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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Macworld 2011 session slides available for download

This year I had the privilege of presenting two sessions along with Richard Kmieciak from Microsoft as part of the MacIT conference at Macworld Expo in San Francisco. Our second session was over about an hour ago and the Expo has concluded for the year.

Some folks have asked for the slides from the presentations, so below are the PowerPoint decks. While they are free for anyone to view, they are geared toward IT professionals . . .

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distribution.dist

Sometimes an administrator needs to delegate deployment of software to members of his staff or he may have one custom installation that he uses for most of his users. By modifying the distribution.dist file within the Office Installer.mpkg package, he can pre-select, deselect, disable or enforce default options for installation.

For example, both Communicator and Messenger are included in the volume license edition of Office for Mac 2011. However, each application can communicate with only . . .

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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

Apple Remote Desktop

Apple Remote Desktop (ARD) is the most commonly used tool for deploying software and managing Macs. It can be used to install Microsoft Office for Mac directly to a computer or it can copy multiple files to a computer and execute UNIX commands to install the software.

Default deployment

To deploy a default installation of Office for Mac to one or more computers or to deploy a modified package such as one modified by editing . . .

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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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