Super easy Office 365 ProPlus deployment via Windows 10 MDM

This week a blog post about a very nice new app type in Microsoft Intune standalone. The Office 365 Pro Plus Suite (Windows 10) app type. This app type makes it very easy to assign Office 365 ProPlus apps to managed Windows 10 by utilizing the Office CSP. Additionally, it also allows the installation of the Microsoft Project Online desktop client, and Microsoft Visio Pro for Office 365. I know, I’m not the first to write about this app type, nor will I be the last, but this app type needs all the attention it can get. It’s that nice. I’ll start this post with some prerequisites and important information, followed by the configuration. I’ll end this post with the administrator experience.

Good to know

Before starting with the configuration of the new app type, it’s good to know the following current limitations and requirements.

  • Devices must be running Windows 10, version 1703 or later. That version introduced the Office CSP;
  • Microsoft Intune only supports adding Office apps from the Office 365 ProPlus 2016 suite;
  • If any Office apps are open when Microsoft Intune installs the app suite, end-users might lose data from unsaved files. At this moment the end-user experience is not that pretty;
  • When the Office apps are installed on a device that already has Office installed, make sure to be aware of the following:
    • It’s not possible to install the 32-bit and the 64-bit Office apps on the same device;
    • It’s not possible to install the same version of the Click-to-run, and MSI versions of Office on the same device;
    • When an earlier version of Office is installed, using Click-to-Run, remove any apps that must be replaced with the newer version;
    • When a device already has Office 365 installed, assigning the Office 365 ProPlus 2016 suite to the device might mean that the Office subscription level must be changed.

Configuration

After being familiar with the current limitations and requirements, let’s continue with the configuration. The 10 steps below walk through the configuration of the Office 365 Pro Plus Suite (Windows 10) app type. After creating the app type, assign the app like any other app. Keep in mind that at this moment the app can only be assigned as Required, Not applicable or Uninstall. Available is currently not an option.

1 Open the Azure portal and navigate to Intune > Mobile apps > Apps;
2 Select Add to open the Add app blade;
3 AA_AppTypeOn the Add app blade, select Office 365 Pro Plus Suite (Windows 10) as App type to add the Configure App Suite, the App Suite Information and the App Suite Settings sections;
4 On the Add app blade, select Configure App Suite to open the Configure App Suite blade;
5 AA_ConfigureAppSuiteOn the Configure App Suite blade, select the Office 365 apps that must be installed and click OK to return to the Add app blade;
6 Back on the Add app blade, select App Suite Information to open the App Suite Information blade;
7

AA_AppSuiteInformationOn the App Suite Information blade, provide the following information and click OK to return to the Add app blade;

  • Suite Name: Provide a unique name for the app suite;
  • Suite Description: Provide a description for the app suite;
  • Publisher: Provide the publisher of the app;
  • Category: (Optional) Select a category for the app suite;
  • Display this as a featured app in the Company Portal: Select Yes or No. At this moment the app suite can only be deployed as  required, which means that there are not many reasons to select yes;
  • Information URL: (Optional) Provide the URL that contains more information about the app;
  • Privacy URL: (Optional) Provide the URL that contains privacy information about the app;
  • Developer: (Optional) Provide the developer of the app;
  • Owner: (Optional) Provide the owner of the app;
  • Notes: (Optional) Provide additional notes about this app;
  • Logo: (Optional) Select an image.
8 Back on the Add app blade, select App Suite Settings to open the App Suite Settings blade;
9

AA_AppSuiteSettingsOn the Add Suite Settings blade, provide the following information and click OK to return to the Add app blade;

  • Office version: Select the version of Office that should be installed, 32-bit or 64-bit;
  • Update channel: Select how Office is updated on the devices, current, deferred, first release current or first release deferred;
  • Automatically accept the app end user license agreement: Select Yes or No;
  • Use shared computer activation: Select Yes or No;
  • Languages: Select additional languages that should be install with the app suite. By default Office automatically installs any supported languages that are installed with Windows on the end-user device.
10 Back on the Add app blade, click Add;

Note: After adding the app suite it cannot be edited anymore. To make adjustments, delete the app suite and create a new. That makes it important to think about the configuration before creating one.

Administrator experience

Usually I’ll end this type of posts with the end-user experience, but in this scenario there is not much to see. I can show something like the running installation process or the installed products, but that’s not that exciting as it’s simply there. Having said that, from an administrator perspective there are some interesting things to look at. Let’s start with the most interesting one, which is actually available on the end-user device, the Office CSP key in the registry. This key can be found at HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\OfficeCSP and is shown below.

Reg_OfficeCSP

Within this registry entry, it actually shows the content of the configuration XML in the default of the key. This enables me to have a look at the default values used during the installation of the Office apps. Besides the values configured in the app type. Below is the configuration XML that belongs to my installation. It basically shows 3 options that are not configurable, ForceUpgrade, Product ID and Display Level. Knowing these values should help with explaining the installation behavior.

<Configuration>
     <Add Channel=”FirstReleaseCurrent” ForceUpgrade=”TRUE” OfficeClientEdition=”32″>
         <Product ID=”O365ProPlusRetail”>
             <ExcludeApp ID=”Access” />
             <ExcludeApp ID=”Groove” />
             <ExcludeApp ID=”InfoPath” />
             <ExcludeApp ID=”Publisher” />
             <ExcludeApp ID=”SharePointDesigner” />
             <Language ID=”nl-nl” />
             <Language ID=”en-us” />
         </Product>
     </Add>
     <Display Level=”None” AcceptEULA=”TRUE” />
     <Property Name=”SharedComputerLicensing” Value=”0″ />
</Configuration>

Also interesting to look at, from an administrator perspective, is the installation status in the Azure portal. Simply navigating to Intune > Mobile apps > Apps install status and selecting the assigned app, will provide an overview as shown below.

InstallStatus

More information

For more information about the Office CSP and using Microsoft Intune to deploy Office 365 ProPlus, please refer to the following articles:

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