Because of some comments I've received, I just wanted to clarify that the Group Policy downloads I’ve mentioned before are for setting policies to enforce users' Office configurations, not for actually deploying Office 2007. Deploying Office 2007 with Group Policy Software Installation (GPSI) is not recommended for the majority of installations. A good alternative that allows you to deploy with Group Policy is using Group Policy to assign computer startup scripts. With this method, you use the Office Customization Tool (OCT) to customize the installation, modify the Config.xml file to add languages or other customizations, create simple scripts or batch files for Office 2007 deployment, and use Group Policy to assign the startup scripts. For more information about using this method to deploy with Group Policy, see this article in the Office Resource Kit.

While previous versions of Office could deploy well with GPSI, Office 2007 deployment has limitations related to the following:

  • Ability to apply customization via MSP files (OCT)
  • Customizations have to made via Config.xml, which only provides limited functionality for this
  • GPSI uses MSI packages, and Office 2007 uses Setup.exe
  • Ability to schedule installations

For more information, see our ORK articles, Use Group Policy Software Installation to deploy the 2007 Office system and Use Group Policy to assign computer startup scripts for 2007 Office deployment.

Deploying with GPSI works better in a smaller environment. For better results in mid- to large-sized environments, consider using another enterprise deployment tool, if you have one already deployed in your organization, such as:

·         Systems Management Server (SMS)

 

·         System Center Essentials 2007

 

·         System Center Configuration Manager 2007

 

·         Non-Microsoft software deployment and system management software

·         Using Group Policy to assign startup scripts

GPSI deployment is still possible, however, but will require changes and testing, as described in the above articles. For organizations that don't have GP or other deployment software and who are interested in automating their deployments, see my Office 2007 deployment scripts post.

- Andrea Weiss