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Office Professional Plus for Office 365 Overview (Office 2010)

 

Topic Last Modified: 2011-10-12

Office 365 combines the Microsoft Office Professional Plus client suite with cloud versions of the following products and services: Microsoft Exchange Online, Microsoft SharePoint Online, and Microsoft Lync Online. The Office Professional Plus offering provides the complete Office client suite as a monthly subscription service. The combination of the Office Professional Plus suite plus the Office 365 services provides the best way for users to collaborate on documents; enables them to work online or offline; and provides access to documents, email, and calendars from almost any device.

The Office Professional Plus subscription allows customers to purchase monthly licenses for each of their users. Each user license allows five concurrent installations. Both 32- and 64-bit versions of Office Professional Plus are available in Office 365. However, we recommend that you install the 32-bit version. You download and manage Office Professional Plus for Office 365 from the Office 365 portal (at https://portal.microsoftonline.com/download/default.aspx). After you download Office Professional Plus for Office 365, you can make the Office suite available to users in your organization, based on the number of user licenses that you sign up for. For information about deployment considerations for Office 2010 64-bit, see 64-bit editions of Office 2010 (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?LinkId=213871).

This overview article contains information about Office Professional Plus for Office 365 for administrators of both small businesses and enterprise environments. The deployment procedures that are included in this guide focus on guiding administrators through the steps that are involved in setting up and using Office Professional Plus for Office 365 in small businesses.

Office Professional Plus for Office 365 includes the same applications that are available in the Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2010 client suite. These include the following:

  • Microsoft Access

  • Microsoft Excel

  • Microsoft InfoPath

  • Microsoft OneNote

  • Microsoft Outlook

  • Microsoft PowerPoint

  • Microsoft SharePoint Workspace

  • Microsoft Word

Depending on the plan that you purchase for Office 365, the subscription license also includes access to Microsoft SharePoint Online (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?LinkId=214030) Office Web Apps (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?LinkId=213875) for viewing and editing documents on the web. Office Web Apps are online companions to Excel, OneNote, PowerPoint, and Word applications that enable users to access and edit documents, regardless of their location:

  • Microsoft Excel Web App

  • Microsoft OneNote Web App

  • Microsoft PowerPoint Web App

  • Microsoft Word Web App

To use the Office Web Apps, users must have an Office 365 plan that includes SharePoint Online.

In this article:

For information about the software requirements for Office 365 clients, see the following resources:

The following table lists the hardware requirements for Office Professional Plus clients for Office 365.

 

Component Requirement

Computer and processor

500 MHz processor or higher; 1 GHz required for Outlook with Business Contact Manager

Memory

256 MB RAM; 512 MB recommended for graphics features, Outlook Instant Search, Outlook with Business Contact Manager, Communicator, and certain advanced functionality

Disk space

3.5 GB available disk space

Display

1024x768 or higher resolution monitor

Operating system

Windows XP (must have SP3) (32-bit), Windows Vista with Service Pack (SP) 1 (32-bit or 64-bit), Windows Server 2003 with Service Pack 2 (32-bit or 64-bit) and MSXML 6.0 (32 bit Office only), Windows Server 2008 or later versions (32- or 64-bit), Windows 7 (32- or 64-bit). Windows on Windows (WOW) (which allows installing 32-bit versions of Office 2010 on 64-bit operating system, excluding Windows XP 64) are supported.

Additional

Requirements and product functionality can vary based on the system configuration and operating system,

Other

  • Certain inking features require running Windows XP Tablet PC edition or later. Speech recognition functionality requires a close-talk microphone and audio output device.

  • Connectivity to Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server or later is required for certain advanced functionality in Office Outlook 2007. Instant Search requires Windows Desktop Search 3.0. Dynamic Calendars require server connectivity.

  • Graphics hardware acceleration requires a DirectX 9.0c graphics card with 64-MB or higher video memory.

  • Internet Explorer 6, Internet Explorer 7, or Internet Explorer 8, 32-bit browser only. Internet functionality requires Internet access (fees might apply).

