Microsoft will close down beta testing of Office 2007 in two weeks and send the code to manufacturing by the end of October.
On Oct. 25, Microsoft will close the Office Preview Web site and remove the beta from its download servers. The Office 2007 beta has been available to public testers since May.
With no additional builds planned, Microsoft said it would release the suite to manufacturing — what the Redmond, Wash. developer dubs “RTM” — “in a few weeks” according to e-mail sent to testers. On Tuesday, a company spokesperson declined to specify the exact date, saying only that “we are on track to have Office in the hands of business customers by the end of this calendar year.”
Microsoft Office for the Mac always lags the Windows version, but there were rumors this week that there would be additional delay for Office 2007. The rumor is refuted at Microsoft’s Office for Mac Team Blog:
Over the last few days, some Mac sites have been reporting that the Universal Binary version of Office for Mac (officially unnamed, but currently code-named Office 12) has been delayed, but there is no delay or deviation from our development schedule. We’re hitting our milestones, checking in our features, and making the move to Intel as planned. We’ve totally moved from Code Warrior to Xcode, so we’ve crested that hill. We usually ship 6 – 8 months after the availability of Office for Windows so we can do compatibility testing. This has been our shipping cycle for ages, and we’re right on track.