As you may have seen our Office Team is targeting simultaneous releases of the Office 365 service, Office 2013 clients, SharePoint 2013, Exchange 2013, Lync 2013, Project 2013, and Visio 2013.  More information on these exciting releases can be found here:

The New Exchange Reaches RTM!

http://blogs.technet.com/b/exchange/archive/2012/10/11/the-new-exchange-reaches-rtm.aspx

Lync 2013 reaches RTM!

http://blogs.technet.com/b/lync/archive/2012/10/11/lync-2013-is-finished.aspx

SharePoint reaches RTM!

http://sharepoint.microsoft.com/blog/Pages/BlogPost.aspx?pID=1035

Office Division RTM’s Office

http://blogs.office.com/b/office-news/archive/2012/10/11/office-reaches-rtm.aspx

So you may be asking yourself, “should I move forward with Office 365 now or wait for the upgrade to take place?”  In the past the decision has often come down to your available resources, administrative readiness that is available, upgrade windows that align with academic years, and funding… just to name a few of the parameters. Additionally if you did decide to move forward with the current version of a server infrastructure, rather than waiting for the next version, most organizations locked this version for years in order to get the most out of their investment.  Office 365 changes this model, we will keep your organization current with the latest version of our productivity stack. 

A few points to consider -

1. All of our current Office 365 customers will be transitioning to the next version of Office 365.

2. The identity integration work that is built for the current version of Office 365 doesn’t change with the next version of Office 365.

3.  There is no data migration required from you in order to move to the next version of Office 365, that process will be handled in the backend and transparent to both you and your end users.

4.  You can setup a preview site to begin creating your training and professional development content here - http://www.microsoft.com/office/preview/en/office-365-enterprise.  The preview is completely disposable, and will not be transitioned into production.

5.  You can selectively roll out services today, for example if you want to just leverage Exchange Online and Lync Online you can, and move forward with SharePoint Online once you have been upgraded to the next version.

Why wait to talk advantage of the hosted platform that Microsoft makes available to our education institutions?  If you can think of any, we would be happy to discuss them with you. 

Smile