After speculation emerged earlier this week indicating that Microsoft had wrapped up the next generation of the Office System and was gearing up to announce hitting the RTM development milestone, the company confirmed officially that Office 2010 has been released to manufacturing. The Redmond company was reported to have signed off the successor of Office 2007 on April 12, 2010, although at that time it had yet to decide the specific Build for the RTM release. Microsoft only confirmed the RTM of Office 2010 on April 15th, 2010.

“I am very excited to share some great news with you. Earlier today we reached the release-to-manufacturing (RTM) milestone for Office 2010, SharePoint 2010, Visio 2010 and Project 2010,” revealed Takeshi Numoto, corporate vice president, Microsoft Office.

However, Microsoft is yet to offer a specific general availability deadline for the next iteration of Office. Numoto did nothing more than underline what the company has already been saying, that Office 2010 will be released to the public in June 2010. From what I’m hearing, the company is eyeing planning availability for mid-June, however, there’s no official confirmed date at this point in time.

“Earlier this year we announced that we will officially launch Office 2010 to our business customers on May 12 with Stephen Elop, President of Microsoft’s Business Division, delivering a keynote as part of our virtual launch. Our virtual launch will allow people from around the globe to participate in our launch by going to The 2010 Event. The virtual launch site will showcase product demos, customer and partner testimonials, and interviews with product managers and executives, and we hope this will give you another great way to explore, learn, and get excited about the 2010 releases,” Numoto added.

The general availability milestone is synonymous with the product hitting store shelves. This means that customers will be able to buy boxed copies of Office 2010 RTM from retail outlets. However, Office 2010 will be offered a lot earlier, albeit only for download. Some users will even get it ahead of the May 12 business launch. According to the software giant, MSDN and TechNet subscribers will be able to download the final bits of Office 2010 on April 22nd, 2010.

“Our Volume License customers with active Software Assurance (SA) on these products will be one of the first to receive the 2010 set of products. They will be able to download the products in English via the Volume Licensing Service Center starting April 27. Customers without SA will be able to purchase the new products through Volume Licensing from Microsoft partners starting May 1,” Numoto promised.

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