Ballmer Affirms Office 365's June Launch Date

Microsoft made it pretty clear that Office 365 would be integrated in some major way with the next build of Windows (Windows 8), but now we're learning that the new productivity suite will ship a lot sooner than Win8 will. In fact, Steve Ballmer seems sure that it'll launch in June. Prior to this week, the company had simply insisted that it would ship at some point in 2011, but Ballmer spoke in India and couldn't keep the cat inside of the bag. His quote? "We're pushing hard in the productivity space. We'll launch our Office 365 cloud service, which gives you Lync and Exchange and SharePoint and Office and more as a subscribable service that comes from the cloud. That launches in the month of June."

Of course, Ballmer's date can't be taken as total fact; he has been known to blurt out release dates before that were then debunked by Microsoft proper. But given that June is this month, we're guessing that he's seen a final-enough build to make that call. And if the Office 365 team was planning on holding a bit longer, well, maybe now is the time to start working overtime. And with Google Apps getting stronger by the day (and Apple launches Documents in the iCloud today), Office needs to be up in the cloud ASAP.