FAQ: Microsoft previews Office 2013, suite sub plans

How to get the sneak peek, who can run it, why it's big news

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You log into your Office 365 account, select one of the so-called "roaming" apps, like Word or Excel or PowerPoint, and the app immediately starts streaming to the system. On a broadband connection, you should be able to start work in just a few minutes.

When you're done -- and the document has been saved, presumably to your SkyDrive account -- the traces of Office and your work are scrubbed from the machine.

Where do I get support for the Preview? From Microsoft's Answers peer-to-peer support website if you're using Office 365 Home Premium, or from the Office 365 Community site if you're running any other of the preview plans.

Tried it..., didn't like it. How do I get rid of it? Two ways, actually. You can simply deactivate Office from each machine using your My Account page (you may need to log in).

That leaves Office on each device, but in read-only mode, the same functionality you'll have when the Preview expires.

To eradicate Office, use the Control Panel and its "Uninstall or change programs" tool to -- d'oh -- uninstall the suite.

Any word on Office for iPad? None, or as Rob Helm, an analyst with Directions on Microsoft, noted in an interview Monday, "Not a peep."

If Microsoft does create an Office edition for iOS, one thing is almost certain: Installing it on an iPad or iPhone will count as one of the five-devices-per-user under the Office 365 plans.

That could be a huge selling point for Office 365 to customers -- consumers and businesspeople alike -- who want to access Office-made documents on their iPhone or iPad.

When does the shrink-wrapped Office 2013 and the Office 365 subscription plans go on sale? No word Monday from Microsoft on that.

Big surprise.

Launch-date speculation is all over the map, with many expecting the same development pace as three years ago with Office 2010, which would mean Office would debut in late January or early February.

Some long-time Windows watchers, though, are marking their calendars differently, from November 2012 (ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley) to May 2013 (Paul Thurrott of SuperSite for Windows).

Your guess is probably as good as any.

Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer, on Google+ or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed . His email address is gkeizer@computerworld.com.

See more by Gregg Keizer on Computerworld.com.

Copyright © 2012 IDG Communications, Inc.

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