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Ballmer May Launch Office 2013 Beta on Monday

By - Source: USA Today | B 22 comments

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is expected to launch the public beta of Office (15) 2013 during a press conference in San Francisco on Monday.

USA Today reports that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer plans to unveil Office 2013 (aka Office 15) during a news conference in San Francisco on Monday, July 16. The news arrives by way of unnamed industry sources who claim that the money-making suite will be available on store shelves early next year, "bristling" with hooks into Windows 8.

Microsoft has been highly secretive about Office 2013, but has promised to release a beta sometime this summer. This is probably part of Ballmer's announcement on Monday -- the release of the public beta so that consumers can get a taste of the upcoming Office suite. This beta will undoubtedly work alongside the Windows 8 Release Preview so that end-users get the full Metro experience before both go retail.

If Microsoft follows the same delivery schedule used with Office 2010, the company will likely launch the final product 28 weeks after it delivers the public beta. If the beta does indeed launch on Monday, then the likely release date will be around the week of January 28 to February 1, 2013.

But a different set of sources clam that the Office 2013 client, servers and newest version of Office 365 services probably won't be generally available until May 2013. This is seemingly late in the year given that Office 13 is expected to go RTM by the end of 2012. Until then, new machines will reportedly ship with "significantly" upgraded Office Web Apps based on similar apps listed in Office 2013.

Microsoft just recently confirmed that Windows 8 will launch in October. However the company also reportedly announced the Windows 8 licensing fees to OEM partners: $80 to $100 USD for using both Windows 8 Pro and Office 2013, and between $50 and $65 USD for using Windows RT and Office 13 RT.

The ARM-based version of Office 2013 will feature four touch-focused apps: Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote. These apps are supposedly pre-installed (PDF) on Windows RT-based tablets, including Microsoft's own branded Surface RT. Does this mean we won't see the launch of Windows RT tablets until Office 2013 hits store shelves? Or will these devices initially offer Office Web Apps too if launched in October?

Currently Microsoft isn't verifying any information about Office 2013 public beta, the final release timing or distribution plans. The press conference taking place in San Francisco on Monday, which starts at 12pm PT and ends at 12:45pm, promises that attendees will get the latest news from Microsoft. Attendees will have a chance to speak with Microsoft experts and customers from 1:30pm to 5pm.

Analyst Charles King at research firm Pund-IT indicated to USA Today that not only is a lot riding on the success of Windows 8, but on Office 2013 as well. "If Office 15 is a bust, those repercussions will impact and potentially injure virtually every part of Microsoft," he told the paper.

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  • -8 Hide
    belardo , July 14, 2012 7:40 AM
    I'm getting the feeling that SINCE Windows has becoming nothing more than a platform to run MSOffice... that very soon, MS-Office will be ONE-with-the-OS. Like IE or Calculator.

    Also, going around is that MS will no longer sell Retail versions of Windows and that you can only by the OEM version of Win8 in a 5-pak. DIY builders are going to have a grand time with that, no? If its $40 each, it maybe usable. If the usual $100 per licence...

    I think we're going to hear a lot of cursing soon.

    Is Liniux looking better?
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , July 14, 2012 7:46 AM
    Scary already... looking forward to beta bugs testing lol
  • 5 Hide
    JOSHSKORN , July 14, 2012 9:11 AM
    Why don't they just release Windows 8 packaged with Office?
  • Display all 22 comments.
  • 6 Hide
    A Bad Day , July 14, 2012 2:13 PM
    JOSHSKORNWhy don't they just release Windows 8 packaged with Office?


    It's like asking EA to bundle a game with Orion.

    Of course neither will do it, they want PROFITS.
  • 1 Hide
    beardguy , July 14, 2012 2:32 PM
    developers, developers, developers, developers!

    Sorry, couldn't resist. I'm excited to see what the ARM version will look like with touch capabilities. So far there hasn't been any great version of Office on tablet/phone.
  • 0 Hide
    runswindows95 , July 14, 2012 2:54 PM
    I agree with A Bad Day. I highly doubt Microsoft will ever bundle a full version of Office with Windows. They make more money selling Office than they do Windows.
  • 2 Hide
    RealBeast , July 14, 2012 3:03 PM
    JOSHSKORNWhy don't they just release Windows 8 packaged with Office?

    They apparent are for OEMs, digitimes recently reported the pricing to OEMs -- $80 - 100 for Windows 8 Pro with Office.
  • -2 Hide
    tomfreak , July 14, 2012 4:01 PM
    I dont even pay a cent to productivity software these days, we got free open source software like OpenOffice. Dumping my money on a better PC parts is a better choice.
  • 0 Hide
    SteelCity1981 , July 14, 2012 4:15 PM
    RealbeastThey apparent are for OEMs, digitimes recently reported the pricing to OEMs -- $80 - 100 for Windows 8 Pro with Office.


    That's what OEM vendors will have to pay to bundle it on their pc's not the consumor. The Consumor won't have that option if we want Office 2013 we'll have to pay the full price for it like we always had.
  • -1 Hide
    belardo , July 14, 2012 4:17 PM
    OpenOffice is dead... LibreOffice replaced it and continues to be developed.
  • -1 Hide
    Anonymous , July 14, 2012 4:24 PM
    actually, openoffice proper was revived by apache, so right now, there are two seperate forked branches going on. those need to be merged.

    also, ive been using a leaked build. its different, but im getting used to it.
  • 0 Hide
    danwat1234 , July 14, 2012 6:17 PM
    belardoI'm getting the feeling that SINCE Windows has becoming nothing more than a platform to run MSOffice... that very soon, MS-Office will be ONE-with-the-OS. Like IE or Calculator.Also, going around is that MS will no longer sell Retail versions of Windows and that you can only by the OEM version of Win8 in a 5-pak. DIY builders are going to have a grand time with that, no? If its $40 each, it maybe usable. If the usual $100 per licence... I think we're going to hear a lot of cursing soon. Is Liniux looking better?

