There is no more important set of applications to the success of Windows 8 than Microsoft’s own Office suite.
Office is the mostly the most widely used app in business and as the software giant makes the transition from desktop PCs to a new generation of mobile devices, including tablets, Office is evolving.
Today Microsoft says it’s reached “an important milestone” in the new version of Office, signing off on the Release to Manufacturing (RTM) build that means the coding and testing is done and distribution plans to business and consumer customers can begin.
“This is the most ambitious release of Office we've ever done. It spans the full family of Office applications, servers and cloud services,” Kirk Koenigsbauer, corporate VP of Microsoft’s Office Division, said in a blog post.
“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.”
Microsoft says that general availability of the new Office is planned for the first quarter of 2013. Starting October 19, customers who purchase Office 2010 from local retailers or resellers will receive the new Office for free upon availability.
Microsoft also plans to include a preview version of the new Office on Windows RT tablets with the Windows 8 launch on October 26. A preview verison of the new Office is also available for download.