This week on the Office Garage, Jeremy Chapman and Yoni Kirsh discuss managing Office 2013 client configuration and whether the new Click-to-Run installs offer as much control as the traditional MSI-based installer. If you’ve been following along with this series of videos, you might recognize a theme developing here: Despite qualms about Click-to-Run, it’s a net win for users and administrators alike.
I discussed the differences between the two packaging types last week in Office Garage: A Tale of Two Package Types (and then described one temporary downside of Click-to-Run in Of Click-to-Run and Custom Installs of Office 2013.) This week’s video focuses on configuration management: pre-installation preparation, install time settings, Group Policy and post-installation monitoring.
According to Kirsh, the Group Policy controls used to manage Click-to-Run and MSI-based installs of Office are the same, just as the feature-sets of the resulting Office installs are the same. The only big differences between the two are the methods used to get the product installed and how they’re managed.
"The mechanism we use to control your Office install is Group Policy,” Microsoft program manager Skji Conklin notes. “And we have over 2000 Group Policy settings. And it’s deployed the same way to your domain-joined machines regardless of whether you’re using MSI or Click-to-Run.” (There are 2163 configurable Group Policy settings for the New Office.)
“A couple of the new settings we added in this cycle are the ability to control your sign-in, your access to cloud services, and customizing your first-run experience,” she adds. But these are available identically to both MSI- and Click-to-Run-based installs of Office.
Regarding management of the installs, there are some differences.
One is updating. MSI-based Office installs use Windows Installer Patch (MSP) files that are delivered over time via WSUS/Microsoft Update. But with Click-to-Run, with its unique new deployment method, has a different approach. Updates are enabled (or disabled) at install time, so administrators can manage this behavior, as well as installations sources, installed product and languages, display and logging options, and more for Office Click-to-Run using the new Office Deployment Tool, rather than the Office Customization Tool used by MSI-based installers. TechNet’s Office Deployment Tool for Click-to-Run can get you started with it.
Check outthe Office IT Pro Blog and the actual video or more information. Both touch on some other interesting topics too, including Office telemetry.