Office XP released to manufacture

But customers will still have to wait until May before they can get their hands on the finished version

Microsoft Office XP, the latest version of the office suite, was today released to manufacturing. The software giant said it will be available for retail purchase "later this spring", but declined to give a more specific date.

David Bennie, product marketing manager for Office XP at Microsoft UK, said the launch date and pricing would be announced on 2 April, and indicated a May release date. The delay between release to manufacture and availability in the shops or through other channels, was due, he said, to logistical problems in coordinating a single world-wide launch.

"With our software manufacturing plant in Ireland we could launch here two or three weeks before the US," said Bennie, "But we want one simultaneous launch".

Microsoft recently delivered the final beta release of its latest Office XP software to its corporate clients, and is currently sending the so-called Corporate Preview Program release of Office XP to 500,000 corporate customers.

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