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Microsoft Office 2010 has reached the release to manufacturing (RTM) stage, marking the end of development for the popular office software. Now the software will be distributed to manufacturers, followed by businesses, retailers, and customers.

In general, when a piece of software reaches the release to manufacturing stage, it is ready for mass distribution. Microsoft manufacturing partners and computer makers will get the software first, followed by businesses and then finally general customers. Product downloads for Volume License Partners begin on April 27th, while general customers can expect to see Office 2010 on shelves starting in June.

“RTM is the final engineering milestone of a product release and our engineering team has poured their heart and soul into reaching this milestone,” said Microsoft Corporate Vice-President Takeshi Numoto in a blog post earlier today. “It is also an appropriate time to re-emphasize our sincere gratitude to the more than 5,000 organizations and partners who have worked with us on rapid deployment and testing of the products. Since the start of our public beta in November 2009, we’ve had more than 7.5 million people download the beta version – that’s more than 3 times the number of 2007 beta downloads.”

Microsoft Office 2010 had one of the largest software beta tests ever; it’s the same approach the company took with building Windows 7, a tactic seems to have paid off for the technology giant.

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Tags: microsoft, microsoft office, microsoft office 2010, Office 2010