In my previous post, Preview of Office 2013 Public Preview, I showed off many screenshots of Office 2013 Public Preview. I installed that suite using the old-fashioned MSI installer, getting the file via TechNet. But one of the really revolutionary ways that the next version of Office 2013 is going to distributed as, is as Software as a Service. Office 365 Home Premium has little, if nothing to do with the web-based service that Office 365 is today. Instead it is the full Office suite for consumers delivered as a service over the net. Pricing is as of now not clear, but for a monthly/yearly fee you will have access to the Office suite linked to your Windows ID. This suite is delivered over the net to the device you are working on (the files are installed locally through one-click installs) and 1 license equals 5 installs.
In the latest episode of Windows Weekly, Paul Thurrott speculated that the price for this service will probably be around $10 dollars or less a month, which in case it happens will be a really compelling offer. Not only do you get 5 installs (which you yourself will be able to manage) for this price, but the software suite will always be up to date – courtesy of Microsoft.
Today I installed the Office 365 Home Premium Public Preview on my laptop, and the install process is easy and fast. From the time you hit install and until you are ready to start exploring it takes around 90 seconds. Everything is not installed in that timeframe though, but the rest of the software is being installed in the background as you are looking into the first application that is presented. Total time is still a lot less than a traditional MSI install. If you try this version out, you are also able to have it installed alongside your previous version of Office.
I recommend that you try it out. This really is the new way of Office being delivered to you going forward, and I really, really like it!
Take a look at the screenshots from the install process, try it out yourself (you can get the bits here) and let me know what you think in the comments section below. Bon appetite