Microsoft Office 2013 hits MSDN, TechNet

Microsoft Office 2013 hits MSDN, TechNet

Summary: Microsoft has made the RTM versions of its new Office client and servers available to TechNet and MSDN subscribers.


Microsoft's newest versions of its Office 2013 suite and its Office servers (SharePoint Server 2013, Exchange Server 2013, Lync Server 2013) are available as of October 24 to TechNet and MSDN subscribers.

Microsoft released to manufacturing (RTM) the final Office 2013 client, server and services on October 11. At that time, the Softies said volume licensees and TechNet and MSDN subscribers would be able to get the final bits by mid-November.

It looks like that timing estimate was conservative. According to a few of my buds on Twitter (thanks @jghassell and @dochouse7), TechNet subscribers can already see and download the RTM versions of the new Office products.

I've asked Microsoft if volume licensees also can get the RTM bits as of today. No word back yet on that one.

Update: Volume licensees are saying they cannot yet grab the RTM bits.

The RTM of Office 2013, on 10/11/12, was earlier than many of us Microsoft watchers had been expecting. 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.

Microsoft officials said earlier this fall that  Office Home & Student RT 2013 -- which is preloaded with Windows RT-based machines, including the Microsoft Surface RT -- will start rolling out to users as of early November. Earlier this week, it looked as though this timeframe is still generally correct. A new Office blog post this week said the RTM bits would be available a few days after devices were available, meaning a few days after October 26.

Update No. 2: Microsoft has said commercial availability for those without volume license agreements or TechNet/MSDN will be Q1 2013. Originally, I heard this Office 2013 general-availability date would be February 2013. But now I'm hearing it's more likely to be January 2013.

Topics: Collaboration, Enterprise Software, Microsoft, Unified Comms


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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  • Thank you Mary

    I am downloading them right now. Now I am looking forward for Windows Phone 8 SDK Official Download. And I know you will report it here as soon as it is available for d/l.
    Ram U
    • WP8 SDK

      Did you apply to get the SDK last mnonth ? WP8 SDK isnt hard to get. I think many who applied did get the SDK. I only get one app , they still approved my request.
      • I missed that time and

        was on vacation. :(
        Ram U
  • Alternative color schemes available?

    For anyone who grabs the RTM bits this afternoon, are there alternative color or shading options to choose from, especially in Outlook? Thanks
    • Yes!

      Yes, there are 3 options now. Light grey and dark grey in addition to white.
      • White, Light Grey, and Dark Grey ... that's it.

        Well, I've got it installed now. Two shades of grey is better than just the white. White-only would have been a deal-breaker. Some impressions:

        * Installed fast, and runs a bit faster than Office 2010.

        * The light grey scheme makes it tolerable for Outlook, but I've got Office 2010 and 2013 running side-by-side on two computers and Outlook 2010 is still much more visually appealing and interesting. I think Microsoft is underestimating how the drab greys everywhere will hurt. The colors in the other Office 2013 apps, though, are nice, but not really better or worse, just nice, but with a different style. I really wish that Microsoft had provided more color schemes than just white, grey and dark grey...

        * Deep integration with SkyDrive and one's Microsoft Account, very transparent.

        * Relatively few application changes below the surface, except that Exchange users can no longer save to a local PST file (which is a significant negative for those using hosted Exchange services). Here is a link to what's new:

        * Lync included, but no Skype integration (yet) that I can see.

        (Have not tested the touch-integration features yet on a tablet.)
        • Outlook 2013 and PST files

          Are you sure PST files are not supported? From that TechNet article, it appears that only *delivering* to PST files is no longer supported.
          • PST files still work

            Confirmed...PST files are still available for archives and such.
        • Office 365 fix for the blinding white background?

          Is this something that Office 365 preview users can download? I don't see any way to upgrade Office 365 except for automatic Office updates, which I haven't seen any at all.
  • Holy crap...

    I wasn't expecting this for a month! I wonder if they are pushing to move up their public launch.
    • To the OEMs and Surface

      I think MS will update their build image for Surface and for the OEMs as quickly as possible so that new tablet/ultrabook owners will have the final Office 2013 built in. Imagine a Best Buy sales dude explaining, "It comes with a beta version of Office, but you'll get the final version really soon after getting on the Internet..." A simpler story is better for sales.

      If MS hurries, they can have Office 2013 ready to go for Christmas sales too.
      • "RTM bits would be available a few days after devices were available,"

        Nice to see Microsoft executing well. or at least appearing to, on this. The whole "Microsoft Home and Student 2013 RT Preview edition installed. Final Office Home & Student version will be installed via Windows Update when available (free download; ISP fees apply)" thing was nasty fly in the ointment for the Surface RT launch. It still may be a little confusing, but shouldn't be too big of an issue.

        Anyone know how many revs back the Preview version is from RTM?
  • Partners?

    Mary Jo:
    Any news when these are going to be available from Partner Network?
  • Office 2013 for TechNet Subscribers

    Is there a download link ? Can't find it ... :-((

    Nessa Mia
    • Office 2013 for TechNet Subscribers

      Never mind , got it -- thanks !
      Nessa Mia
  • down load problems

    like before and going back to 2009 with windows 7 rtm this year with both windows 8 beta and windows 8 rtm, some of the technet members are the down loads fail when using 32 bit ie though the akamia dlm,ms is using,
    if this problem pops up the only work around is to switch to fire fox as the browser and get a clean down load.