Microsoft announced last month that Office 2013 had hit released to manufacturing, meaning the latest version of the popular suite is fully baked and has been sent off for packaging to be served up to consumers and businesses. The company claims it's the most ambitious release yet, spanning the full family of Office services, servers and cloud services.
"The new Office has a fresh, touch friendly design that works beautifully on Windows 8 and unlocks modern scenarios in social, reading, note-taking, meetings and communications," the company said. "We are proud to achieve this milestone and are eager to deliver this exciting release to our customers."
But don't expect to see the new Office anytime soon, as the retail version isn't slated to hit store shelves until sometime in 1Q13. However that doesn't mean consumers can't purchase Office now – the new Office 2013 will be provided as a free upgrade for anyone who purchases Office 2010 after October 19.
Before Friday, Microsoft only offered the Office 2013 Customer Preview, available here. Launched back in July, it provides working (yet limited) versions of Word, PowerPoint, Excel, OneNote and Outlook focused on touch and fitting within Microsoft's Modern UI platform.
But for those who want to see everything that Office 2013 has to offer, Microsoft has released a 60-day trial of Office Professional Plus 2013 on TechNet. It's provided as a 785 MB IMG file that can either be burned as a physical disc, or mounted in Windows 8 as a virtual drive (Windows 7 users will need 3rd-party software for mounting).
This build, reportedly the RTM version with merely a time limitation, includes Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook, OneNote, Access, Publisher, and Lync. To get started, simply hit the big green button, log in with a Microsoft account, fill out the form, choose either the 64-bit or 32-bit version, and you'll receive a product key and a link to download the file.
For consumers still using Windows XP and Windows Vista, Office 2013 will not install on your platform. Compatible operating systems include Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows Server 2008 R2, or Windows Server 2012. Additional hardware requirements can be accessed here.
To get your 60-day trial of Office Professional Plus 2013, head here.