With the expected release of Office 2013 or as some refer to it – Wave 15 – we’ve gotten quite a few questions from our customers on the impact it may have on their current service.  We are hosting a Webinar on  March 13th at 2:00 PM EDT  Getting Ready for the Next “Wave” of Microsoft 2013 Products for Office 365 which will go into more depth about how to get prepared.  In the meantime, we’ve tried to answer some of the most common questions below.

When will Office 365 with Office 2013 pro plus be released? 

Here are the latest updates on launch dates:  (per Redmond Channel Partner as of 2/21/13)

Office 2013 – March 2013  Read more

Office 365 – Anticipated release: March 1 for Open Volume Licensing  Read more

If someone was already on Office 365 with 2010 Pro, do they automatically get updated? 

The existing customer upgrade path will be easy.  They will receive a notification that they are being upgraded and have the option to opt-out for 30 days.  Their existing environment will be compatible with the new version so there isn’t anything that they will need to do (unless they are running IE 7, which is not likely).  Once upgraded, they will see a new Office 365 portal, which is much more robust and laid out a bit differently, so it’s a good idea to prepare your customer for the new portal.

We currently have the E1 plan, would we just be able to upgrade to the E3 plan when 2013 comes out or would we need to add just the office pro plan to it?

It would be more cost effective to simply upgrade to E3, as adding office to E1 would bring you to the same cost. You would be able to change your E1 to E3 users via the admin panel.

Would 2010 Pro still be offered alongside 2013 if for some reason a company didn’t want to move yet to 2013? 

It looks like Microsoft will let you opt out for 30 days.

I assume SkyDrive Pro only works with 2013 and not 2010? 

SkyDrive Pro should work with Office 2010, and is designed to operate as a networked cloud drive for traditional systems. There will be increased functionality for O365 users. SkyDrive Pro for O365 users is based on SharePoint technology and will operate similarly to a team site. Both the current version of SkyDrive as well as the new Pro version will be able to be used simultaneously.

In order for SkyDrive Pro to work with Office 365 and Office 2013, does SharePoint 2013 need to be configured specifically by us, or is that something ready to go when you get the service? 

SkyDrive will operate independently of SharePoint, and should require minimal deployment on your part. It operates similar to SharePoint MySites.

Do you know how much storage space is available, per user, per organization? 

Right now it is 20GB

I assume from what I read, there can be both personal and shared space? 

That is correct and you can use both versions of SkyDrive simultaneously.

Does the storage count differently/separately from the standard SharePoint storage you get? 

We believe so, but there is not much info on the SkyDrive products yet.

Will Office 365 with Office 2013 pro plus be available to be installed on a Mac?

That is coming, but Microsoft has not committed to that being available with the first release.

If we had local retail copy of Office 2013 installed, would we be able to take advantage of Skydrive Pro to Office 365 when the SharePoint gets updated to 2013? 

Yes but we are not sure if there will be an add-on cost for the SkyDrive Pro yet, or if it will come with all O365 suites.

Let us know what other questions you have and we’ll get them answered.