Office 2013 Hits RTM! TechNet/MSDN Access in Mid-November, General Availability in First Quarter of 2013

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Microsoft has announced that the development phase of the upcoming version of its flagship productivity suite, Office 2013 is now complete and the engineering team has signed off on the Release to Manufacturing (RTM) build.

From Microsoft:

Moments ago, the Office engineering team signed off on the Release to Manufacturing (RTM) build. This milestone means the coding and testing phase of the project is complete and we are now focused on releasing the new Office via multiple distribution channels to our consumer and business customers.

Offie-2013-img Dubbed as the most version ambitious by Microsoft, Office 2013 is the first version of Office to be optimized for touch devices. The new Office has a fresh, touch friendly design that works beautifully on Windows 8 and unlocks modern scenarios in social, reading, note-taking, meetings and communications, making more room than ever for editing and creating files. Office comes with additional support for servers and cloud services.

Office 2013 would be available for general purchase in the first quarter of 2013. TechNet and MSDN users would be able to get a copy of Office 2013 in mid-November while Volume Licensing customers who are enrolled in Microsoft’s Software Assurance program would also get their copy of Office 2013 in the same time period. Office 365 Enterprise customers will receive new features in an upcoming update that will be made available in November.

Meanwhile, the preview of Office 2013 which Microsoft released back in June is available for download. For those who are interested to give Office 2013 a try can download the early preview from here. It is worth mentioning that anyone who buys Office 2010 after October 19th will automatically be eligible for a free upgrade to Office 2013 once it hits general availability in first quarter of 2013.