Microsoft Office 2013 Update Schedule 'Once Per Quarter' Says Exec

Microsoft exec indicates that company considering moving to an every-three-month update cycle for the client version of Office 2013. Windows Blue sent out to OEM's for testing.

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Microsoft is expecting to release a public preview of Windows Blue around TechEd 2013 in June of this year. A new report surface mentions that the Windows Blue build 9319, which was compiled on Februray 20, was recently handed over to partners' for testing.

"The ISO file called 9319.0.x86fre.fbl_eeap.130208-1820_client_en-us_DV5.iso was sent to OEM's for testing purposes, as the company had already reached the first of the two development stages for the new projec," mentions a forum thread on Soft-Forum.

Windows Blue, an upgrade to Windows 8 will most likely be offered at no cost to Windows 8 users--which will bring a series of updates for many Microsoft products including Windows, SkyDrive, Internet Explorer and Windows Phone.

Microsoft has yet to speak about Blue.

Also, leaked along with a new screenshot:

Windows Blue build 9319 out to OEM's

In other Windows 8 news, to entice users Microsoft U.K. has slashed the prices of the new operating system making it more affordable than the standard version of Windows.

Windows 8 Pro upgrade is now available on its website for only £44.99 down from the regular £190.

Also, based on the Blue, Microsoft is planning to release Office 2013 updates every quarter--, mostly thanks to the subscription system introduced with Office 365.

Kurt DelBene, president Microsoft Office division, during the Morgan Stanley Technology Conference last week said, "We already have the mechanisms in place to update the [Office 365] service on a quarterly basis. With the client subscription...we'll have the ability to do that with client business as well, the desktop version of Office," quoted PCMag.

The increased frequency of updates to Office, in general, has been a feature teased by Microsoft in its attempts to convince users more familiar with a "pay once, use forever" setup that they should switch over to Office 365's annual subscription plans - starting at $99 per year for up to five installations of Office 365 Home Premium.

Windows 8 Pro for £44.99 in U.K.