How can Microsoft make Office for Mac ‘administrator friendly’?

Software developers need to make their software “administrator friendly” because we are their first line of defense when supporting their products. If we can resolve a user’s problem then that’s one less problem the developer needs to resolve. Following is an open letter to Microsoft on behalf of administrators like myself requesting what we need in the next version of Microsoft Office for Mac.

Whom and what do I support?

I manage around 200 Macs . . .

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MCX

Administrators can use Managed Preferences (MCX) to better control behavior of Office 2011 for Mac. Prior to this version, most preferences were not stored in .plist file format, which is necessary for MCX. The following .plist files and keys can be used with Open Directory, Active Directory with an extended schema, Defaults, third party products that support MCX and local computer MCX policies.

By disabling Office FirstRun items, hiding welcome windows and hiding the document . . .

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Deployment

Office for Mac 2008 and 2011 both come as Apple Installer packages, which makes deployment to multiple computers easier. Depending on their environments, administrators may choose to repackage Office for Mac along with all updates included or push the installer and updates separately.

These are a few methods for deployment.

Apple Remote Desktop autoConfigDB.xml Casper Command line distribution.dist

Microsoft acknowledges security exploit in Office 2008 installer

MacBU today updated its IT Pros website to include information about a security exploit in its Office 2008 installer. The exploit can only be triggered when the following criteria are met:

The Mac is running Mac OS X 10.4.9 or a later version of Tiger (Leopard does not have this vulnerability) An administrator remotely installs the Office Installer package using an application like Apple Remote Desktop The computer must sitting at the login window . . .

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Entourage 2008 introduces new enhancements for administrators

Effective today with the launch of the new Mactopia website, Microsoft is supporting administrators from Day 1 of Office 2008’s release with the IT Pros area…

Microsoft has changed its installation method for Office 2008 and added security enhancements specifically to Entourage. Macintosh administrators in corporate and educational environments need to be aware of these changes prior to deployment. These changes include a new installer, elevated installation privileges, improved and elevated security and a . . .

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