It's official folks, Microsoft has decided that its Office 2013 suite is ready for the big time and has released the product to manufacturing (RTM), for integration into OEM packages and evaluation for roll-out in larger firms.
Volume licencing customers with Software Assurance will be able to begin downloading Office 2013 by mid-November, along with SharePoint 2013, Lync 2013 and Exchange 2013. For those without Software Assurance, products will be available on volume licensing price-lists for purchase on December 1st.
IT professionals and developers will, likewise, be able to download the final version via TechNet or MSDN for evaluation and plug-in development from mid-November.
Office 365 Enterprise customers will see new functionality roll-out in the next update, which is again scheduled to begin in November, though the roll-out will continue into the new year, up until general availability.
On the note of general availability (GA), most of us will be seeing Office 2013 when it hits the stores, which is currently scheduled for the first quarter of next year, with no specific details on the release date being provided my Microsoft at this time. For those who can't wait to purchase a copy of Office, however, Microsoft will be dishing-out free upgrades for anyone who purchases a license of Office 2010 from most retailers from October 19th onwards.
For a quick reminder of what new features to expect, head on over to our coverage of the customer preview, or take a peek at the announcement video below.