The big news of the [yester]day (after presenting at NHSPUG & then doing other work this post won’t actually go up until morning) is that Office 2013 has reached RTM. Big excitement for those of us who are already huge fans, but especially exciting is the announcement that Office, SharePoint, Exchange and Lync will all be dropping at the same time. The MSDN & TechNet availability is stated to be “mid-November” (can’t imagine what event that might coincide with) and Volume License with SA customers will have availability by December 1. General Availability is expected in Q1 of 2013. For a feature overview please refer back to my post SharePoint 2013 Unveiled!
While Office, SharePoint, Lync and Exchange are all completely separate products with different product teams within Microsoft and their own processes and development methodologies it is very impressive that everything has come together for this release and was announced by Kirk Koenigsbauer, the Corporate VP of the Microsoft Office Division. It was a unified message that was echoed by the rest of the products. We know the tight integration across this version of the stacks, but this seems like a pretty big shift to a unified stance within Microsoft.
The biggest statement in the post from my perspective is: “We will begin rolling out new capabilities to Office 365 Enterprise customers in our next service update, starting in November through general availability.” This suggests that the shift that many of us have been predicting is coming to pass and that true availability of this version of SharePoint is going to be in Office 365 first.
The announcement coming from Kirk seems to signal that Microsoft is pushing these 4 very distinct products together and that, ready or not, Office 365 is THE future. It seems like a question of when, not if we are going to see Microsoft abandon the on premises model for these products. I hope that I am reading the tea leaves wrong, but that is certainly what it is looking like after today. </prognostication>
Read the entire post on the Office News Blog site here, The SharePoint Team Blog announcement can be found here, the Exchange Team Blog announcement can be found here, and the Lync Team Blog announcement can be found here.