Office 2013 Trials: It’s Time to Switch from “Preview” to “Evaluation”

Dec 8, 2012

If you downloaded the Office 13 Preview that came out in July, it’s now time to switch to the 60-day Eval version. Apparently Microsoft has stopped updating the Preview and all the new fixes are in the Eval. A ton of bugs have been cleared, so it’s worth switching over.

For example Word in the Preview was very slow once a doc got past a few pages, and it had a bad habit of scrolling every time you clicked to edit a word. That’s all fixed in the Eval. 60-days should get you to the when the final version comes out.

Here’s the link for the Eval:

By the way, the download at this link gives you a CD/DVD ISO image, and you have to burn it to a CD/DVD and install off of that; you cannot install it directly from the download file (don’t ask me why it was done that way!). So have your burner plugged in and some burner software handy.

Also, this is the Professional version so it also installs Access (the database program), and Publisher (page layout), and a number of other big programs you may not want. So at the start of the install, be sure to choose to modify the install and deselect what you do not need.

12/19/2012 Update: Activation Trick

When doing the download, be sure to copy down the software key they show you at the start of the install, you’ll need it later, and that page will be gone by then.

In fact, as you finalize your install you’ll discover that Microsoft now favors online licensing of their Office software rather than entering a license key (its related to their new subscription model being rolled out with Office 2013). In that online licensing model, subscriptions you buy get associated with your Microsoft Account (using a Microsoft Account greatly improves Windows 8 use btw), so logging into that account is now more important.

That means at the end of the install, when it asks you to activate the product, you are asked to login to your account to enable that activation. But, remember this is a trial, and so you don’t have a license associated with your account, and so if you do login as asked, you’ll get an error message to that affect.

Instead, the right thing to do at the activation window is to click the tiny link at the bottom of the activation window (it’s barely visible!) and then enter the key your wrote down when you started the install. Otherwise the software will expire in 5 days instead of 60 days.


One thought on “Office 2013 Trials: It’s Time to Switch from “Preview” to “Evaluation”

  1. Michael Linenberger Post author

    Update to this article. I just uninstalled the Office 2013 trial and went back to Office 2010 on my main work computer. I am going to wait till the full official release of Office 2013 comes out before upgrading again.
    Why did I give up on the trial? There were too many little issues (and one big one). Little ones: for example I found the trial version of Word was still a bit buggy–odd flashes of the screen when clicking around, not able to undo auto-formatting, and some slowness. The big issue was Outlook: I could not get Instant Search to work in my large Processed Mail folder. Tried installing it on two different computers, same issue. I had to launch into OWA to do searches–a real pain. Search immediately started working again when I switched back to 2010.
    I’m sure Microsoft will get this all worked out by final release, but thought I’d better mention this in case you were thinking about jumping in early. Probably best to wait.


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