Thursday, July 17, 2014

Using Office 365 on demand

The problem with technology is that you get locked into a few ways of doing things and you don’t tend to explore outside your comfort zone. Sometimes it is also matter of not even knowing about some cool new feature.

Given that I spend most of my time using the same few machines everyday I really don’t have a huge need for installing Office on unfamiliar desktops. However, this Office on Demand feature is really very handy if you ever need to have the latest version of the full Office application on a desktop you are using.

Of course, you’ll need an Office 365 subscription that includes Office Pro Plus.

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Navigate to your OneDrive via the menu at the top of the page.

At the bottom of the left hand side select USE OFFICE ON DEMAND.

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You’ll then see a list of Office applications as shown above. Simply click on one of these. In this case I selected Excel.

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Given that Office 2013 is not installed on the current machine and you haven’t used this feature before on this machine, you’ll be prompted to run a program stub as shown above. Allow this to Run.

This will install a small program that will now allow you to run the Office on demand at any time in the future.

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After that has run, you’ll get a message that Office on Demand is ready to run. Select Close.

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Return to the browser again and select the Office application you wish to use. Again in this case Excel was selected.

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You should now see the application streaming to the desktop using the Click-to-Run technology.

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In a few moments, that application will launch and you will be able to work on it as you would normally.

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As you can see it is the full features version of Excel running side by side any other existing Office applications.

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If you look up in the top right corner of the application you will see that you are not signed in as a user, so this instance doesn’t count against your 5 installation (because it is about to magically ‘disappear’!)

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If you now close the Office application you are using you won’t find it installed anywhere on the desktop. So it is a totally ‘on demand’ version of the application as it says it is!

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The only real trace that remains is a Microsoft Office on Demand Browser Add-on as you can see above from the Control Panel. This is what was installed the first time that you select the application from the browser. It means that if you return and select another application from the browser it will automatically stream down and open.

So Office on Demand is just one of the options you get with Office 365. Even if you don’t use them all make sure you appreciate all the flexibility that Office Pro Plus from Office 365 provides.

The other options you get with Office via Office 365 are:

- Full Suite install onto 5 desktops (Windows or Mac)

- Office Web Apps (or Office Online as it is called now)

- Office Mobile

All of these version are always up to date as well and cost a few dollars per month. Why would you still be using an old version of Office on just one desktop anyone? Beats me.