During the preview of Project Online we had a “Try” button to get a trial version of Project Online, but shortly after the general availability of Project Online we removed this, so we have had the question since then – just how do I get a trial of Project Online?  Jan Kalis covered this in his blog post at http://blogs.msdn.com/b/jkalis/archive/2013/02/26/project-online-for-partners-and-demos.aspx

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Jan’s post is specifically targeting partners, and the good news is that there is more to come in the near future to streamline this process – keep your eyes on Jan’s blog.  There is a reason we have been highlighting the great Project and Portfolio Management  (PPM) partners as part of this process.  We found that many people who signed up for the trial during the preview never used it!  It could be that it just wasn’t intuitive enough – or wasn’t what the person requesting the trial thought they were getting – and we are taking, and have taken steps to address both of those scenarios (better sign-up process and some more getting started content and even some in product changes to smooth process of getting up and running).  But with Project Online, or even Project Server on-premises, we have found that customers are more successful in getting up and running if they have a qualified partner to help understand their requirements and work with them to get a Project Online site that will deliver!  To quote Jan:

“we have seen an incredible interest in Project Online through an unbelievable uptake in trial offers after our general availability announcement. As we all know - success with high-end Project and Portfolio Management tools requires right processes and discipline. Now when the “entry” to the high-end PPM toolset is very low, we want to make sure our customers choose the right tools, are successful and are happy with our solutions.  Rather than a “self-service” experience - we want to focus on scenarios driving the best experience and adoption success and we want to rely on our dedicated field sellers, our PPM Partners and Project MVPs to help our customers succeed in their journey to high-end PPM.”

So the best next steps would be to talk with a Project and Portfolio Management Partner, if you are already familiar with one – or find one using Microsoft Pinpoint - http://pinpoint.microsoft.com/en-US/companies/search?fcrc=USA&fs=100112&q= – change the location if you are outside the US. 

Of course, those customers already familiar with earlier versions may have no issues getting up and running with Project Online – and the best approach for now would be to work with your Microsoft Account team and SSP to take advantage of the current process in Jan’s blog linked above – and keep your eyes open for the new options!