starting from October 19th any customer who is purchasing Office 2010 from retailers would be eligible to receive new Office package for free, once the software becomes public.
This package would be radically different from the typical Office packages, so Microsoft wants business customers to try out and adapt with the new software before it becomes available for corporate users. However, MSDN and TechNet account holder will be able get their copy of new Office by mid-November. Volume licensing users would also get their copy at the same time frame, to be exact on December 1. To remove your confusion, Office 365 is also being called as Office 2013. Another important issue could its operating system requirements. Office 365 will run only on Windows 7 and Windows 8 platform.
Now, if you can’t wait for the general public release, you can try out the pre-release version from Microsoft’s office preview site.