  • 512 MB of RAM or higher recommended for Outlook Instant Search. Grammar and contextual spelling in Word 2010 is not turned on unless the computer has 1 GB memory.

  • Silverlight plug-in. See Get started with Microsoft Silverlight (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?LinkID=169372).

The following table summarizes the differences between Office Professional Plus for Office 365 and volume licensed versions of Office 2010.

 

  Office Professional Plus for Office 365 Volume licensed products

Download location

Office 365 portal (at https://portal.microsoftonline.com/download/default.aspx)

Volume Licensing Service Center (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?LinkId=184280)

Software

Office Professional Plus

Office Standard 2010

Office Professional Plus 2010

Product key and activation

Subscription-based activation

Terms: monthly per user license

Volume licensing technologies:

Key Management Service (KMS): 180 days

Multiple Activation Key (MAK): perpetual activation

When Reduced Functionality Mode (RFM) starts

In 60 days from last activation

MAK: not applicable

KMS: in 180 days

Notification mode

Deployment options

Office 365 portal

Unmanaged and managed options

Unmanaged and managed options

Microsoft Application Virtualization (App-V)

Remote Desktop Services (Terminal Services)

Allowed number of copies

5 active installations on different devices per user

One device per license\activation

Office Professional Plus for Office 365 includes new activation technology that enables a monthly subscription model. Every month, Office Professional Plus automatically verifies the status of a user’s subscription. The validation process requires Internet access.

  • If a user has a valid subscription, Office Professional Plus is activated for another 30 days.

  • If the user’s subscription cannot be verified, Office Professional Plus enters a 30 day grace period.

    During the 30 day grace period, Office Professional Plus tries to verify a user’s subscription every 24 hours. If, by the end of the 30 grace period, Office Professional Plus still has not been able to verify the status of a user’s subscription, Office Professional Plus will enter Reduced Functionality Mode (RFM).

For information about how to reactivate Office Professional Plus if Office Professional Plus enters RFM, see General troubleshooting in Office Professional Plus for Office 365 (Office 2010) and Troubleshoot specific errors in Office Professional Plus for Office 365 (Office 2010).

For detailed information about the Office Professional Plus client components and interactions, and the validation process, see Office Professional Plus for Office 365 activation overview (Office 2010).

Office Professional Plus for Office 365 also uses Microsoft Office 365 desktop setup, an additional component that is downloaded from the Office 365 Portal.

Microsoft Office 365 desktop setup is an installer and configuration service that checks for and provides important software updates and client configuration. These updates and configurations are required for successful client connection to and operation against cloud services in Office 365.

Microsoft Office 365 desktop setup checks for Office 365 requirements:

  • Windows: Windows XP SP3 with Internet Explorer 7, Windows Vista with SP2, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows 7

  • Office versions: 2007 Office system SP2, Office 2010 RTM

Microsoft Office 365 desktop setup also installs software updates and provides configurations that are required by Office Professional Plus clients for connecting to Office 365 services.

Office Professional Plus for Office 365 offers a pay-as-you-go, per user licensing model. When a user's Office Professional Plus subscription is canceled, Office enters reduced-functionality mode (RFM or read-only mode). In contrast to the traditional Office 2010 client activation, which requires that the user enter the 25 character product key, Office Professional Plus for Office 365 includes Office Subscription Agent. It is an add-on component that automatically obtains a product key and activates it. The user only has to enter a Microsoft Online Services ID and password one time to validate the subscription. A user can have up to 5 concurrent installations by using the same Microsoft Online Services ID and password.

OSA is installed during the Office Professional Plus for Office 365 installation. OSA is the mechanism through which Office Professional Plus full functionality is enabled or disabled, depending on the status of the user’s subscription. When installation is complete, the OSA system service and the OSA Notifier are started. These two processes are necessary for the correct functioning of an Office Professional Plus for Office 365 subscription.

To verify the licensing state of the Office 365 clients, the clients must have reliable Internet access every 30 days. For more information about activation, see Office Professional Plus for Office 365 activation overview (Office 2010).

