Microsoft makes Office 2013 available to volume licensees

Microsoft makes Office 2013 available to volume licensees

Summary: If you're a Microsoft volume licensee with Software Assurance, you can download the final, RTM bits of Office 2013 and the accompanying 2013 servers as of this week.


Microsoft has pushed out the final, released-to-manufacturing (RTM) bits of Office 2013 and the complementary 2013 servers (Exchange 2013, SharePoint 2013 and Lync 2013) to volume license customers this week.


A few Microsoft customers notified me of availability via Twitter on October 30. (I think @danielgut was the first to do so. Thanks!)

Microsoft officials confirmed that volume licensees can download the code now. A spokesperson sent the following statement via e-mail:

“Volume Licensing customers with Software Assurance can download the Office 2013 applications as well as other Office products including SharePoint 2013, Lync 2013, Exchange 2013 and Project 2013 through the Volume Licensing Service Center. These products will be available on the Volume Licensing price list on December 1."

If you're an Office 365 Enterprise customer, the latest wave of "Office 15" features are starting to roll out, as well. The aforementioned spokesperson noted that Microsoft has started rolling out new capabilities to Office 365 Enterprise users via Microsoft's regular service updates. These updates will occur starting in late October and continue through general availability (early 2013, according to Microsoft).

One of my contacts recently told me that Microsoft is likely to "launch" and designate Office 2013 as being generally/commercially available in January 2013, rather than in February 2013, as had been expected by some of my sources. That January date makes sense given Office 2013 was released to manufacturing in October -- a month earlier than Microsoft had been telling some of its partners would be the RTM date.

Microsoft began rolling out the new Office client and server apps to MSDN and TechNet subscribers last week. Users running Windows RT, which includes a bundled preview version of Office 2013 Home & Student, can upgrade immediately to the final version of the suite via Windows Update.


Topics: Unified Comms, Collaboration, Microsoft


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • Effective entitlement date for Volume License customers

    Mary Jo, there's always confusion around MSFT's release dates so I thought I'd post this from one of their VL FAQ's:

    What determines eligibility to receive new versions of product releases – the availability of the product on the monthly Price List or availability of the product for download on the Microsoft Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC)?
    For Software Assurance customers, eligibility to receive new versions of products is the earlier of either:
    • the month Microsoft makes licenses for that product available for ordering (on the Price List), or
    • the month the product is available for download from the Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC).

    - Scott Braden,
  • Why is MSFT listening to hipsters and not business users?

    Why is it that Microsoft insists on creating retraining headaches to appear "hip" and "fresh"? Change for changes sake is idiotic. Also, Microsoft, you are never going to be "hip" so stop trying and focus on the needs of business users please.

    Windows 8 is a disaster from a usability perspective and would cause major retraining headaches. The same goes for the latest Office. I work recommend corporate customers to remain on Windows 7 until Microsoft releases a service pack that brings back the start menu and allows desktop/laptop users to boot directly into the desktop.
  • And here I thought things were to get better!

    I take it that it still has that POS ribbon, instead of a menu? Guess I'll have to pass, YET AGAIN!

    I'm about ready to break out my old WordStar disk!