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Office 2013 Deploy through GPO

Posted on 2013-01-14
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Last Modified: 2013-01-29
Experts,

I'm attempting to deploy office 2013 through GPO to my windows 7 workstations. My PDC is Windows 2008 SBS. I'm at the early stages and just trying to run the setup.exe /admin so that I can configure the silent install options with the OCT. However, when I do so I get and error stating that "The specified program requires a newer version of windows". I know that Office 2013 will not work with XP or Vista, and that my version of SBS is the equivalent to Vista I suppose, but I'm hoping there is a way around this. I'm not trying to install it to the server, just trying to configure the silent install options and deploy it from it.

--Steve
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Question by:smarin820
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Cliff Galiher earned 500 total points
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Office 2013 does not support GPO deployments. Even if you get past this hurdle, you'll beat your head against the next one. And the one after that. And the one after that. I've travelled that road during beta and thought about doing an "unofficial guide" ...but ran into so many problems that by the time I got it working the guide would've been more like a 400-page "Unleashed" book. So *totally* not worth it.

With that said, I'm sure you will try anyways. Map a drive from a supported OS and run the setup on the workstation. And for God's sakes, quit running executables from your server. Even assumed "safe" executables. Even setup programs like to make minor registry changes, sometimes rely on (and crash) .Net, and other annoyances. Run what is absolutely necessary on a server and never anything more.
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by:smarin820
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I will take your advice. So is it safe to say that there is no MS recommend way to deploy out Office 2013 without touching each Workstation?
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by:Cliff Galiher
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First, there is a difference between "recommended" and "supported." There are plenty of 3rd-party automated deployment tools that are supported. GPSI just isn't robust enough to handle large installs, and that includes Office 2013. Something like SpecOpsSoft Deploy, ManageEngine, or Dell Kace. All supported.

But Microsoft doesn't "recommend" 3rd-party software. They never will. Even in segments they don't compete in. They don't control quality assurance so they simply don't get into it. When it comes to MS recommendations, baking 2013 into your images is supported. The latest version of the MDT will let you do that. And if you use a zero-touch image deployment system then you can deploy the image without ever touching each workstation. RemoteApps is another option. Again, no touching individual workstations. And while I'm still in the testing phase, I believe App-V is also fully supported and, so far, seems to work well with Office 2013. None require touching the workstation.

And finally, if you really want to stick to the traditional MSI install on a desktop model of deployment, Microsoft always has their System Center product for software deployment. And Office 2013 is supported AFAIK, although I haven't even put that on my radar for testing yet. SC is a little big for most SMBs which is my focused market segment. But as it is an all MS solution, you could consider it "recommended."

In short, you have plenty of options. You could even go the logon script route. GPSI is the only thing really off the table here...
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by:smarin820
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What do you mean by "login script route"
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by:Cliff Galiher
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Office has always supported a command line install, and office 2013 still does. Throw that into a logon script. It isn't elegant. I never would do it. But it technically works and is supported.
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by:Mike T
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Hi,

I would just run the Office setup on a Windows 7 machine. You really ought not to be doing work on the server, as already mentioned. My guess is Office (OCT) only allows Windows 7 or better to run it and does not include SBS versions.

As for deploying once you have your answer file, I would use MDT I think. If you have SBS then maybe Systems Center Essentials could be an option long term. You need something for the heavy lifting jobs like Office. Otherwise you're stuck with login scripts and compromise.

Mike
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by:smarin820
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I ended up installing by visiting each machine. They all had office 2000 installed and Office 2013 would not uninstall it for me. Thanks anyway.
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