According to a tweet from the Office team, and a #Timeto365 campaign/hashtag which was seen via Winbeta.org, it can now be confirmed that it is no longer a rumour that the Windows maker is “launching” the new Microsoft Office a.k.a Office 2013 on Tuesday in Bryant Park, New York and it would be generally available via retail channels.
Microsoft released Office 2013 to manufacturing on October 11, 2012. The company made the final bits available to MSDN and TechNet subscribers, as well as volume-licencing customers, before the end of last year. Recently, Microsoft made $10 versions of the final Office 2013 bits available to volume licencees with Software Assurance as part of its Home Use Programme.
Microsoft officials have been saying for a couple of months that a particular IT company planned to make the final bits commercially available in the first calendar quarter of 2013.
The company already has taken the wraps off some of its Office 2013 SKUs, and will be pushing a new, subscription-centric version of Office that it has named Office 365 Home Premium.
Unlike the other Office 365 SKUs, the Home Premium version isn’t a Microsoft-hosted version of Office. Instead, it’s downloadable, locally installable versions of the Office 2013 products for which users will be charged a monthly or annual “rental” fee. For that subscription fee, users will have the right to install Office 2013 and/or the Office for Mac 2011 SKUs on up to five PCs and Macs in total.
Microsoft officials also have said that the “real” Office 365 update should be available around the time of the client launch. Microsoft officials have been prepping the company’s reseller/integrator partners for the Office 365 refresh for the past couple of weeks.