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Microsoft has moved in a different direction for its upcoming Office 2010 program changing its installation procedures to be entirely Internet based, presumably to throw a spanner in the works for the pirated software market.

A post in the Windows 7 forums details the new Click-to-Run system. The majority of the program is downloaded from Microsoft servers upon installation making the programs only available to use, in a limited capacity, until installation is complete.  Once the programs are finished streaming, the user is informed with a notification that reads “Office can now be used offline.”

The post reads “The program provides a first look at the future of Internet application deployment. It delivers the products rapidly to the computer via streaming over the Internet. The following Office 2010 desktop applications are included: Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and OneNote.”

The Click-To-Run system works with Windows XP SP3, Windows Vista SP1 and Windows 7 (Beta version) but Windows Server Operating Systems are not supported for client installation.  According to Microsoft, the server operating systems are not supported as Office 2010 is intended for Home, Student and Small Business users. “It is rare that this target audience uses a Server operating system for daily personal use.”

Office 2010 only needs an Internet connection on initial install but once the complete package has been downloaded you no longer need to be connected to use it.  Even if your download it interrupted, you can still use the programs but will be limited to what features have downloaded thusfar.  Once you reconnect the Internet, the rest of the streaming will occur until complete.

This new way of content rollout will surely give the illegal software market a pause but for how long is unknown.  Also, how well it works and how users that don’t have an Internet connection will be catered for (although really how many people don’t have web access these days?) is unknown.  It is, however, a good example of how more and more companies are looking to the Internet as a source of distribution.

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