Office 15 Could Launch March 2013, First Preview On Surface Tablets

Office 2013 Installation

Microsoft’s launching with preview of Office 15 on its Surface devices – don’t call them tablets in front of Microsoft – and the final package could launch in 2013, sources speaking to ZDNet claim. That five months after the October 26 launch of Windows 8.

You’re probably going to be waiting a while for the next version of Office, so buying Surface in the meantime

Microsoft previewed its next-generation version of the Office suite, set to be in Windows 8. Anonymous sources, from Spain, speaking to technology website ZDNet, claim the suite will launch in 2013, a way off the release of Windows 8 in October.

There’s also news of RTM for Windows Phone 8 happening around September with general release during November, not alongside Windows 8 – or close to it – as was expected. Since developers can develop apps for both operating systems simultaneously, I was expecting Microsoft to push the functionality with a simultaneous launch. ZDNet’s sources have backed the information, with the co-OS launch looking unlikely — or at least later than October 26, 2012.

The source said Office 15 will launch February 2013, Release to Manufacturing (RTM) will take place November 2012, and the price list will be added a month before in October. A leaked roadmap of various Microsoft products put Office 15 in a 2013 window, so the information certainly has some weight. Rumors of a May 2013 delay appeared, but they appear to be false.

Preview Versions Coming

The workaround for those of you eager to get Office is to buy a Surface device, running a preview version of the Home and Student variants of the software suites. We don’t know the specifics – it’s listed in a one-page PDF document – but Microsoft has confirmed that Surface is launching around the general availability of Windows 8. That’s October 26, so stay tuned for words on pricing.

I don’t really get why Microsoft is launching the OSs and packages different points, because it’ll raises more questions than answers. And with Windows Phone 8, Microsoft is going to need striking devices – perhaps from Nokia, and its Lumia devices – to grab consumer attention.

Windows 8 launches October 26, and Windows XP, Vista or 7 users can upgrade for $39.99 digitally/$69.99 physically.

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Jonathan is a writer on the technology and video game industries. He is comfortable with using Mac OS X and Windows; he began using Windows with Windows XP during his early double-digit years, and started using OS X in 2009 on a MacBook Pro. He began gaming on the SNES back in the 90s.

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