In small business scenarios, the organization's administrator sets a new domain name and creates a Microsoft Online Services ID for his or her account during the Office 365 sign-up process. The Microsoft Online Services ID is an email address and password combination that is used to sign in to Office 365. Administrators use their Microsoft Online Services ID to sign in to perform administrative tasks, view billing and account information, and use any of the services. These include Microsoft Exchange Online, Microsoft SharePoint Online, and Microsoft Lync Online.

The administrator adds users to the organization's subscription and creates a new Microsoft Online Services ID for each user. New users are assigned a temporary password and are asked to change it before they sign in for the first time. To learn about sign-in, passwords, and managing user accounts and permissions, see Sign-in and passwords (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?LinkId=212337) and User accounts and permissions (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?LinkId=212338) in the Microsoft Office 365 online Help.

When Office Professional Plus for Office 365 setup is complete, users are prompted to install the Microsoft Online Services Sign-in Assistant. Microsoft Online Services ID manages user credentials for Office 365. To sign in and use the services, you must install Microsoft Online Services Sign-in Assistant.

In enterprise environments that have deployed Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) on premises, administrators can configure the following services:

  • Single sign-on or identity federation. By using single sign-on, Active Directory users can use their existing Active Directory corporate credentials (user name and password) to access services in Microsoft Office 365 for enterprises. Single sign-on in Office 365 uses Active Directory Federation Services 2.0 (AD FS). Deploying AD FS enables you to extend your organization’s existing identity management capabilities to the Internet.

    To learn about requirements, advantages, and preparing for identity federation, see Prepare for single sign-on (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?LinkId=212334) in the Microsoft Office 365 online Help.

  • Active Directory synchronization. If your organization has Active Directory installed on-premises, you can synchronize user accounts, contacts, and groups from your local Active Directory to Office 365. To do this, when you subscribe to Office 365 for enterprises, you use the Microsoft Online Services Directory Synchronization tool. This tool is used to keep your local Active Directory synchronized with Office 365. This enables you to create copies of each user account and group, and also allows for global address list (GAL) synchronization from your local Microsoft Exchange Server environment to Microsoft Exchange Online.

    To learn about how to prepare for directory synchronization, installing the Directory Synchronization tool, synchronizing the directory and verifying synchronization, activating users, and managing directory synchronization, see Active Directory synchronization: Roadmap (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?LinkId=212335) in the Microsoft Office 365 online Help.

  • Domains. When you sign-up for Office 365, a new domain is automatically provisioned for your account. This domain is fully functional. You can use the domain to send and receive email, create SharePoint sites, and create public websites. If your company already has a registered domain name, you can redelegate that domain so that it can be used in Office 365.

    When you redelegate your domain, you change the destination of domain services—such as email and web hosting—to point to Office 365. In Office 365, you can partially redelegate your services. By using partial redelegation, administrators can change domain destinations while maintaining the existing relationship between their company and the domain registrar. To learn about how to redelegate a domain, see Manage domains and domain properties (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?LinkId=212336) in the Microsoft Office 365 online Help.

Administrators can use one of the following methods to deploy Office Professional Plus for Office 365 to users: the Office 365 Portal, a network share, Group Policy computer startup script, or a managed software deployment tool such as Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007 or Microsoft System Center Essentials 2010.

noteNote
For the current release of the product, this documentation describes how to use the Office 365 Portal or a network share to deploy Office Professional Plus for Office 365 for small businesses.

Office Professional Plus for Office 365 does not support the use of Application Virtualization or Remote Desktop Services (formerly known as Terminal Services) for deployment.

The following table summarizes the deployment options for Office Professional Plus for Office 365 and the advantages of each method.

 

Office 365 portal Network share IT managed deployment options

The Office 365 Portal is the default method for deploying Office Professional Plus. The advantages of using this method are as follows:

  • Simpler for organizations that have limited or no IT resources.

  • Provides a user self-service approach.

  • Office 365 provides functionality and administration.

Administrators can download the Office Professional Plus for Office 365 executable file (MicrosoftOffice.exe) and create a network installation point (a shared network location) on premises to host the Office Professional Plus source files. Then, users can install Office Professional Plus from that network shared location. The advantages of using this method include the following:

  • Requires minimal IT management skills.

