This post provides some key notes and tips to get you up-and-running with the Office 2013 ProPlus Preview, including the Lync 2013 Preview, with the preview versions of the online services (Exchange 2013 online, Lync 2013 online, etc..). It does not cover getting started with the preview versions of the on-premises servers.
Make sure you signed up for an Office 365 Preview version that includes the Online Services
You can try the preview versions of Office 2013 client applications such as Lync 2013 and Outlook 2013 with either on-premises servers or with preview versions of the online services in Office 365 (e.g. Lync 2013 Online, Exchange 2013 Online, etc…). To try the preview versions of the new online services, you need to register for the right Office 365 Preview package.
October 2012 Update: I noticed you can download the standalone MSI packages on MSDN at: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-US/evalcenter/hh973389.aspx. The MSI download link is at the very bottom of the page.
There are 3 options to try the Office 2013 preview on the Office 365 Customer Preview website:
Only options #2 and #3 contain subscriptions to the new 2013 online services (Exchange, Lync, SharePoint, etc..). Specifically option #2, the Small Business Premium gives you 25 license to preview Microsoft Office 365 Plan E3 which includes: Exchange Online (Plan 2), Lync Online (Plan 2), SharePoint Online (Plan 2), Office Web Apps, Microsoft Office Pro Plus Subscription.
This is really confusing because the Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus Preview web site (option #1) specifically refers to it including “cloud versions of Microsoft Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, and Lync Online”. It does not. It gives you preview licenses for Office 2013 Professional Plus which is the Office 2013 client-side software only. To add to the confusion, when you create a new user in the administration portal for option #1, you are given the option of sending an email to the administrative account for the subscription – even though one doesn’t exist!
If you mistakenly signed-up for #1 (the Office 365 ProPlus), you can sign-up for options #2 or #3 and use your identity that was created for option #1 to activate those services.
You will know right away whether your Office 365 preview has preview subscriptions to the online services when you sign into the administration portal because you will see references for the online services like this:
BTW, there is actually one other option you see a reference to: Office 365 Home Premium Preview. This isn’t fully ready yet, but coming soon it will include 60 minutes of international Skype calls and an additional 20GB of SkyDrive space).
Is the Office 2013 Preview Compatible with Microsoft Office Professional 2010?
Generally speaking side-by-side support is available with Office 2007 and 2010 – with a bunch of caveats – notably:
- A traditional MSI-based installation package is available for the Office Professional Plus 2013 Preview – as opposed the click-and-run installation – but it “does not support side-by-side operation with older versions of Office”.
- Also you cannot mix 32 and 64-bit versions of the Office 2013 preview and prior versions of Office 2010 (see the next question for more details).
This Microsoft article has a great table reference for “Supported coexistence scenarios for 64-bit installations”.
There is an issue with side-by-side installations of Lync 2010 and the Lync 2013 Preview (see below).
Tip: uou can install the Office 2013 preview while your Office 2010 applications are running. The Office 2013 preview also does a pretty good job detecting your current account settings. One the features in Office 2013 that I really like is the ability to quickly switch your account in the top righthand corner if you have multiple profiles (identities).
Do I install the 32-bit or 64-bit version of the Office 365 ProPlus Preview?
Both 32-bit and 64-bit are available. The 32-bit version can be installed on a 64-bit machine and Microsoft recommends the 32-bit version (for compatibility with 32-bit 3rd party Office add-on’s, etc…). However “If you already have a 64-bit version of Office installed on your computer running a 64-bit operating system, 64-bit version of Office is automatically installed”. So if you are installing Lync 2013 Preview and you have the 64-bit edition of the Office 2013 Preview installed, you must install the 64-bit version of Lync 2013.
Having Trouble Signing-In with Lync 2010 to the new Lync Online Preview?
This is a known issue in side-by-side installations of Lync 2013 Preview and Lync 2010. Microsoft KB 2701556 details the issue and the resolution: You can’t sign in to Lync Online Preview with Lync 2010 after you install Office Professional Plus 2013 Preview.
What Operating Systems are Supported for the Office 2013 Preview?
The supported Windows operating system editions for 64-bit Office 2013 Preview client are 64-bit editions of Windows 7 and Windows 8 (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee681792(v=office.15).aspx).
Troubleshooting Sign-In Issues
There are many reports of sign-in issues – either with Outlook 2013 or Lync 2013 – both on-premises and to the cloud services in the Office 365 Preview.
If you installed the Lync 2013 Preview successfully but are having sign-in issues to the Lync Online Preview, Microsoft KB article 2730035 is lengthy but walks you through many specific sign-in issues and problems: How to troubleshoot sign-in issues in Lync Online Preview. On one of my PC’s that formerly had the Lync 2010 client installed, deleting my sign-in information solved this problem:
This TechNet article has applies to the existing version of Office 365 and Office 2010, but the same general troubleshooting steps apply to the Office 365 Preview: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg702620(v=office.15).aspx.
The Office 365 Preview Community Forums are well moderated and can offer help: http://community.office365.com/en-us/preview/forums/default.aspx.
If all else fails, as the article suggests, the MOSDAL tool (Microsoft Online Services Diagnostics and Logging Support Toolkit) is a good last resort: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=626.
Links & Resources
|Microsoft KB 2730035: How to troubleshoot sign-in issues in Lync Online Preview||How to troubleshoot Lync 2013 Preview sign-in issues.|
|Microsoft KB 2701556: You can’t sign in to Lync Online Preview with Lync 2010 after you install Office Professional Plus 2013 Preview||Describes how to use Microsoft Lync Online Preview with the Lync 2010 client.|
|Microsoft TechNet: 64-bit editions of Office 2013 Preview||Information about 64-bit editions of Office 2013 Preview, supported operating systems, deployment, and installation recommendations.|
|Microsoft TechNet: Overview of Office 365 ProPlus Preview||Information about and recommendations for setting up and using the Office 365 ProPlus Preview client suite in your organization.|
|Microsoft: Reinstall Microsoft Online Services Sign-in Assistant||Applies to: Microsoft Access 2010, Excel 2010, InfoPath 2010, OneNote 2010, Outlook 2010, PowerPoint 2010, Publisher 2010, SharePoint Workspace 2010, Word 2010|
|Microsoft Download: Microsoft Online Services Sign In (Windows)||Use the Microsoft Online Services Sign In application to sign in once and then access services any number of times during the sign-in session|
|Microsoft: Choose the 32-bit or 64-bit version of Office|
|Microsoft: Download the .msi package for the Office 365 ProPlus Preview||“Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2013 Preview is also available using the traditional MSI-based installation package. Please note the traditional installation does not support fast streaming or side-by-side operation with older versions of Office, and you will need to uninstall existing Office programs on your PC.”|
|Microsoft : Office Customer Preview FAQ|