As of 11-24-2014 Office Web Apps Server will be removed from the Microsoft Download Center. At that time it will only be available for download under Volume Licensing agreements. For more information please visit the site Volume Licensing Service Center.
Office Web Apps Server, used by SharePoint, Exchange and Lync to view, preview and edit Office documents is and has been one of the key features/add-ons of these products and allows for browser based editing and collaboration. It has up until now been available as a free download, free from licensing for reading but requiring Office client licensing for editing.
So from the 24th of November you will not be able to download Office Web Apps Server (WAC) from the Microsoft Download center. To download it you will be required to have a Volume License agreement with Microsoft and you will only be able to download it from the Volume Licensing Service Center.
Why this move? I don’t know. I will try to find out though… This will most likely cause a annoyances for developers and when testing, but I assume that most organizations using WAC likely have a Volume License agreement anyways. What do you think?
[Update 2014-10-29]: The original blog post has been updated with a small FAQ. The interesting things to note there is that for evaluation there will still be a downloadable copy for MSDN subscribers, and “EXISTING [my emphasis] Web Apps Server installations will continue to be licensed for viewing”. That leaves us with the question – will Office Web Apps Server NOT be free for viewing from now on?