The new Office Garage Series: Click-to-Run Customization and Deployment Deep Dive Part 2 – Workarounds

This week marks the second in a three part series, as hosts Jeremy Chapman and Yoni Kirsh, explore specific differences between the Office Professional Plus 2013 MSI and Office 365 ProPlus Click-to-Run install and potential workarounds for your Office configuration. They cover topics from removing and blocking applications from the Office suite, using multiple languages and disabling first run to changing update properties. And hear from lead Office set-up engineer, Paul Barr.

Add an ICS reminder to your calendar to tune in each Wednesday 9am PST. We redirect the link each week to go to the latest episode.

Jeremy: Last week in part one out of three of our focus on managing and configuring the new Office, e we featured an epic XStream install where we challenged Yoni to install Office without an Internet connection doing High-G aerobatics. We also went deep on the Office Deployment Tool for Click-to-Run and how it is used to download Office installation files, install Office with custom configurations or remove Click-to-Run installations with scripted or automated solutions. In this episode we'll talk about frequent and little known workarounds, language customization and removing all user prompts from an Office 365 ProPlus Click-to-Run installation.

Yoni: So a question I often get is how do I disable certain Office applications from installing. With the MSI you could use the Office Customization Tool to disable components from installing. In Click-to-Run you are installing at a suite or SKU level and to stop people from using them, you would need to first remove shortcuts to the unwanted apps. Then you can use things like AppLocker or similar tools to block executable files from running. If you deploy Office 365 ProPlus with App-V 5 you can prevent applications from installing as part of the Office suite.

Jeremy: We also talked about language management and how you would use language properties in the Office Deployment Tool's configuration XML to download and install Office in different languages. I spoke Mandarin this week and showed how woefully out of practice I am. Then we took a tour of some of the new Group Policy settings to disable user prompts at installation and first run.

Yoni: Right, and in those cases we usually want to remove the sign in if possible and just about all the user prompts and the awesome video we get on first run. And to do that, we need to specify a few settings in the configuration XML and in Group Policy.

Configuration XML - you just need to activate the commented out line in the sample file like this and that will turn off the installation displays and firstrun.exe:
<Display Level="None" AcceptEULA="TRUE" />

Group Policy - there are three main areas to look at - Disable First Run (this is %userprofile% based for each person logging in the first time), Disable "First things first" and Disable Sign-In. The Group Policy settings are as follows:

Disable First Run experience
User Configuration\
 Microsoft Office 2013\
  First Run    Disable First Run Movie - Enabled
   Disable Office First Run on application boot – Enable

Disable “First things First”
User Configuration\
 Microsoft Office 2013\
   Trust Center
    Disable Opt-in Wizard on first run – Enabled
    Enable Customer Experience Improvement Program – Disabled
    Allow including screenshot with Office Feedback - Disabled
    Send Office Feedback – Disabled
    Automatically receive small updates… - Disabled

Disable Sign-In (for cases where Single Sign-on ADFS is used)
User Configuration\
 Microsoft Office 2013\
    Block signing into Office – Enabled: Org ID Only

These settings will eliminate all user prompts and first run experiences, assuming you are training your users in advance of an Office deployment and you don't want them signing up for things like Customer Experience Improvement Program or sending Watson reports back to Microsoft.

Jeremy: Many of these settings are similar to the ones we would use in Office 2007 and Office 2010 to eliminate user prompts, first run experiences and feedback reporting, but there are a few more in the case of Office 365 ProPlus, because things like telling users about signing into Office are new and important in this release.

Next week we'll put the pieces together in the deep dive and show all of this working using System Center Configuration Manager for software distribution, Microsoft Deployment Toolkit with Windows imaging and Windows Intune.

In fact, tune in to see if I can out do Yoni as I take to the driver’s seat for our next XStream install stunt. I take on the challenge of installing Office 365 ProPlus via Windows Intune on my in-car PC tethered to my 4G Windows phone - all by the time it takes me to cross Seattle’s famous 520 floating bridge , so mark your calendars and tune in to see if I actually succeed.

See you next week.

Jeremy and Yoni


More Resources:

Reference for Click-to-Run configuration.xml file

Download Click-to-Run for Office 365 products by using the Office Deployment Tool

Deploy Click-to-Run for Office 365 products by using the Office Deployment Tool

Garage Series for IT Pros Archive of previous episodes

Office 365 ProPlus Trial

Office TechCenter on TechNet

Office 365 TechCenter on TechNet

Follow @OfficeGarage on Twitter


 About the Garage Series hosts:

By day, Jeremy Chapman works at Microsoft, responsible for optimizing the future of Office client and service delivery as the senior deployment lead. Jeremy’s background in application compatibility, building deployment automation tools and infrastructure reference architectures has been fundamental to the prioritization of new Office enterprise features such as the latest Click-to-Run install. By night, he is a car modding fanatic and serial linguist. He first met Yoni Kirsh, founder of the Australian-based deployment services company Fastrack Technology, back in 2007 at a Microsoft customer desktop advisory council. Yoni's real-world experience managing some of the largest Client deployments for the Asia Pacific region has helped steer the direction of the new Office. Additionally, Yoni is an aviation enthusiast and pilot. Both Jeremy and Yoni are respected technical speakers and between them have over 20 years of experience in the deployment and management of Microsoft Office and Windows clients. They are also leading experts in the transition to Office as a service.

Comments (1)
  1. Paul Barr and Yoni talked briefly about setting up your own http deployment point. Do you have any links to how-to's and resources for the http deployment point scenario?

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