Starting November 2014, we will be removing the Office on Demand feature from Office 365 subscriptions including, Office 365 Small Business Premium, Midsize business, Enterprise (including equivalents), and Office 365 ProPlus.   To help improve how you and your users can continue to use your favorite Office application we recommend taking advantage of recent rich capabilities in Office Online, shared computer activation and Microsoft Azure RemoteApp.

 

Office on Demand, a feature of Office 365 ProPlus, provided users the option to download and temporary install the Office desktop applications. This options could be used in scenarios where users want to access Office applications on a kiosk or desktop where the latest version of Office was not available.   Please note that even after this change your users will still be able to install Office 365 ProPlus on five computer and five tablets, same as today.  This change does not impact existing Office 365 ProPlus installations.

   

Office Online 

Office Online enables users to create and edit Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote files via a web browser.  In addition, Office Online provides the ability to access documents from any supported browser without requiring you to download and install the application onto a PC or Mac.  This is great for those of you who need to quickly access documents from a kiosk or while on the go through a mobile device or tablet.  To get started with Office Online visit http://Office.com 

 

For those who need to access Office desktop applications, you can use the soon to be released shared computer activation feature in Office 365 ProPlus or Microsoft's Azure RemoteApp.  Both options provide users with the ability to access the full version of Office without the need to download the entire applications, in turn, saving users time.  You can access Office through any platform which supports a virtual desktop.   

 

Shared computer activation 

If your organization supports a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI), such as Windows Server 2012 R2 Remote Desktop Services (RDS), you will soon be able to install Office 365 ProPlus using the upcoming shared computer activation feature.  Users will then be able to access their data and documents using Office 365 ProPlus through a virtual desktop.  When a user signs in to the virtual desktop, Office will check to see if the user has been provisioned for Office 365 ProPlus and temporarily activate Office 365 ProPlus. If a second user signs in to the same computer, the activation does not persist from the first user and the activation process is repeated.  Shared computer activation does not count against a user’s five total installations of Office 365 ProPlus or Office for Mac.  Shared computer activation will be available to all Office ProPlus subscribers later this year. 

 

Microsoft Azure RemoteApp  

Available as a separate service, Microsoft Azure RemoteApp, builds on the Remote Desktop Services capabilities of Windows Server and provides similar hosted capabilities as shared computer activation.  There is a difference between shared computer activation and Azure RemoteApp.  Shared computer activation virtualizes the entire desktop on a client device, whereas Azure RemoteApp virtualizes the application onto an existing desktop which appears to the user as if it is running locally on the client device.  Azure RemoteApp is available today as a preview and during the preview, we are offering Microsoft Office 2013 Professional Plus 2013 preinstalled.   

 

For more information on Azure RemoteApp and to find out how to get started, visit us at http://remoteapp.azure.com. You can find more information and request to join the preview at the Azure RemoteApp website.