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Office Deployments

At first, I thought deploying Office 2019 the “new way” was daunting and it seemed like it was going to be a pain to deploy. It really isn’t. Even if you haven’t done it before. Here’s the basic process of it. There are tons of things you can do with it but this grazes the top to get you moving along with a quick deployment.

So the following will guide you through installing Office 365 for use on machines with Terminal Services deployed. You can of course remove the property to enable this if you wish.

Step 1 – Download the tool

Obtain the office deployment tool:

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=36778

Of course you can Google Office Deployment Tool as well. Microsoft has a thing for moving stuff around more than I’d like them to.

Step 2 – Run and extract the goodies (for the lesser experienced, don’t stop now, the rest is easy!)

Run the tool, extract to a location of your choosing. Once complete, open Powershell and navigate to the folder. IE:

cd C:\Office2019

Step 3 – Configure the config XML file

You’ll notice they’ve included some pre-configured answer/ config files for us to use. Let’s open either the 64 or 32 bit version in a text editor like Notepad. Make sure to add the following “SharedComputerLicensing” property if you are using terminal services (Remote Desktop Deployments).

Be sure to modify things like the product id as needed. Here is a link with a list of IDs:

https://support.office.com/en-us/article/product-ids-that-are-supported-by-the-office-deployment-tool-for-click-to-run-77654e77-aaeb-4ed6-84eb-1d8b0e086590

Here’s a list of IDs that could be used in case Microsoft moves their page….. (the first 3 are the Office 365 Editions):

  • O365ProPlusRetail
  • O365BusinessRetail
  • O365SmallBusPremRetail
  • Excel2019Volume
  • HomeBusinessRetail
  • HomeBusiness2019Retail
  • HomeStudentRetail
  • HomeStudent2019Retail
  • O365HomePremRetail
  • ProfessionalRetail
  • Professional2019Retail
  • ProjectPro2019Retail
  • ProjectPro2019Volume
  • ProjectStdXVolume
  • ProjectStd2019Retail
  • ProjectStd2019Volume
  • ProPlus2019Volume
  • Standard2019Volume
  • VisioPro2019Retail
  • VisioPro2019Volume
<Configuration>
<Product ID="O365ProPlusRetail">
<Language ID="en-us" />
</Product>
</Add>
<Display Level="None" AcceptEULA="TRUE" />
<Property Name="SharedComputerLicensing" Value="1" />
 <Updates Enabled="TRUE" Channel="Monthly" />
</Configuration>

Google is your friend when you don’t know one of these properties. 🙂

Step 4 – Run it!!

Run it, deploy it, download it, whatever you want! Both commands are shown below. Download is good for network deployment. Run is great for a local install.

.\setup.exe /configure configFileName.xml OR .\setup.exe /download configFileName.xml

Why Google’s GSuite?

Google has a ginormous pair of pants. No matter how much you tell it to stop eating, it just keeps getting bigger and bigger. When I was maybe 8 years old, I recall signing up for a Gmail account. This was just after you could sign up without having to have an invitation to do so (yeah, it wasn’t public before, it was invitation only). After signing up, I thought it was plain compared to Yahoo! and I didn’t like the interface. It was the most basic HTML you’ve ever seen (and can still see if you click the link in your Gmail while it’s loading). Over time, I saw chat get added, new tools become available. The interface got a serious face-lift (and has since seen yet another face-lift with even more simplicity). It’s an ever evolving product of products.

The most amazing additions in my opinion were some things by the names of Google Docs and Google Sheets. What’s not to love? As an IT guy, I’m absolutely in love with the fact that it’s browser based (less worry of installing apps), it’s feature rich and getting better all the time. It’s affordable with a Gmail address – FREE and even cheaper than Office365 at just $5 for a basic user. Hosted email, free Office Suite, Drive online storage? How can you really go wrong?

Now admittedly for the power Excel users, you may find some limitations. Even some Word features are lacking a bit. Even still, I don’t take back my comments above about the benefits. I’ve seen bugs in Microsoft Office products that I never see in Google’s suite of products. The products continue to grow. For the fact that it’s purely browser based as well blows me away. So I’ll walk away to buy Google another box of Twinkies to help maintain that large pant size because the days of installing Microsoft Office on hundreds of PCs is dwindling away into a browser based world. And for those true Microsoft Die Hards, the free Office online still does a great job and stacks up nicely against the Google “Office Suite”. They’ve done a great job at carrying that same look and feel of their offline product into the web browser.

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