The products hitting release-to-manufacturing (RTM) stage include Microsoft Office 2010, SharePoint 2010, Visio 2010 and Project 2010. The RTM is Microsoft's final engineering milestone in which the completed product is shipped off for imaging by equipment manufacturers, or PC makers in this case.
The journey to RTM represents about 3.5 years per product for Microsoft's various teams.
On Monday, Microsoft also announced the RTM releases of System Center Essentials and System Center Data Protection Manager. Those announcements came as part of the Microsoft Management Summit 2010, which is currently ongoing this week in Las Vegas.
Microsoft's new management software "will be generally available and on the Microsoft Price List by June 1," according to Microsoft's blog for System Center Data Protection Manager. The blog added that the "full packaged product (and pricing) will be available by the end of May as it is released into the various Microsoft channels."
Those wanting to get their hands on Microsoft Office 2010, SharePoint 2010, Visio 2010 and Project 2010 have a few other dates to keep in mind. Microsoft's volume licensing customers with Software Assurance can download those products starting on April 27 from Microsoft's Volume Licensing Service Center. Volume licensing customers without Software Assurance can get those products from the center beginning on May 1.
Organizations can qualify for volume licensing with as little as two computers, according to Eric Ligman, global partner experience lead for the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Group.
Microsoft's MSDN subscribers will be able to download these 2010 products on April 22, according to one Microsoft blog. Presumably, Microsoft's TechNet Plus subscribers will be able to get the bits at that time too.
Individuals wanting to be the first to pick up a 2010 product box at their local retail store have to wait a bit longer. For instance, Office 2010 will be available in retail stores in June. Microsoft is taking preorders for the Office 2010 products at its online store here. The public can preorder Office Professional 2010 ($499.99), Office Home and Business 2010 ($279.99) and Office Home and Student ($149.99).
Microsoft Office 2010, SharePoint 2010, Visio 2010 and Project 2010 will be available in English, Dutch, French, German, Russian and Spanish languages when released in May.
Finally, Microsoft is planning a launch event on May 12 in which Stephen Elop, president of Microsoft's Business Division, will deliver a keynote address on the new Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010 products.
One of the useful features in Word 2010 will be coauthoring. Users can work on the same document while seeing the sections that other collaborators are revising. Microsoft will also boost collaboration in Office 2010 by integrating browser-based Office Web Apps with the productivity suite.
Microsoft released Exchange 2010 back in November. Those looking for Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 can expect it to be available in May.
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