  • Requires only a network share and providing access to the share to users.

  • More efficient for slow network connections because you download a single file (MicrosoftOffice.exe) one time.

  • Allows the administrator to customize the installation.

  • The administrator controls whether to install 32- or 64-bit versions of Office Professional Plus.

In enterprise managed environments, IT administrators can deploy Office Professional Plus by using one of these methods: use Group Policy to assign a computer startup script, or use a software management tool such as Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007 or Microsoft System Center Essentials 2010. These methods:

  • Leverage the existing Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) and Group Policy infrastructure.

  • Allow administrators to deploy Office Professional Plus to thousands of workstations.

  • Centralize software deployment control and administration. The software management tools also provide reporting and monitoring capabilities.

The default method for installing Office Professional Plus for Office 365 is to use the Office 365 Portal. In this scenario, the administrator signs up for Microsoft Office 365 for small businesses, sets a new domain name, creates user account and passwords for users in his or her organization, and assigns a license to each user. The users are assigned a temporary password. The administrator sends users their temporary passwords by email. Users must change their temporary passwords when they sign in to the Office 365 Portal for the first time.

Users sign in to the Office 365 Portal and navigate to the Downloads page (which they access at https://portal.ccsctp.com/download/default.aspx after they sign in) to install Office Professional Plus and to configure their desktops for Office 365. For more information, see Deploying Office Professional Plus directly from the Office 365 Portal in Deploy Office Professional Plus for Office 365 (Office 2010).

In this scenario, after creating user accounts and passwords and assigning licenses for all users, the administrator downloads the Office Professional Plus for Office 365 executable file (MicrosoftOffice.exe) from the Office 365 Portal to a local computer. MicrosoftOffice.exe is a Microsoft Self-Extractor file.

The next step is to create a network installation point for the Office Professional Plus source files. This is a shared network location from which users will run setup.exe to install Office Professional Plus. For example: \\server\OfficeProPlus\Source. Copy the MicrosoftOffice.exe file to the \\server\OfficeProPlus folder in this example, and then extract the files.

To extract the files, run the MicrosoftOffice.exe file in \\server\OfficeProPlus with the /Extract:[extract folder path] switch. For complete instructions, see Deploying Office Professional Plus from a Network Share in Deploy Office Professional Plus for Office 365 (Office 2010).

You must set access to the Office Professional Plus source files (in \\server\OfficeProPlus\Source) to read-only, and make sure that all users have administrative permissions before the users install Office Professional Plus.

After setting up the network installation point with the Office Professional Plus source, the administrator can instruct users about how to run Office Professional Plus setup.exe from the network installation point to install the product.

For information about network shares in Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7, see Share a Folder or Drive (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?LinkId=184711).

In environments that have already installed Active Directory Domain Services, administrators can download the MicrosoftOffice.exe file to a network location, extract the files from the MicrosoftOffice.exe Microsoft Self-Extractor file, and prepare to deploy Office Professional Plus by using a Group Policy computer startup script.

In medium and large enterprise managed environments, IT administrators can download the MicrosoftOffice.exe file to a network location and prepare to use a change and configuration software management tool such as Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007 or Microsoft System Center Essentials 2010 to deploy Office Professional Plus to users. These deployment options require a supporting infrastructure for the software management tools (System Center Configuration Manager 2007 or System Center Essentials 2010) and expertise with software management tools.

In enterprise environments, IT administrators can customize Office Professional Plus before they deploy Office Professional Plus to users in their organizations by using one of the following tools:

  • Office Customization Tool (OCT)

  • Config.xml file

  • Group Policy

The Office Customization Tool is the primary customization tool for Office 2010 (and the 2007 Office system). The OCT is part of the Setup program and is included in volume licensed versions of Office 2010 and the 2007 Office system. Unlike the volume licensed versions of Office 2010, the Office Professional Plus for Office 365 version does not include the OCT. Administrators can download the latest version of the OCT and OCT settings files from the Microsoft Download Center: Office 2010 Administrative Template files (ADM, ADMX/ADML) and Office Customization Tool (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?LinkId=189316). The download package includes an \Admin folder that contains the OCT and OCT files (.opax and .opal files).

