Office on Demand is a feature that provides online access to full rich Office desktop applications, including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, when you’re using a PC that doesn’t have the latest version of Office installed locally. Office on Demand is available to anyone who has an Office 365 subscription that includes the Office application suite. Office 365 subscriptions that include the Office applications let you install on up to five devices for use both online and offline. Office on Demand is a helpful option if you want to use your Office applications on an additional device or on a device that you don’t own, such as when you’re logged in as a guest using someone else’s computer.
As an example, imagine that Sean Chai oversees guest services for a regional hotel chain and travels regularly to different premises where he borrows other people’s laptops and logs on as a guest. With Office on Demand, he can use Word and PowerPoint, his most frequently-used applications, on demand, without needing to install anything or use one of his five subscription licenses.
When you use Office on Demand, the applications are streamed to the PC you’re using as you need them. Office on Demand doesn’t get installed. There’s no offline access to Office on Demand and there won’t be any shortcuts or typical signs of installation left on the computer. If you use Office on Demand repeatedly on the same device, you’ll notice that performance improves over time. That’s because your computer caches applications that you’ve previously used. If at some point you want to remove all of the Office on Demand performance cache, simply uninstall the Office on Demand add-in using your Programs and Features option from the Control Panel. Office on Demand is available from the Quick Launch panel within your SkyDrive library.
Note Office on Demand is available for SharePoint Online users (not for SharePoint Server 2013 users).
Launch Office on Demand
Office on Demand is available on Windows 7, Windows 8, and equivalent server PCs, just like the Office applications that you’re already familiar with.
To use Office on Demand applications:
- Click SkyDrive at the top of the Office 365 page.
- Click Office on Demand in the Quick Launch on the left.
- Click the icon of the Office on Demand application you’d like to use.
- Proceed to install the browser add-in when prompted.
Note You’ll only be prompted to install the browser add-on during your first-use of Office on Demand on a specific PC. You can remove this add-on, and the cache associated with it, as mentioned earlier in the article.
When to use Office on Demand
Using Office on Demand from your SkyDrive Quick Launch is a great choice when you’re:
- On a PC that you don’t use regularly (you don’t want to use up one of your 5 permissible subscription licenses, for example).
- On a PC where you don’t have admin rights to perform an installation (you’re using a borrowed computer, for example).
- On a PC at home if your IT administrator has disabled your ability to manage your installations (you’d like to install Office, but this option is not available).
Supported client applications in Office on Demand
Office on Demand is available for the following Office desktop applications:
- Project (if you have a Project Pro for Office 365 subscription license)
- Visio (if you have a Visio Pro for Office 365 subscription license)