Microsoft late last week announced via blog that it had finalized the development of its next office productivity suite, Office 2010, hitting the so-called Release To Manufacturing (RTM) milestone. Office 2010, as well as SharePoint 2010, Visio 2010, and Project 2010 have all been finalized, Microsoft says.
"Since the start of our public beta in November 2009, we've had more than 7.5 million people download the beta version—that's more than three times the number of \\[Office\\] 2007 beta downloads," Microsoft Corporate Vice President Takeshi Numoto noted. Left unsaid, though it's notable: That figure is also on par with the number of people who downloaded pre-release versions of Windows 7 from Microsoft.
Office 2010 will be delivered to different customer groups over the next two months. According to both official and unofficial sources, these dates include:
April 27, 2010: Volume License customers with active Software Assurance (SA) subscriptions will be able to download Office 2010 in English via the Volume Licensing Service Center.
May 1, 2010: Volume License customers without current SA subscriptions will be able to purchase Office 2010 from Microsoft partners.
May 12, 2010: Microsoft will launch Office 2010 to its business customers at an event at NBC Studios in New York. The event will be broadcast live on the web if you'd like to attend virtually.
June 2010: Office 2010 will debut at retail and on new PCs in mid-June. (My sources have previously told me that this will occur June 15.) Customers interested in preordering Office 2010 can do so online.
Note, however, that those who purchase Office 2007 now qualify for a free version of Office 2010.
Office 2010 is being delivered alongside an online component called Office Web Applications (OWA). These free, web-based versions of certain Office applications—including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote—will be available to businesses at the time they purchase Office 2010, and will be delivered to consumers via Windows Live SkyDrive in June.
I'll be reviewing Office 2010 and OWA on the SuperSite for Windows as soon as I get the OK from Microsoft.