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Setup changes introduced in the 2007 Office system

Office 2010

Published: May 16, 2012

The Setup changes that were introduced in the 2007 Microsoft Office system are summarized in this article.

In this article:

Setup architecture

The Setup program for the 2007 Office system was redesigned to support a more efficient installation process. Most of the tools and procedures were new but the overall objective was the same as it was for any previous deployment of Office: to install the correct configuration on users' computers as efficiently as possible.

In the 2007 Office system release, much of the complexity of this process was absorbed by the new Setup program. Setup handles the most difficult parts for you behind the scenes, and the steps that you take to customize and distribute the product are simpler than in any earlier version. This information also applies to the Office 2010 release of the product because the basic Setup architecture has not changed in this release.

Setup features comparison

The following table compares Setup features that were introduced in the 2007 Office system release to their closest counterparts in previous versions (Microsoft Office 2000, Office XP, and Office 2003). This information also applies to Office 2010.

Previous version 2007 Office system and Office 2010 release Function

Windows Installer (Msiexec.exe)

Setup program (Setup.exe)

Installation program

Administrative installation point

Local installation source (LIS)

Location of stored program files

One MSI file per product

Multiple MSI files per product

Windows Installer files

Core English version plus MUI Pack

Language-neutral architecture

Deploy multiple languages at the same time

Setup.ini file

Config.xml file

Customize installation file

Setup command line

Config.xml file

Customize installation file

Custom Installation Wizard

Office Customization Tool (OCT)

Customize installation of products

Custom Maintenance Wizard

Office Customization Tool

Customize installation of products

Office Profile Wizard

Group Policy settings

Group Policy Management Console (GPMC) and Group Policy Object Editor Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap-ins are used to manage policy settings

Setup files

In versions of Office earlier than the 2007 Office system, each product consisted of a single Windows Installer package (MSI file). The chief role of Setup.exe was to call Windows Installer (Msiexec.exe) to install the package. Because Setup passed its command line to Windows Installer, it was possible to manage the installation process by setting Windows Installer properties on the command line.

Starting with the 2007 Office system release, a single Office product consists of multiple MSI files. This is the same in the Office 2010 release of the product as the basic Setup architecture has not changed in this release. Setup — not Windows Installer — combines the language-neutral core product package with one or more language-specific packages to create a complete product. No individual MSI file represents a product that anyone can install or use, and Setup is required to assemble the correct set of MSI files and to coordinate the installation process from start to finish.

The Office product that you install is defined in the XML files on the installation point. Setup reads data in these XML files, assembles the required set of MSI files for the product, copies all the necessary files to the local installation source, and only then calls Windows Installer to complete the installation process.

note Note:

You cannot use the Windows Installer command line (Msiexec.exe) to install any product in the 2007 Office system release or in Office 2010, nor can you set Windows Installer properties on the Setup command line. However, you can use the new deployment tools to customize all aspects of the installation process, exactly as you did in previous versions. For more information, see Setup architecture overview for Office 2010.

Language-neutral architecture

If you installed previous versions of Office in an international setting, you first installed the core English version and then deployed one or more Multilingual User Interface (MUI) Packs to provide additional language versions to users. You may have used the Custom Installation Wizard to configure the MUI Pack, and then edited the Setup.ini file to chain the MUI Pack installation to the primary English installation.

The language-neutral architecture that was introduced in the 2007 Office system eliminates the need to chain language packs and condenses the process to a single installation. This also applies to Office 2010 as the language architecture has not changed in this release. After you create your initial network installation point (which always includes a core product), you copy all the additional language folders that you need to the same location. These language folders contain the language-specific packages, or building blocks, that Setup combines with the core product to create a complete product in any language (including English). After you create a network installation point with multiple languages, you can enable Setup to manage the process of assembling the correct language version for each user automatically from the available language options.

When users run Setup for a particular Office product, Setup detects that there is more than one language available and automatically combines the core package with the language that matches the user locale, which is set in Windows. Only one language version is copied to the local installation source; only one product appears in Add or Remove Programs in Control Panel. Without additional steps on your part, other than dragging language folders to the network installation point, you ensure that users in New York get the English language version, users in Tokyo get the Japanese language version, users in Paris get the French language version, and so on.

Customizing a multi-language installation is similarly streamlined. You create only one customization file per product, regardless of the number of languages that you are deploying. Most configuration options apply to the core product. The minority of language-specific customizations — for example, the feature installation state for the Japanese Input Method Editor (IME) — are applied where appropriate and otherwise ignored.

note Note:

When you customize the installation, you can specify that Setup install more than one language on users' computers or that Setup install a particular language regardless of the user locale setting. For more information about the new multi-language architecture, see "Language-neutral design" in Setup architecture overview for Office 2010.

Customization model

In versions of Office products earlier than the 2007 Office system, several tools were required to customize Setup and to manage Office after installation. However, the 2007 Office system introduced a consistent, streamlined customization model. You can use one of several methods to customize the installation, although the best method depends on what you are customizing and whether you want users to be able to change the default configuration. This also applies to Office 2010 as the customization model has not changed in this release.

Choosing a customization tool

The following table summarizes the customization methods introduced in the 2007 Office system and describes the recommended or required scenarios for each method. This also applies to Office 2010.

Tool or method Scenarios Results

Use the Office Customization Tool to create a Setup customization file (.msp file).

Recommended for most customizations, including:

  • Accepting License Terms and entering a volume license key

  • Running Setup without user interaction

  • Customizing features and user settings

  • Distributing an Outlook profile

Setup installs a default configuration on all computers to which this .msp file is applied.

Users can modify most settings after the installation.

Edit the Config.xml file.

Required for the following customizations:

  • Specifying the path of the network installation point

  • Specifying languages to install

  • Pointing Setup to a custom Config.xml or Setup customization file

  • Copying the local installation source to the user's computer without installing Office

  • Chaining additional products to the primary installation

Setup installs the specified products and languages on all computers installed with this Config.xml file.

Settings specified in Config.xml take precedence over duplicate settings in the Setup customization file.

Add options or properties to the Setup command line.

Available for only the following customizations:

  • Pointing Setup to a custom Config.xml or Setup customization file

  • Modifying an existing installation

  • Repairing the product

  • Uninstalling the product

Setup applies your customizations when it first installs Office or when it runs in maintenance mode.

You cannot set Windows Installer properties on the command line.

Use the Group Policy Object Editor Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap-in to specify policy settings.

Used to configure highly restricted or lightly managed configurations for user and computer settings.

Administrators use Group Policy to define configurations once and then rely on the operating system to enforce that state.

Group Policy for computers is applied at computer startup and Group Policy for users is applied when users log on. Group Policy is also applied subsequently in the background periodically.

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