Microsoft has just announced its “customer preview” version of Office 2013 aka Office 15 (the standalone desktop version), bundled in with its cloud-based cousin, Office 365, which connect you to your tools and documents where and when you need them ( Office 365 is formerly a business application).
The new Office 2013 and Office 365 applications will work only with Windows 7 and Windows 8, and a Mac version will be available when the final version of Office gets released. Sorry, XP and Vista users, you need to stick with Office 2010, do an upgrade of your operating system, or switch to a free alternative like Kingsoft Office Suite Free.
Microsoft has made available four different versions of Office for testing:
- Office 365 Home Premium Preview – With Office 365 Home Premium Preview you can install Office on up to 5 PCs and you get 7GB of online storage on SkyDrive so that you can save and share your documents online. Home Premium includes Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook, OneNote, Access, and Publisher.
- Office 365 Small Business Premium Preview – Office 365 Small Business Premium Preview is ideal for businesses with up to 10 employees. Each user can install Office, getting the same applications that are included in Office 365 ProPlus, on up to 5 PCs, and enjoy professional email, shared documents, and HD video conferencing in an easy-to-manage solution that is hosted by Microsoft.
- Office 365 ProPlus Preview – Office 365 ProPlus Preview lets you create up to 25 user accounts, with 5 installations of Office 365 ProPlus per user. It includes Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook, OneNote, Access, Publisher, InfoPath, and Lync. Learn more about Office 365 ProPlus.
- Office 365 Enterprise Preview – Office 365 Enterprise Preview gives you the benefits of Office 365 ProPlus combined with Exchange Online, including archiving and legal hold to fully manage your company’s email in the cloud. It also includes SharePoint Online to manage and share documents, and Lync Online to allow you to conduct meetings and collaborate across remote teams and team members.
- Computer and processor: 1 Ghz or greater x86/x64 Processor with SSE2 instruction set
- Memory: 1 GB RAM (32 Bit) /2 GB RAM (64 Bit)
- Hard disk: 3.5 GB free disk space
- Operating System: Windows 7 or newer, either 32-bit or 64-bit; Windows 2008R2 or newer with .Net 3.5 or greater. It isn’t possible to install on a PC running Windows XP or Vista. To use with Windows 8 you must be running the Release Preview version or higher.
- Graphics: A decent Graphics hardware is recommended
Free Download Office 2013 aka 15 and Office 365 Consumer Preview
Before downloading and trying this Preview build, please do understand that the Preview will expire approximately 60 days after the next version of Office becomes available in your market. Download Office 365 Preview builds from this link (official). You can install and use the Office 365 Preview version alongside an existing version of Office 2003, Office 2007, or Office 2010.
Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2013 Preview is also available using the traditional MSI-based installation package. Please note the traditional installation does not support fast streaming or side-by-side operation with older versions of Office, and you will need to uninstall existing Office programs on your PC. To download Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2013 Preview, access this page, scroll to the bottom of the page and click “Download the .MSI package now” link. If you download the preview from this link, the product will expire on June 30, 2013. At that time, it will not be possible to use the product any further.
How to uninstall Office 365
You can uninstall Office by doing the following:
- Office 365 Home Premium: Go to www.office.com/myaccount and then, in the Current PC Installs section, click deactivate. Then, to remove Office entirely, go to your PC’s Control Panel and uninstall it.
- Other Office 365 plans: Log into your account at www.office365.com to manage your installations, including deactivating Office. If you want to remove Office applications completely from your computer, you must uninstall Office from your PC’s Control Panel.
If you have questions regarding Office 2013 or Office 365 Consumer Preview, you can always refer to the official FAQ page.