As part of Office 365 offering, a subscription pricing model for Office will be available called Microsoft Office Professional Plus desktop suite. This suite includes the following Office 2010 Applications:
- Microsoft Access 2010
- Microsoft Excel 2010
- Microsoft InfoPath 2010
- Microsoft OneNote 2010
- Microsoft Outlook 2010
- Microsoft PowerPoint 2010
- Microsoft Publisher 2010
- Microsoft SharePoint Workspace 2010
- Microsoft Word 2010
- Microsoft Lync 2010
Features and Benefits
As far as features are concerned, the Office Pro Plus suite which is part of the Office 365 is same as the normal Office Pro Plus SKU which enterprises buy today through the Volume Licensing option. So all the same benefits consequently apply. In addition to those, you get the flexible pay-as-you-go, per-user licensing of Office Professional Plus.
The process of administration, provisioning, and activation of Office users will be very different than what is today in enterprises.
Purchasing Office Professional Plus
You would use the Microsoft Online Service Portal to buy subscriptions to Microsoft Online services, including Microsoft Office Professional Plus when it becomes available. (As of now, the portal allow you to buy plans under the current BPOS offering, not the Office 365 plans)
When creating the account, the Service Administrator enters the number of Office Professional Plus licenses needed. This information is stored with the account in the Microsoft Online Data Center and can be modified to included new licenses or de-provision purchased licenses. Service administrators can return to this portal to decommission a license and reassign to a new user or to add new licenses.
Each license allows a user to install Office Professional Plus on five different machines. If a user attempts to install Office Professional Plus on a sixth machine, he or she will receive a message showing the machines that are active for the license. The message will instruct the user to disable the subscription on one of the active machines to proceed.
Provisioning Office Professional Plus Users
Microsoft Online service administrators will provision users for Office Professional Plus by providing Microsoft Online credentials for subscribers in Microsoft Online Service Portal. Once provisioned, the user can download Office Professional Plus from the Information Worker Portal.
Alternatively, the Administrators can also download Microsoft Office Professional Plus from the service and place the files on a central share. Users can then run the setup from this location or administrators can automatically deploy the setup using in-house tools.
Running Office Professional Plus for the First Time
As part of the Office 365 software download, administrators will install Office Professional Plus and prepare PCs with appropriate pre-requisites and updates for connecting to the Online Services. When users first run Office Professional Plus downloaded as part of Office 365, they will be prompted to enter the online credentials from their administrators. Once authenticated with these credentials, their subscription will automatically activate the product.
note: The license assigned to Office Professional Plus subscribers is valid for 30 days. The Office Subscription Agent evaluates the subscription once a month. If the subscription is still valid, the product is reactivated for another 30 days.
What Happens if the License Is Not Activated?
If the Office Subscription Agent does not find a valid license within 30 days of the last activation, the license begins a 30-day “grace period” – the product is fully functional though the subscription is not active. After 60 days, the product enters Reduced Functionality Mode (RFM). In RFM the user can view Microsoft Office documents but cannot create, save, or modify them.
note: Users using RFM product can reactive Office Professional Plus by connecting the PC to the Internet once that the licenses are active in Online Services Portal and typing the relevant command.
Microsoft Office Web Apps
Microsoft Office Web Apps are online companions to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote applications that help users access documents from almost anywhere using a Web browser. Office Web Apps is available to users through the Beta version of SharePoint Online, which is part of Office 365. More on this in the next blog post.
For more details, please refer to the homepage of Office Professional Plus and the Microsoft_Office_Professional_Plus_Beta_Service_Description_Final.docx document available at: Office 365 Beta Service Descriptions.