Saturday, October 21, 2017

Deploying Office on the desktop with Microsoft 365

Microsoft 365 has handy functionality to help administrators roll out software to Windows 10 machines that are connected directly to Office 365. One of these tools is the ability to roll out Office desktop software automatically. Here’s how you make it happen.

You’ll firstly need to have licensed Microsoft 365 in your tenant. Next, you’ll need to have user Windows 10 machines directly joined to Office 365.

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You’ll then need to login to the Office 365 portal as an administrator and navigate to the Admin center as shown above.

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In the Admin center you’ll find a Device actions tile as shown above.

In that tile you’ll see an option Manage Office Deployment. Select that.

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If this is the first time you have configured these deployment options you’ll need to select the + Add a group at the top of the page.

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In this case, the All Users group will be selected but you could certainly target the deployment at specific groups of users.

Click the Select button at the bottom of the page to continue.

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Next you want to install or uninstall Office for the selected group of users. Here, we’ll select Install Office as soon as possible.

Click Next to continue.

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Check that the configuration is correct and select the Confirm button at the bottom of the page.

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Select Close on the next dialog to continue.

If you now move to the user’s Windows 10 machines that is connected to Office 365 and launch the Task Manager you’ll be able to see how the process is executed on the desktop.

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After a short time you’ll see an Office Deployment process kick off.

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A short time later you’ll see a Microsoft Office Click-to-Run (SxS) process commence.

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You may see multiple versions of this process running throughout.

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Next, you’ll see the Microsoft Office Click-to-Run Integrator process kick off.

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If you continue to monitor the running processes you’ll see installation processes for Office applications like OneDrive and Skype for Business run.

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When the user runs an Office application for the first time they will prompted to Accept some terms and conditions then continue as shown above.

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When the Office software launches it will automatically be logged in as the user so there is nothing more for the user to do.

The whole deployment process is completely silent and user receives no prompts until they run an Office application for the first time. If you want to see what’s happening you’ll need to look in the Windows Task Manager as shown here.

So, if you use Windows AutoPilot you can also deploy Windows 10 automatically to a desktop. Thus, with Microsoft 365, an administrator can automatically deploy both Windows 10 and Office software to an Office 365 user’s desktop without the need to even see the desktop or the user!

This is just the beginning of what you can do with Microsoft 365 so stay tuned for more articles on how using Microsoft 365 makes it easier for IT Administrators.