Software Assurance business customers can download RTM version on April 27

Two pieces of software have worked together to make Microsoft what it is today -- Windows and Office. These are the bread and butter of the Microsoft empire and the two different programs make up the lion's share of revenue for Microsoft in software.

Microsoft has been hard at work on a new version of Office dubbed Office 2010. Microsoft announced the price for the various versions of Office 2010 in January. The software will not be cheap, the Home and Student version will cost $149, the Home and Business version will be $279, the Professional version will be $499 and the Professional Academic version will be $99. Google also has its sights set on challenging Office 2010 with new updates to its cloud-based software offerings that were recently unveiled.

Microsoft has announced that Office 2010 has reached a new and very important milestone. Office 2010 has reached the RTM phase, the final version of the software that is released to manufacturing to get the product ready for purchase by end users. The software giant states that 7.5 million users downloaded the beta forms of Office 2010 and that 5,000 organizations helped Microsoft with the beta software by testing versions and reporting bugs and issues.

Volume License customers with a Microsoft Software Assurance plan on Office will be the first to get the final version of the software. These customers will be able to download Office 2010 in English starting on April 27. Business customers without a SA agreement will be able to purchase through volume Licensing on May 1.

Business customers will be able to purchase the software on May 12 and retail customers can get the software in retail stores in the U.S. starting in June. Office 2010 can be pre-ordered right now and it will ship when the software becomes available.

"If you look at the last five years, if you look at what major innovations have occurred in computing technology, every single one of them came from AMD. Not a single innovation came from Intel." -- AMD CEO Hector Ruiz in 2007
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