It isn’t every day that a new version of Microsoft Office comes along, but it is a suite of productivity applications that many users have become accustomed to over the years, either at work or at home. Even if you’re unable to purchase the full suite, there are stripped down alternatives, such as the mobile version on Windows Phone and the browser-based Microsoft Office Web Apps that are free to use for Microsoft account holders.
The new version, Microsoft Office 2013, will attempt to combine both approaches, creating a desktop suite that syncs with SkyDrive (or a paid aspect of the Microsoft cloud) and is accessed with a Microsoft account. As a result of this, installing and removing the software – at least in its beta, “preview” form – is a little different from how you would normally add and remove software.
Signing Up & Installing Microsoft Office 2013 Preview
By heading to the Try Office Preview website you can download the software to your computer.
The first option, offering Office 365 and the Home Premium Preview, should be all you need to evaluate in most cases, and is apparently very close to how the final release will work for home and small office users.
After clicking Try and selecting your country, you’ll be prompted to sign in. Installation will require you to have a Microsoft account – namely, one ending in @msn.com, @live.com or @hotmail.com (local variants such as .co.uk are also included). If you don’t have a Microsoft account, click the Sign up button and follow the steps to set one up.
Click Install once you’ve signed in, and the webpage will prompt you to download a file.
Click Save File to proceed and then Run the downloaded file, which is the Office 2013 Preview installer.
You can then sit back and observe as the preview version of the new Microsoft Office suite is installed! In a few moments, a short demo will explain how Microsoft Office 2013 uses the cloud to enable you to find your documents wherever you are.
Using & Being Productive With Microsoft Office 2013
All of the old favourites are included in this new version of Office, which will be installed to your computer’s C: drive (there is no opportunity to change this – however if there is insufficient space, the installer will let you know).
Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint and OneNote are all present and correct, with revisions to their user interfaces granting the suite a fresh new look, without being disruptive.
How Do I Remove Office 2013?
You’ll have noticed from the installation procedure that Microsoft Office Preview 2013 doesn’t come with any options that you can configure. Now, you may find that the suite is good but you want to remove it; you might decide to stick with Office 2010 indefinitely rather than spending any more time with this preview release, or you might decide that the remaining space on your C: drive is better spent with other applications.
Either way, you’ll probably want to remove the Office 2013 preview at some point, but it’s a little more complicated than heading to Control Panel and uninstalling. Although the suite will be listed here, you’ll need to do something else first.
As a form of DRM, the preview is linked to your Windows Account, something that appears likely to be a feature of the finished release. In order to remove the software, you will need to first deactivate it.
Open this link and if necessary, sign in to your account again. You’ll find a list of devices that the preview has been installed on – up to 5 installs are allowed – and you should see your computer named, with the date of the installation.
To uninstall, you will first need to use the Deactivate link. A warning box will pop up, explaining the consequences of this action – click OK to proceed. At this stage, you will be unable to use most features of the Office suite.
You can then open Start > Control Panel > Uninstall a program, where you will find the suite listed. Right-click and select Uninstall, and then confirm the action. Removal of the software will take a few moments, but when complete you’ll see the following message:
Note that you will need to restart your computer before proceeding. This is particularly important if you installed the preview alongside a previous version of Office.
Microsoft Office 2013 Preview is a good upgrade to the previous releases, ideal for use on either a Windows 7 or a Windows 8 computer. The installation procedure is frustratingly streamlined, however, resulting in an inability to specify your preferred installation location. Similarly, removing the software relies on an Internet connection to deactivate. Given that Windows 8 also features an online activation and heavy use of the cloud, it is likely that this arrangement is here to stay.