If you’re the type of person who likes to test-drive the latest and greatest software (or you’re the type of person who reads an Office Engineering blog…), then you’re probably familiar with the pain that can be part of trying out new software for the first time. My name is Paul Barr, Lead Program Manager for the Click-to-Run team in Office 2010, and we’ve built Click-to-Run with you in mind. What follows is a more in-depth post on the technology introduced in the New Ways to Try and Buy Microsoft Office 2010 announcement.
Delivering rich programs like Office over the internet hasn’t changed much in the last decade. Sure, we have self-extracting executables, securely signed files, and download managers, but all of these fall short of solving what we think are the biggest problems with downloading and installing large applications:
What is Click-to-Run?
Click-to-Run is a new software delivery mechanism built by the Office product team. It’s based on core virtualization and streaming technologies from the Microsoft App-V team in Cambridge, MA. Click-to-Run is optimized for home users on broadband connections (at least 1Mbps), and there are three key pillars of the investment:
Click-to-Run products also take up about half the disk space of normal products, they repair more completely, and they won’t break other software installed on the PC because they have private copies of all of their files and registration.
Click-to-Run is not a new Office “product”, it’s a new way of delivering and updating the products with which you are already familiar. Click-to-Run delivery is available for both the Office Home and Student 2010, and Office Home and Business 2010 products. It has full language support, and will work on both 32-bit and 64-bit Operating Systems (although only the 32-bit version of Office is actually run on both platforms).
How does Click-to-Run work?
Products delivered via Click-to-Run execute in a virtual application environment on the local Operating System. This means that they have private copies of their files and settings, and that any changes they make are captured in the virtual environment. The effect is they don’t end up modifying any other software installed on the System. With few exceptions, only user data actually passes through the virtual environment to the local System. Click-to-Run users may notice that they have a virtual Q: drive on their PCs, this is the virtual file system used by Office.
Click-to-Run products also support streaming. Think of this in the same way you think about streaming video. You get to watch the first part of the video before the entire file downloads. With Click-to-Run, users can start using their Office programs before the entire suite or product has been downloaded, enabling them to get to work much faster. While the user is running their application, the rest of the products are being downloaded in the background. The initial installation process is very different than what users may be used to. The experience of getting Click-to-Run Office is more like downloading a big web control than doing a traditional Office install:
If a user tries to use a feature or application that is not yet downloaded, Click-to-Run retrieves the required functionality from the internet immediately. In this case, the application may pause briefly, and users might see an experience like the below:
Users can see the current progress of the product download by launching the Click-to-Run Application Manager in Windows Control Panel:
Once fully downloaded, the product is cached locally, and users are free to disconnect from the internet and continue using their Office products:
Click-to-Run in the Office 2010 Beta and beyond…
Users will see that the Office Home and Business 2010 Beta product is available to download using the Click-to-Run technology. This option is optimized for high bandwidth connections (low bandwidth users should download the Office Professional 2010 Beta). When Office 2010 releases, Click-to-Run delivery will be available for a wider range of Office products. Users who download an Office 2010 product using Click-to-Run delivery also have access to the “normal” self-extracting version, as well as the native 64-bit version if those better suit their needs.
Home users may notice that a handful of things behave differently when using a Click-to-Run version of the Office 2010 products. For instance, there is a Click-to-Run specific destination in the Backstage for each application in the product. This section gives details about the status of applied updates, and links to more information about Click-to-Run:
It’s also possible that users will notice that some add-ins, or other integration points with the Office client, behave differently or are broken when using a Click-to-Run product. The vast majority of these will have no issues. All macros, in-document automation, and cross-Office application interoperability work fine. But sometimes the Office product group must make changes that cause some integrated solutions to require updating (building 64-bit versions of the applications is another good example of this). In some cases, add-ins might have trouble locating the Click-to-Run Office products on the machine, or they might have issues communicating with Office products when they are running in the virtual environment.
We expect these issues to be limited in scope. You will see more from us on how to resolve these both for users, and developers that wish to extend Office. In the Beta timeframe, if you are a developer, or are having issues with an add-in that you believe is compatible with Office 2010, you may want to obtain the Professional version of the Office 2010 Beta.
Wrapping it up…
As you’ve seen through the other posts on this blog, the Office 2010 rich clients bring a great new set of features and functionality to users. Click-to-Run is about getting that value into the hands of users easier, faster, and safer than ever. We’re very excited to pioneer the next generation of software delivery over the internet, and we look forward to your feedback.
Im having problems, It stops in the first step.
"There was a problem setting up Microsoft Home and Business 2010 Beta."
"This product must be installed to Q:. ensure that Q: is unused and try again."
I deleted everything i seen on my Q: and still doesn't work...
Jamar, I've stacked with Q: also and installed Office beta from exe file. May be you have to free Q: drive letter before click-to-run installer.
Is any way to change drive letter for click-to-run installer? Unfortunately, my system uses it.
Upgrade to 2010
I like Click-to-Run. I wish Office would install the basics by default then use the Click-to-Run for every addditional feature. I teach Office and most users don't need the additional features and are just confused by them.
If they need them, then enable them.
I think that, this is Application virtualization. It is based on Microsoft Softgrid application virtualization solution. Remmenber that Microsoft purchased a company named Softricity in 2006.
This app virtualization solution, created a hidden virtual HD were it deployed the "sandbox" with the filed and virtual registry for the virtual applications. An also the letter of this HD was... Q:
i need it
How the HELL do you uninstall this complete piece of garbage?
Bagus sekali,tetapi butuh waktu yang lama sekali untuk downloadnya, bagus....!
can't even install this version which is not a good sign. The click to run is something that needs to be removed or a troubleshoot guide is needed.
This experience was Awesome!
I started the install thinking it would be a while - left my workspace to fill a glass of water, came back within a couple minutes, and the whole package was completed and fully functional... outstanding!
I have almost 1TB of hard drive space on two physical drives that are partitioned. All drive letters from C to S are in use. My card reader uses 4 drive letters, based on type of cards being read - L, M, N and R. If I attach my MP3 player or camera to a USB port and access the SD card, it shows up as drive T:
Question: What happens if I don't or can't free up the drive letter Q? Is there a way to select another choice, like Z?
I can't stand it when they install random crap without my direct and explicit permission. Talk about a click-to-run? Then TELL ME it is going to create a virtual Q drive. 2010 is uninstalled, I've returned to Office 2000, much faster, much better.
Do not download this. After about a week of having this you will receive the message ''Click-2-Run configuration failure. There is currently no way anyone knows of to dimiiss this message and it pops up about every 3 minutes. Just a heads up guys.