Microsoft to launch the new Office commercially on January 29

Microsoft to launch the new Office commercially on January 29

Summary: Finally, an official confirmation. Microsoft is launching the new Office, a k a Office 2013, on January 29.


It's finally official. Microsoft is launching the new Office, a k a Office 2013, on January 29.


There have been lots of rumors that January 29 would be the day that the latest version of Office would be generally available via retail channels. But thanks to a tweet from the Office team, and a #Timeto365 campaign/hashtag -- which I saw via -- we now know Microsoft is "launching" the new Office on Tuesday in Bryant Park, New York. (Thanks for the heads up, guys! Luckily, I live within walking distance.)

Microsoft released Office 2013 to manufacturing on October 11, 2012. The company made the final bits available to MSDN and TechNet subscribers, as well as volume-licensing customers, before the end of last year. Recently, Microsoft made $10 versions of the final Office 2013 bits available to volume licensees with Software Assurance as part of its Home Use Program.

Microsoft officials have been saying for a couple of months that Redmond planned to make the final bits commercially available in the first calendar quarter of 2013. 

Microsoft already has taken the wraps off some of its Office 2013 SKUs. The company will be pushing a new, subscription-centric version of Office that it (confusingly) has named Office 365 Home Premium. I say confusingly because, unlike the other Office 365 SKUs, the Home Premium version isn't a Microsoft-hosted version of Office. Instead, it's downloadable, locally installable versions of the Office 2013 products for which users will be charged a monthly or annual "rental" fee. For that subscription fee, users will have the right to install Office 2013 and/or the Office for Mac 2011 SKUs on up to five PCs and Macs in total. (There's still no new word on what's going on with the follow-on version of Office for Mac 2011.)

Microsoft officials also have said that the "real" Office 365 update should be available around the time of the client launch. Microsoft officials have been prepping the company's reseller/integrator partners for the Office 365 refresh for the past couple of weeks.

When I asked in December 2012 for the status of the rollout of the new Office, I was told a company spokesperson: "Any of the new Office 365 SKUs don’t become available for purchase until first quarter of 2013. " That said, some Office 365 Enterprise customers have been able to get the latest bits as part of Microsoft's regular service updates, starting in October 2012 and continuing through general availability, the spokesperson added.

Here's the new Office 2013 and Office 365 packaging and pricing information that Microsoft has shared with partners to date. Office 365 Home Premium will cost $8.33 per user per month (or roughly $100 a year).  Office 2013 Home & Student will cost $139 for a one-time purchase and use on a single PC. Home & Business 2013 will cost $219 for use on a single PC.

Topics: Collaboration, Consumerization, 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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  • Got an e-mail from our retail partner...

    with prices and an indication that we can order now. As we are channel, I guess we "jump the gun" by 24 hours.
    • wright_is....does it have flashing tiles to get around with?

      I love to see a Metro style flashing UI to keep me from getting bored or falling asleep at my desk.

      I know Loverock Davidson will be here soon to tell us how cutting edge it is.....won't you Lovie?
      Over and Out
      • It doesnt...go back to your sleeping now

  • A monthly fee?

    I see other large software companies using this model. I would hope that tech support would be included.
  • Tried, and reverted to 2010

    I tried 2013 from the MSDN downloads and eventually reverted back to 2010 as I do not like what they have done to the appointments list in the ToDo bar in Outlook. I have read that this is to make room for "people", but I don't like people!

    Until they restore the ability to view all upcoming appointments, it is unusable to me - I already double booked an appointment because the ToDo list did not show me I was busy.
    Martin Robins
    • not sure what you mean

      You can hide the people list (and any other section) in the todo bar from the View menu, and/or you can resize the upcoming appointment list to take up as much room as you want. You can even have upcoming appointments take up the whole right side of the screen, and it definitely shows double booked appointments.
      • But only for today

        The thing is, the appointments bar will only show what is happening for one day at a time - the day selected in the calendar above.

