Today we reached an important milestone in the development of the new Office. 

Moments ago, the Office engineering team signed off on the Release to Manufacturing (RTM) build. This milestone means the coding and testing phase of the project is complete and we are now focused on releasing the new Office via multiple distribution channels to our consumer and business customers.

This is the most ambitious release of Office we've ever done. It spans the full family of Office applications, servers and cloud services. 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. We are proud to achieve this milestone and are eager to deliver this exciting release to our customers.

General availability is planned for the first quarter of 2013. Starting October 19, customers purchasing Office 2010 from local retailers or resellers will receive the new Office for free upon availability. Customers will also see a preview version of the new Office on Windows RT devices, beginning with the Windows 8 launch on October 26. 

Additionally, we have a number of programs that provide business customers with early access so they can begin testing, piloting and adopting Office within their organizations:

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