Using Group Policy to deploy Office 2007

Last week I tested how Office 2007 installs via Group Policy.

I created a software installation package and it worked successful; except the fact that it is not fully installed when a user logs on and that it will not upgrade (or remove) the existing version of Office even if I added the Office 2003 package that should be upgraded. After the Office 2007 installs, the users will have both version of Office – 2007 and 2003.

This is because Microsoft changed a little the way Office 2007 installs; and here they explain why they did this. Bellow are some considerations from that article:

  • Difficulties with scheduling installation, consistently managing network bandwidth, and providing feedback on the status of the installation.
  • Limited ability to customize features or user settings before installation of the 2007 Office system. You cannot use Office Customization Tool to create an .msp file. All customizations have to be made in the Config.xml file.

So, the best way to install Office 2007 in a medium organization is to use System Center Essentials or Configuration Manager in a large organization. Using these tools you can know exactly what features to install, when to install and how to install or upgrade Office 2007 suite.