After much debate, we've decided to move from Open Office to M$ through the EES scheme. Currently teachers have Office 2007 and pupils have OOo 3.3. I've taken a deep breath and am moving on too (emotionally, not walking out!). We'll review in a year.............like anyone will consider moving back.
Anyway, this leaves me needing to deploy MS Office to all clients, which I've never done before, as I've always just included it in the image. I was originally looking at creating an MST to deploy by GPO. Apart from the many opportunities for me to mess it up, I was always concerned about controlling network utilisation and long boot times during install. However, while reading about the wonders of Office 2013, I discovered that the Click to Run option is now available for the Pro edition (with 2010 it was Home Premium only). Has anyone tried this?
It sounds almost too good to be true - which always makes me suspicious:
You can start using the applications within seconds as it streams until installation is complete - in our environment, few people will be using it at any particular time, so I don't think I'd need to worry about LAN or WAN bandwidth.
I don't need to worry about uninstalling old versions, as they'll run side by side until I get around to it, so no worries about teachers coming to me unable to finish urgent reports.
It also will come with all updates (although I really hope there aren't too many yet). That is the only area I am slightly concerned about - it will always take whatever updates MS push out, so I can't control with WSUS.
With Office 2010, you can create an admin installation point on one of your file servers. You can then create an MST as required, including the serial number and copy any updates in the 'Updates' folder, rather than slipstreaming.
Office 2007 should automatically become uninstalled when installing Office 2010 or Office 2013. You may have to create a script to uninstall Open Office (if found), then install Office 2013.
The quickest way in this scenario is to create an admin account with a login script. The uninstall and install should then take place automatically and reboot once complete!
Please excuse the ignorance, but I've not had to deploy anything as big as Office before. Usually when I deploy packages by GPO, they install at boot up before log in. Would it work the same way for Office? If so, I'm concerned about boot times and network congestion. All of the pupil clients are always connected over wireless, so it could take a long time. We're only a small school, but equally only have a small network. Even if only 20 clients booted up at a time, I would expect gridlock on the network.
I've read about GPO options to download in the background and then silent install from the client machine, which sounds quite elegant but more difficult to achieve.
Click to run sounds easy and elegant - but I'd like to know that someone had successfully used it before I try
I suspect I could probably get all of the client machines in to me and manually install as quickly as I could work out how to deploy over the network - but hopefully it will be knowledge I use again.