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Microsoft Says Office 2010 to Ship in June

Microsoft has quietly announced it plans to ship the next major release of its productivity applications suite -- Office 2010 -- right on time, in June of its namesake year.

If it does deliver Office 2010 in June, it will be pushing the general availability, or "GA" in Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) parlance, of the suite right down to the wire, since the company has been saying for months that it will deliver the completed suite in the first half of next year.

"We expect Office 2010 and related products to be generally available in June 2010," a Microsoft spokesperson said in a statement e-mailed to InternetNews.com on Tuesday.

Office 2010, including the Web-based versions known as Office Web Apps, officially entered beta test in mid-November, as previously promised.

Office has been one of Microsoft's cash cows since it began bundling its applications as a suite back in the late 1980s, and continues that dominance.

Microsoft has a history of shipping new versions of Office on time, thanks to the management style of now-Windows Division President Steven Sinofsky, who was head of Office development for several years.

During his tenure, Sinofsky, a 20-year Microsoft veteran, successfully drove a series of successful and on-time Office releases, including Office 2003 and Office 2007. While Office is now under different management, its new managers appear to have adopted Sinofsky's on-time delivery ethic. Office 2010 has hit all of its milestones on time so far.

Besides Web Apps, at Microsoft's Professional Developers Conference in Los Angeles last month where it delivered the beta, the company touted tweaks to the Office "ribbon" user interface -- originally launched with Office 2007. It also emphasized that Office 2010 will come in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions.

The Office 2010 beta is currently available for download.