Microsoft announced today that its next generation office productivity family, Office 2013, has reached the RTM (release to manufacturing) milestone. But since Office 2013 encompasses a wide range of products and services, the release of this product family will occur over several months. And I have some exclusive news about Office for iOS and Android.

“This is the most ambitious release of Office we've ever done,” Microsoft corporate vice president Kirk Koenigsbauer wrote in a post to the Office News blog. “It spans the full family of Office applications, servers and cloud services. The new Office has a fresh, touch friendly design that works beautifully on Windows 8 and unlocks modern scenarios in social, reading, note-taking, meetings and communications. We are proud to achieve this milestone and are eager to deliver this exciting release to our customers.”

All of Office 2013 has RTM'd. This includes Office 365, Office 2013 applications, Exchange 2013, Lync 2013, SharePoint 2013, Project 2013 and Visio 2013.

Of course, what you’re really wondering is when you can get your hands on Office 2013. Microsoft provided the following schedule for general availability:

October 19. Customers who purchase Office 2010 starting on October 19 will receive the new Office for free upon availability.

October 26. Office 2013 Home and Student RT will ship with new Windows RT-based devices.

November. Microsoft will roll out new capabilities to Office 365 Enterprise customers in its next service update, starting in November and going through general availability.

Mid-November. Volume licensing customers with Software Assurance will be able to download the Office 2013 applications as well as other Office products including SharePoint 2013, Lync 2013 and Exchange 2013 through the Volume Licensing Service Center. These products will be available on the Volume Licensing price list on December 1.

Mid-November. IT professionals and developers will be able to download the final version via their TechNet or MSDN subscriptions.

First quarter 2013. General availability is planned for the first quarter of 2013.

Additionally, a good source of mine gave me better specifics about general availability: I was told that general availability of Office 2013 is expected in the last week of January or first week of February 2013. Furthermore, if you’ve seen rumors about Office 2013 for iOS and Android, they’re happening, but the products will only be made available via the subscription Office offerings, and hit in April. This will give a user rights to use Office on 5 PCs and/or Macs and 5 devices.

You heard it here first.