Musings of an Internet Marketing Consultant
Musings of an Internet Marketing Consultant

Monday, November 14, 2005

Take Office 2003 -- the full suite -- for a Test Drive

During 2004 I did some assignments with Runaware, Inc., a Swedish-based company that provides a platform for evaluating live software from a remote server. Because the Runaware engine bypasses all the hassles of doing evaluations on your local PC, such as installation process, registry alteration, conflicts with installed software and memory limitations, you can go to a Runaware supported website, try the software for ten minutes or ten hours and make a more definitive decision on whether you want to further pursue a purchase.

The Runaware platform operates on a Citrix Metaframe Access platform thereby allowing up to 100 evaluations to occur simultaneously over the Internet. On starting a session, it addresses Windows and software login issues, launches a real session of the fully operational software and then cleans up all the "residual litter" such as trial documents prior to closing down the particular session. So you get to try a fully operational version without all the local PC clutter issues. The only limitation is on printing and saving files (usually you can't). (Document) files created during a session are deleted as the session is terminated.

A list of software publishers using the Runaware platform can be found on the Runaware website, along with links to the various publishers marketing webpages.

Last week Microsoft launched use of the Runaware platform to allow Test Drives of the complete Office 2003 Desktop, including Front Page 2003, OneNote and InfoPath. One additional feature is a Windows Mobile 5 emulator that I will use to make a decision on whether to upgrade my Dell Axim X50v. Finally I have a way to evaluate for myself all the OneNote benefits that Scoble raves about.

Disclosure: while I had a couple of consulting assignments in 2004 for Runaware, I am currently under no contractual arrangement with them at this time.

One item to note: to run the Runaware platform for Microsoft Office 2003 Desktop, you need to use MS Internet Explorer as an ActiveX is downloaded the first time you use it. With other publishers' setups, Runaware will first check to see if you have a Java runtime loaded; if not then it downloads the ActiveX.

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