In a clear sign that Microsoft is throwing everything behind the Office 2013 release, it has just announced that subscribers to the online version will be able to access single instances of Office applications on any computer.

Office 2013

While streamlined versions of Office Web Apps already exist through Office 365, which are aimed at cornering the market that Google Docs appears to have captured, the new version of Office 2013 will consist of full-featured versions of the Office applications like Word, PowerPoint or Excel.

What it means is that once users have signed up to the new service, which is to be called Office On Demand, they will be able to download full versions of the applications and run them on a local PC, simply by logging into their accounts on the Office website.

The news about the On Demand features was released on the Office blog yesterday and comes as one of many announcements in a blog posting by Paul Barr, Lead Program Manager for Click-to-Run.

The idea is to provide all the features of Office applications without having to do any install at all. It means that users can open, access, work on and close applications without having to have the applications on their PC.

Office 2013 On Demand

To keep everything under control, users will only be able to access the applications through the Office website and can only be launched through the browser.

That said though, there’s no serial numbers and because it’s accessible through the browser using passwords and addresses, users don’t have to have administrative privileges on their PCs to download and launch them.

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. Summing up the functionality of the On Demand version, Barr says:

  • It is available only to Office 2013 subscribers
  • Users can access and download only the Office applications they actually want to use
  • You can access it in as little as 15 seconds and maximum of one minute depending on internet connection.
  • Because it’s not actually on your machine and provided by Microsoft, it’s always the latest version
  • It only works online and you have to be actually logged in to Office.

Users that sign up will be able to access the On Demand version of Word, Excel, Access, Publisher and PowerPoint and will be available as soon as the full version of Office 2013 is. Check out the full blog post here.