Office Preview – Getting Started Guide

Editor’s note:
Last week was quite busy. We had great feedback from the preview announcement. If you weren’t among those who took the earliest opportunity to get the software, or even if you did and just wanted to learn more about the preview program, we’ve invited Beth Petry, Senior Program Manager for Office Customer Programs to explain the various opportunities for participation. The preview release covers a lot of ground.  Large enterprises, small or mid-size business and people at home have experiences offered for their specific needs. This post is less about the products, and more about the roadmap for participating.

beth off webI’m Beth Petry, I lead Customer Programs for the Office division. Throughout the cycle I’ve had the chance to work with many people evaluating Office. It is an exciting time for us to share it with the world. We’re very excited to have your feedback. Office Preview is off and running!

Many thanks to those of you who have downloaded the preview release. We’re getting a lot of great feedback. Please keep it coming! If you haven’t had a chance to get it yet, you can find the preview release of Office on

When you reach the site you are presented with many choices. How do you know what is right for you? We’ve pulled together this quick start guide to help you understand the navigation of the site and the opportunities and choices available to you.


Office Home Premium Preview

First things first, you’ll need a LiveID to sign in. If you don’t have a LiveID, you can get one here.  Once you have your LiveID you are ready to begin.

If you go to the site and click the green button, you’ll be directed to the Office 365 Home Premium Preview. This is what we recommend for general use, student or basic home use. Clicking the “Sign Up” button will take you where you need to go to begin.


Office Home Premium Preview allows you up to 5 PCs or tablets in your household, access to all your documents on Internet connected PCs and the applications you are familiar with. You’ll log onto the service with your LiveID and save your files to SkyDrive.



Services for Business

Below the home user preview pane, you may have noticed the “Services for Business” area. In this section you are presented with three choices; Office 365 ProPlus, Office 365 Small Business Premium, and Office 365 Enterprise. Let’s take a closer look at each one.

Office 365 ProPlus Preview is an Office client suite that provides you with Office as well as Lync. For enterprises seeking to evaluate the new version of ProPlus, we have made testing a bit easier. For the first time ever, when installing our Click 2 Run offerings, we’ll support side by side installation of Office Preview with prior Office versions. Click 2 Run also offers improved updating efficiency, and as we have covered on the blog before, connects naturally to the Office 365 environment. 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.


You can visit this page to learn more about the Office 365 ProPlus Preview

Office 365 Small Business Premium Preview is the next generation of Office 365. This service will transform the way manage your business, professionally while gaining efficiency – without the need for technical expertise. 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. Learn more about Office 365 Small Business Premium.

Office 365 Enterprise Preview offers you efficiency and control. Create professional content, connect with customers and partners in a secure manner, powerful tools for more effective management, control and compliance with enterprise-grade security, data loss prevention, and rights management. 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. Learn more about Office 365 Enterprise.


Individual Product and Server Previews

In addition to the Office Home Premium Preview, Office 365 ProPlus Preview, the Office 365 and Enterprise Small Business Preview, previews of individual products are available as well.

SharePoint – The newest SharePoint is designed to help everyone in your organization share content and ideas, organize teams and projects, and discover connections to get work done. Learn more. For IT Pros, try the SharePoint Server 2013 Preview

Exchange – The newest Exchange enables you to increase user productivity and keep your organization safe, while maintaining the control you need. Learn more. For IT Pros, try Exchange Server 2013 Preview

Lync – The newest Lync is an enterprise-ready, unified communications platform that connects people everywhere on Windows 8 and other devices. Learn more. For IT Pros, try the Lync Server 2013 Preview

Office Web Apps Server – With Office Web Apps Server, your users get browser-based productivity from nearly any device on your terms and within your own private network. For It Pros, try the Web Apps Server Preview

Project – The new Project offers flexible service or on-premises solutions for project portfolio management (PPM) and everyday work. Try it in these three versions: Project Online Preview, Project Server 2013 Preview, Project Professional 2013 Preview. Learn more. For IT Pros, try Project Server 2013 Preview, Try the Project Professional 2013 Preview

Visio – The new Visio lets you easily create professional, versatile diagrams that help you organize and make sense of complex information. Learn more. Try the Visio Professional 2013 Preview. Try the Visio Pro for Office 365 Preview

Office Professional Plus 2013 – For IT pros, you can also try the Office Professional Plus 2013 MSI-based installation, which includes Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook, OneNote, Access, Publisher, and Lync. Note that this is not the Click-to-Run installation used by Office 365 ProPlus and does not support fast streaming installation or side-by-side operation with older versions of Office. In addition, you must uninstall the existing version of Office on your PC to try Office Professional Plus 2013. For IT pros, try the MSI-based Office Professional Plus


Previews For IT Professionals and Developers

By now you are probably saying what about Developers? What If I’m an IT Pro? Where can we go? The starting point for IT Pro and Developer is located at the bottom of the preview page.


Resources for developers will take you to MSDN. Access to code samples, the new cloud app model and much more will get you up and creating your own apps in no time.




Resources for IT pros will take you to TechNet also known as the TechCenter. The information you need to deploy the on-premises versions, learn about Office 365 cloud service and Office hosted services is available here in an easy to understand structure.


Community and Support

If you have questions or need to reach out to a community of experts, we have that available too. These forums are active and filled with Microsoft employees, MVP’s and knowledgeable users.

Office 365 has its own set of forums:
Microsoft Answers Forums (for IWs):


· Apps Category:
· Developing Apps for Office forum:
· Developing Apps for SharePoint forum:
· Office Dev Category:
· Office 2013 Preview for Developers forum:
· Developing Apps for Office forum:
· SharePoint Category:
· SharePoint 2013 Preview for Developers forum:
· Developing Apps for SharePoint forum:


· Office IT Pro Category:
· Office 2013 and Office 365 ProPlus Preview forum:
· SharePoint Category:
· SharePoint 2013 Preview for IT Professionals forum:
· Exchange Category:
· Exchange Server 2013 Preview forum:
· Project Category as it appears on TechNet:
· Project Online forum as it appears on TechNet:

Beth Petry,
Senior Program Manager, Microsoft Office