Office has come a long way from its start in the early 90's -- when it came on a couple of floppy disks and copy some binaries to the file system. But as content became richer, meant a bigger and more sophisticated installation. Office 97 was the last version of the Office suite to ship on floppy disks (45 of them!) and soon moved to CD-ROM, and after that it was the DVD.
Office evolved from the basic file copy method, to ACME installations that allowed flexibility for automating the installation. Followed by Windows Installer in Office 2000, and with Office 2007 and 2010 camed "multi-MSI installs with "Catalyst" install technology to better support multi-language and multi-product scenarios."
In Office 2010, Microsof introduced "Click-to-Run v1.0" to a limited number of consumer SKUs in some markets that improved downloading Office from the internet --while traditional Windows Installer packages remained the primary distribution vehicle.
Now, with Office 2013 Customer Preview, you may have notice the new installation thanks to "Click-to-Run v2," users can now install Office 2013 in an easy, faster, smoother manner.
"Once you signed up to download Office 365 Home Premium Subscription, you can install it on up to 5 computers. Once you click the install button from the download website, the site will communicate with the Click-to-Run setup service and also the Office Licensing Service to generate a customized installer which will remove the need to copy down or input a 25 digit license key. All this takes place in the background! Once you save or run the customized .exe file, the installation will begin. Soon, the Office 2013 download website will start early pre-caching of Office client bits so once the Install button is clicked, there will be an "almost instantaneous" start of Office applications," Microsoft explained.
"Click-to-Run v2.0 also allows, for the first time ever, an installation alongside a previous version. In other words, you can have Office 2013 and Office 2010 installed at the same time. You can even do a Quick Repair, which repairs your shortcuts and file type registration or a Full Repair, which re-installs the software completely. Users can even uninstall in just seconds, rather than minutes."
"Now uninstall takes seconds instead of minutes, and it leaves your computer in a cleaner state than ever before. You can even de-activate licenses you're no longer using so you can re-use them on new machines," Microsoft added.
The blog post also explained Office on Demand that let users run temporary instances of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Publisher, Visio, and Project on computers where they normally would not be able to install software.
Simply click on "My Office" tab on the Office 2013 Customer Preview site and choosing any of the "Create New" icons on this page will start the individual Office on Demand applications. When you close them, they go away, they do not stay installed on the computer.
Office on Demand will also be integrated in to the Office Web Applications for subscribers. "If there are no Office applications installed on the computer, subscribers will be able to "Open in <application>" directly from the Office Web App and run their Office on Demand applications," Microsoft said.
Here is a quick overview of Office on Demand:
- "Office on Demand is a feature for subscribers of Office 2013
- Only the parts of the application you need are actually downloaded as you need them (not the whole thing). They run locally, and it's very fast, only seconds depending on connection speed
- It's always the latest version of the application
- Office does leave behind cache files for performance reasons, but the applications cannot be launched from shortcuts on the local computer. To use the applications again, always start from the website
- You have to be online to use it, and you have to be logged in to Office to validate your rights to use the software," adds Microsoft.
Galley Office on Demand and Click-to-run: