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Office 2013, SharePoint 2013, Exchange 2013 Released to TechNet and MSDN

The release-to-manufacturing (RTM) versions of Office 2013, Exchange Server 2013, SharePoint Server 2013 and Lync Server 2013 are now available to Microsoft's MSDN and TechNet subscribers.

Office 2013, which hit RTM on Oct. 11, has arrived sooner than expected to volume licensees, who were originally told by Microsoft to expect the release in mid-November. In fact, Microsoft insiders say that the whole Office 2013 development process appears to be well ahead of its expected schedule.

"The RTM of Office 2013, on 10/11/12, was earlier than many of us Microsoft watchers had been expecting," wrote veteran Microsoft reporter Mary Jo Foley. "Word on the street for the past few months was Microsoft was targeting November 2012 as the RTM date for its Office new client, servers and services."

The goal of releasing the RTM version early to volume licensees is to allow them to fully test and evaluate the new version well ahead of its release date.

Wednesday's release includes the final version of Office 2013, which will be generally available sometime in Q1 2013. Pricing information is expected to be released by Dec. 1.

Microsoft also announced on Tuesday that Office Home & Student 2013 RT, designed for Windows Surface RT and other Windows 8 RT devices, is now available ahead of Friday's Surface RT release. Surface RT customers can either manually download the final release via Windows Update or have it automatically downloaded and installed "a few days after they first use their new device (Wi-Fi connection required)," wrote Microsoft's Oliver Roll in a blog post.

"This is one of the first opportunities to get the most vibrant, exciting release of Office ever. Office Home & Student 2013 RT provides a complete Office experience and includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote," Roll said. "It is optimized for touch, long battery life and the tablet form factor. The new Office and Windows RT devices seamlessly blend form and function, portability and productivity, and play and work in a single device."

About the Author

Chris Paoli is the site producer for Redmondmag.com and MCPmag.com.

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