    Well bittorrent is always the easiest solution
  • -2 Hide
    mesab66 , July 14, 2012 10:07 PM
    Sorry, Steve - keep up with the times!........I've already got Office 2020.
  • 1 Hide
    A Bad Day , July 15, 2012 3:37 AM
    danwat1234Well bittorrent is always the easiest solution


    *FBI crashes down your front door two months later*
  • 0 Hide
    belardo , July 15, 2012 3:52 AM
    Elnegrogatoactually, openoffice proper was revived by apache, so right now, there are two seperate forked branches going on. those need to be merged.
    Oh? I didn't know... I stopped paying attention to OO a long time ago. I've caught up a bit.

    LibreOffice was needed, Oracle was doing stupid things and pissed off a ton of people. And I agree, at this point - LO and OO need to merge band to simply a single OO. But how Apache feels about that would be a factor. It is likely, they'll never merge.
  • 0 Hide
    velocityg4 , July 15, 2012 4:59 AM
    I wonder how much more CPU horsepower and RAM will be needed for something that doesn't do anymore for the average Office user than Office 95 on a 486 with 16MB RAM. Seriously since I first started using Office I haven't ever seen anything change that makes a difference in my Excel spreadsheets and Word documents. I could insert hyperlinks, pictures, clip-art, auto-correct, footnotes, &c in Word and all the accounting functionality was there in Excel. Are there new Excel formulas now possible? Earlier versions of Office probably had all the functionality most people have any use for I just did not use it much before then.

    The only real big difference came with 2007 where they screwed up the interface. So that now rather than a few quick memorized keystrokes I have to stop what I am doing and hunt around the ribbon with my mouse.

    The real improvements have been in Outlook. Namely Exchange and larger PST files. Although their IMAP support still sucks.

    Very few people actually use any of the other Office programs outside of Powerpoint, Excel, Word and Outlook. I wonder how many actually use Groove, Onenote or Publisher?
  • 0 Hide
    sync_nine , July 15, 2012 5:02 AM
    JOSHSKORNWhy don't they just release Windows 8 packaged with Office?

    Its just like games company these days...first they release a part of the software and then milk the customers for DLC.....
    Same story here...
  • 0 Hide
    teodoreh , July 15, 2012 6:15 AM
    I really don't care about new releases of Office since in brings nothing exciting new, other than re-arrangements of already existing tools. I don't blame MS either, it's just the fact that you can't do much more. Personally I use Office 2003 and 2007, and 'till MS discovers and brings a real innovation on the table, Iwill stck with those.
  • 0 Hide
    belardo , July 15, 2012 5:05 PM
    velocityg4I wonder how much more CPU horsepower and RAM will be needed for something that doesn't do anymore for the average Office user than Office 95 on a 486 with 16MB RAM. The only real big difference came with 2007 where they screwed up the interface. So that now rather than a few quick memorized keystrokes I have to stop what I am doing and hunt around the ribbon with my mouse. Bigger Outlook PST files

    Well, if your 486 PC still works with its original software... it may still run kind-of fast, but if you compare it to a modern $300 computer, you would notice the 486 IS slower.

    Yes, Windows has gotten bigger and bigger. A Win3 install needed 10MB of HD space. Win95 = 200mb. Win98 = 500mb. WinXP = 2GB, Win7 = 8~10GB of HD space.

    MSWord for MSDos and Win3.x are horrible compared to the likes of Word 2000+. Our computers have gotten more powerful and larger screens. We didn't do photos in our word processors in the 80s and 90s because our PCs could only handle 2~16 colors! Color information (especially in photos) requires more CPU horse power, more memory... more HD storage. I still remember working on a Desktop publishing project in 1990 and I feel asleep on the keyboard waiting for the screen to refresh! My 7Mhz CPU was going as fast as it could.

    When I did Photoshop in 1995~7 on a 133Mhz CPU with 16mb RAM, the image sizes were 15~25mb in size (I think about 8000x8000 rez) and everything MOVED soooo slow! (Photoshop fits on 3 floppies back then).

    With more horse power, came more tools. But as of late, a good 5 year old PC running Win7 will do pretty good for basic office work.

    Now, I hate Win8 because things were changed for desktop use that are plain stupid. The ribbon interface was to get people to actually use features of their software. And for good reason, OpenOffice is gaining market share (9% US, 20% in many parts of Europe) - Today OpenOffice still looks and works very much like Office2003.

    Now, Office 2010 fixed the ribbon issues and has a customized ribbon feature. Its very nice... I think Office 2010 is excellent. I still use office 2003 at home because, its paid for... and does everything I need. Otherwise, I'd just be using OpenOffice... which is what I put on everyones computer that doesn't have MSOffice.

    Outlook features are pretty damn good... the PST file is such garbage. I hate it... makes life harder. Eudora was better... each folder was its own file (in / Out / whatever). If a folder got corrupted, it didn't effect any of the others. And ALL the attachments were put into a folder... which you can move or delete files as needed. I know I know, harder for the novice to use.
  • -1 Hide
    leandrodafontoura , July 15, 2012 9:06 PM
    Hasnt Open/Libre Office killed Microsfot Office already? Why they even bother?
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