Even though Microsoft officials said earlier this year they planned to keep the coming Office Next/Office 2013 deliverables -- the clients, the servers and the services -- in lockstep, it seems some components are arriving earlier than others.
“We update Office 365 with new capabilities on quarterly basis and sometimes more frequently. This is part of our regular cadence of updates," said a Microsoft spokesperson when I asked about the new Office Web Apps' imminent arrival.
Microsoft delivered a public beta, a k a the customer preview, of its next-generation Office wares in July 2012. New versions of its Office Web Apps -- the Webified versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote -- were part of that public beta.
Microsoft first introduced Office Web Apps with Office 2010. Office Web Apps are usable in a variety of browsers -- including Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox and Safari -- on different operating systems and form factors (PCs, tablets, smartphones). Office Web Apps include a subset of the functionality in the full Office versions of each of the apps.