Microsoft offers 60-day free trial of Office 2013
TechNet download now available to world+dog
Microsoft is now offering a free 60-day trial of Office 2013 Professional Plus, the next generation of its nigh-ubiquitous desktop productivity suite, via its TechNet Evaluation Center website.
Office 2013 entered the Release To Manufacturing (RTM) phase in October, and the final code has been available to Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) and TechNet subscribers since October 24.
So far, however, if you're not in those programs, you've only been given a taste of what the new Office will bring, via the preview of the Office 365 subscription service that Microsoft launched in July. Beginning on Friday, the general public can now test drive the RTM versions of the software for the first time.
To sign up for the trial, just follow the instructions found at Microsoft's TechNet Evaluation Center website.
First off, you should check the system requirements. Office 2013 will run on fairly modest hardware, but note that it is only available for Windows 7 and 8; Windows XP and Vista users need not apply.
Like Office 2010 before it, Office 2013 ships in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions. As with Office 2010, however, Microsoft recommends that most customers install the 32-bit version – even on 64-bit Windows – because it offers the best compatibility with older add-ons.
Users who want to create massive, multi-gigabyte Excel spreadsheets (you know who you are, and God help you) are the exceptions, and should install the 64-bit version.
Once you know which version you want to install, you'll need to fill out two pages of information about yourself on the TechNet website, which will afford you with lots of opportunities to receive helpful product information and marketing materials from Microsoft and its partners.
Having done that, you'll be given a product key and a link to download the software, which weighs in at around 700MB. The 60-day trial period begins once Office is activated using the product key.
Microsoft has not said how many markets will have access to the Office 2013 trial, but in addition to English the software download is currently available in 13 other languages: Arabic, Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Dutch, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Brazilian Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.
Even more interesting, however, is the fact of the 60-day trial itself.
So far, Microsoft has kept mum on the General Availability date for Office 2013. Some sources have told The Reg to expect it in "the first half of calendar 2013." Others have suggested it will arrive in the first quarter.
But if you activate the Office 2013 trial today, you'll only be able to use it through January 15. Unless Microsoft is planning to let trial versions simply expire without giving you an option to purchase a license – some new, perverse marketing approach, perhaps – that 60-day period suggests the new Office may reach retail stores even sooner than we've been expecting.
When it does arrive, the shrink-wrapped version of Office will be available in three configurations, each with a different mix of applications. The Home & Student edition will retail for $139.99, Home & Business will be $219.99, and Professional will be $399.99.
Note, though, that Microsoft would still really, really like everybody to migrate away from these perpetual-license versions of Office and onto its Office 365 program, which is where the economics get trickier.
Expect a closer look at Office 2013 from The Reg soon, plus more details on Office 365 and what it might mean to you as the official launch date approaches. ®
What a crock of shit office 2013 is
I've tried this and I have to say usability has gone south in a big way. The default colour scheme, well, isn't. It's like Microsoft has taken 20 or so years of ui design and just ignored it. It's all just white lines with little or no shading and it's very hard indeed to differentiate between the crappy ribbon bar thing and your actual work area. I'd have understood if it took its visual cues from the functionally crippled but nevertheless colourful "modern" or "metro" or whatever it's called interface so beloved of Microsoft who can't tell the difference between a 4" phone and a 24" monitor, but it doesn't. The only improvement I can see is that lines seem to scroll smoothly in a fairly pointless sort of way. What really gets me about windows 8 and office 2013 is that for the average home user or typical small business it decreases usability and productivity. Two examples in Windows 8: for those of us used to clicking a start button or menu button to turn off a computer, find the "turn off computer" item. And another one : for those of us used to clicking on start and typing "update", where is windows update? It's not obvious and I've asked both technically literate people and ordinary folk these questions and they've been stumped. Microsoft: some people are normal, get over it.
Re: What a crock of shit office 2013 is @h4rm0ny
Yes you will find other items such as the steering wheel now located in the boot, the accelerator pedal in the glovebox, the handbrake in the rear passenger seat and the accelerator in the front passenger seat.
free trial of a new file format?