Administrators use the OCT to create a Setup customization (.msp) file to customize the Office installation. For more information about the OCT, see Office Customization Tool in Office 2010 (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?LinkId=212778). For detailed information about how to use the OCT for Office Professional Plus for Office 365, see Customizing the Office Professional Plus deployment in Deploy Office Professional Plus for Office 365 (Office 2010).

noteNote
Office Professional Plus for Office 365 activation uses per user monthly licenses. Do not use the OCT Licensing and user interface section to set product keys.

For more information about the OCT, see Office Customization Tool in Office 2010 (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?LinkId=212778), and Customize Office 2010 (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?LinkId=212779).

The Config.xml file is used to specify installation options, and it runs only during setup. The Config.xml file that is stored in the core product folders (core_product_folder_name.WW folder such as ProPlus.WW for Office Professional Plus 2010) directs Setup to install that product. To edit the Config.xml file, use a text editor, such as Notepad. Administrators can use the Config.xml file for customizations such as the following:

  • Customizing Setup options. These include logging, and the location of the Setup customization file and software updates.

  • Options to specify how individual product features are to be handled during installation.

  • The fully qualified path of the network installation point from which the installation is to run.

If you use both an OCT Setup customization (.msp) file and the Config.xml to customize the installation, the settings that you specify in Config.xml take precedence over those in the Setup customization file.

noteNote
Office Professional Plus for Office 365 activation uses per user monthly licenses. Do not use the Config.xml file's PIDKEY element to set product keys.

For detailed instructions for how to use the Config.xml file to customize Office Professional Plus for Office 365, see Customizing the Office Professional Plus deployment in Deploy Office Professional Plus for Office 365 (Office 2010).

For more information about the Config.xml file, see Config.xml file in Office 2010 (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?LinkId=212787).

Group Policy is an infrastructure that administrators can use to implement specific computing configurations for users and computers. Policy settings can also be applied to member servers and domain controllers within the scope of an Active Directory forest. Administrators use Group Policy to define configurations once and then rely on the operating system to enforce that state.

Group Policy settings are contained in Group Policy objects (GPOs), which are linked to these selected Active Directory Domain Services containers: sites, domains, or organizational units (OUs). The settings within GPOs are evaluated by the affected targets by using the AD DS hierarchical container structure.

The Office policy settings are contained in Administrative Template (.adm or .admx and .adml) files. You can download the Administrative Templates for Office 2010 from the Download Center Office 2010 Administrative Template files (ADM, ADMX/ADML) and Office Customization Tool http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?LinkId=189316) as mentioned in Office Customization Tool.

Administrators can use Office 2010 Group Policy settings to change the default location where files are stored; disable commands, keyboard shortcuts, and menu items; and configure settings that are related to security, accessibility, compatibility, and more. For more information about how to use Group Policy, see Group Policy Overview for Office 2010 (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?LinkId=212786), Planning for Group Policy in Office 2010 (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?LinkId=212786) and Use Group Policy to enforce Office 2010 settings (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?LinkId=212784).

Office 2010 provides security policy settings that help administrators build a robust defense against threats. For information about the recommended security policy settings for Office 2010, see the Microsoft Office 2010 Security Baseline (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?LinkID=207183). The Microsoft Office 2010 Security Baseline and the Office 2010 settings pack are included in the Microsoft Security Compliance Manager tool (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?LinkId=213953), which provides administrators with an end-to-end solution to help them plan, deploy, and monitor the security baselines of computers that run Office 2010 in their environments. For more resources for learning about security, see the Office 2010 Security resource center (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?LinkID=210459).

As part of your planning for a deployment of Office Professional Plus for Office 365, you need to assess application and document compatibility. Your planning should include an evaluation of Office 2010 application compatibility with existing hardware, current Office documents, add-ins, and line-of-business applications. The Office 2010 Compatibility resource center (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?LinkId=213955) has resources for learning about compatibility.

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