        2010 will show as many up-coming appointments as can fit on the screen.
        Martin Robins
    • Too bad for you martin

      MS will never change what the introduce ... they will only upgrade it ...
      Windows 7 was an upgrade from Vista..
    • Back to Office 2010 too

      I used Office 2013 for a week, there were a few things I liked, but a whole lot more that drove me nuts. Bugs, crashes, Word table issues, the light grey on white right click menus, Outlook's layout wastes a lot of space compared to 2010. Generally speaking, it just felt broken. I've talked to others on the team I'm on and they all have reverted back to Office 2010. BTW, everyone on our team has at least one machine running Windows 8, most on tablets.

      One of my customers asked what I thought about it, he was surprised when I told him to upgrade from 2007 to 2010 and skip 2013.
      Bob Panick
  • Why would anyone want to subscribe?

    Unless someone has money to burn - if you're only going to install Office on a single PC, why would you want to subscribe to Office 2013 - unless maybe free tech support was offered?

    I normally does not buy new "Office" software every year so I can not imagine why would I want to spend $100 a year for something I know I would use for two year or more - when I could purchase the software for $139.

    It doesn't make sense.

    Not to mention, unless they fixed the white document on white document background layout the Office 2013 beta had, which was a real eye-killer - I probably would stick with MS Office 2007, regardless of the price.
    • $139

      $139- Did you pull that number out of the air, because it doesn't exist in the real world. If it did, wouldn't everyone buy Office?
    • I Will

      Let's see - the full Office Professional Suite for $100 per year for me and my wife (Windows), one son on Windows and one daughter on Mac, and a "spare" for mobile or other use. It is an incredible bargain from where I am sitting.
      • @I will

        No, $100 for you on up to 5 devices; $100 for your wife on up to 5 devices; $100 for you son for up to 5 devices; $100 for you daughter for up to 5 devices. "Office 365 Home Premium will cost $8.33 per user per month (or roughly $100 a year)" Also, from the MS Office website: "•Ability to use Office on up to 5 PCs or Macs for a single user." If you follow the letter of the agreement, you'll need to spend $400 per year for your family to subscribe to Office.
        • How do I retract?

          Sorry @I Will, just found this on the MS Office site: "•Ability to use Office on up to 5 PCs or Macs shared among all users in the home. Subscribers also have flexibility to change their 5 devices at any time, and full featured Office applications are available for temporary use on any PC."
          • Licensing

            ...which would make this arrangement a per-seat license as opposed to per user, right?
  • 2010 vs 2013

    Let's see. I paid arouns $150 CAD for MS Office Pro 2010 with 3 licenses a year back. Now they want to sell me Office 365 Home Premium at a price tag of about $100 a year. Where is ther incentive? Are they going to discontinue support for 2010 or something like that? I'm thinking updates for protection) But then I'm not into the "cloud" yet as all I can see about the cloud is it is another way to continually hold the consumer up for money by not giving them an independent copy of the software. I could be wrong but that is my take on it. Call me old fashioned. I like to do what I want with the things I pay for and not have to keep paying for it.
    • A few incentives

      1) you can install it on up to 5 machines
      2) Free updates (not really cause you are paying yearly but no other update fee)
      3) More storage space for SkyDrive
      4) it will be about 2.5 years until you pay the cost, you would if you bought it outright.
      • All for $99.96!

        So for $99.96 a year I can install it on all 5 of my home PC's (yes, I have 5 between myself, wife and kids) and updates are included?

        Given I'm still using Office 2007 @ home this sounds like a good deal to me. Count me in.
        • On the other hand....

          You could simply stick with Office 2007 and save yourself $100 per year!
    • Office 2013 and future versions

      Microsoft is moving to an annual major release cycle and interim releases/updates throughout the year. The delivery mechanism called Click To Run ensures you stay up to date with the latest features as they are rolled out in real-time. Gone are the three year release cycles.