Next Version of Office Products Reaches RTM, General Availability Q1 of 2013

Microsoft's next version of Office client, servers and services include (Office 2013, Lync 2013, Exchange 2013, Sharepoint 2013, and Office 365) released to manufacturing (RTM). "This is the most ambitious release of Office we've ever done. It spans the full family of Office applications, servers and cloud services," Microsoft stated.General availability is planned for the […]

Office Next Hits RTM Including Office 2013, Lync 2013, Exchange 2013, SharePoint 2013, Office 365

Microsoft's next version of Office client, servers and services include (Office 2013, Lync 2013, Exchange 2013, Sharepoint 2013, and Office 365) released to manufacturing (RTM).

"This is the most ambitious release of Office we've ever done. It spans the full family of Office applications, servers and cloud services," Microsoft stated.

General availability is planned for the first quarter of 2013. "Starting October 19, customers purchasing Office 2010 from local retailers or resellers will receive the new Office for free upon availability," the office team posted.

"Volume Licensing customers with Software Assurance will be able to download the Office 2013 applications as well as other Office products including SharePoint 2013, Lync 2013 and Exchange 2013 through the Volume Licensing Service Center by mid-November," Microsoft office team noted.

Business customers without SA, will be available on the Volume Licensing price list on December 1. And, IT professionals and developers will be able to download the final version via their TechNet or MSDN subscriptions by mid-November.

"Customers will see a preview version of the new Office on Windows RT devices, beginning with the Windows 8 launch on October 26," the team adds. Microsoft officials earlier this fall said that the Windows RT version of Office Home & Student (which will be included with Windows RT-based machines, including the Microsoft Surface RT) -- will start rolling out to users as of early November.

Microsoft will also begin rolling out new capabilities to Office 365 Enterprise customers in its next service updates, starting in November through general availability. And, the new version of Office Web Apps, the Webified versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote, are due to start rolling out in late October to Office 365 subscribers, Microsoft officials confirmed this week.

Writing further the team says, as they begin the transition to the RTM builds of products, "users may experience a bit of downtime while upgrading Office 365 Developer Preview sites." "Once the upgrade completes, anyone signing up for an Office 365 developer site will also have access to the latest bits available," the team adds "Our tools, both "Napa" - Office 365 Development Tools and Visual Studio will also be upgraded during this timeframe."

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.

New capabilities delivered for end users in Excel 2013:

  • Analyze data ranging from a few rows to hundreds of millions of rows with extreme analytical performance on your desktop using Excel data models powered by xVelocity in-memory analytics engine.
  • Speed up analysis in Excel by easily cleaning up and shaping your data with Flash Fill; by previewing, applying conditional formatting, creating tables, charts and PivotTables using Quick Analysis; by easily navigating multidimensional and tabular data models using Quick Explore.
  • Access, mash-up and analyze data from virtually any source and rapidly create compelling analytical applications with PowerPivot.
  • Stunning data visualization to discover new insights at the speed of thought with a highly interactive and familiar data exploration, visualization, and presentation experience for users of all levels with Power View.

New capabilities delivered for IT:

  • Discovery and assessment of user-created spreadsheets with SharePoint 2013.
  • Compare spreadsheets, track lineage, conduct interactive diagnostics and create spreadsheet analysis reports with Inquire in Excel 2013.

And, finally, a day after Frank Shaw disclaiming the Office for iOS and Android --citing a source, Paul Thurrott is reporting that "Office for iOS and Android tablets is still coming around spring 2013, but in the form of some kind of subscription service, rather than locally installable products."