This post refers to the Office 2013 Preview — this was pre-release software that is no longer available. All techniques mentioned in this post will not work with the final release version of Office 2013.
All you need to do is go to the Office 2013 Customer Preview site, and follow the instructions to quickly install a beta version of Office 2013 on your computer. Well, not all of that was true — we are not saying that it’s a herculean task to install this Customer Preview, but it’s no piece of cake either!
First of all, you must fulfill the following prerequisites and recommendations:
- You must be running either Windows 7 or 8 — of course the latter has not yet released, and is only available in a Preview version, much like Office 2013.
- Make sure you have a full backup of your system — and ideally this should not be your primary work environment — we know many users will not care and still go ahead with this install — but we did warn you!
- If possible, consider installing Office 2013 on a virtual environment — this means that you can create a virtual machine using VMware Workstation, Microsoft Virtual PC, or VirtualBox. The latter two are free, while you will have to buy a license for VMware’s Workstation product. VMware also creates Fusion, a product that lets you create Windows virtual machines on your Mac. The benefit of using a virtual machine is that you can remove the entire machine with just one Delete action, and the rest of your computer remains unaffected with all pre-release software.
- You can use any web browser to visit the install site, and thereafter install Office — but we strongly recommend you use Internet Explorer.
- You also need lots of time — bargain for at least two hours if you have a very fast internet connection. If you have a slow connection, then start this process in the morning at your office — or in the evening at home. Make sure you have no appointments for a few hours!
The Office 2013 Customer Preview will install on a computer that already has an older version of Microsoft Office installed — but be warned that the new version of Outlook will not co-exist with any older version of the same program. It’s a known fact that you can have only one version of Outlook installed on your system. Again, make sure you install Office 2013’s Customer Preview version only on a test system or a virtual machine.
We have already explained some install options in our Getting the Office 2013 Customer Preview Beta post. In the next post of this series, we will explore the actual installation process.