Overview of Office 2003 Deployment

Published : November 11, 2004

This section describes the advantages of and requirements for using SMS 2003 to deploy Office 2003.

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Office 2003 Operating System Requirements


SMS can be used to reduce the cost and the time required to deploy Office 2003. Some of the benefits of using SMS 2003 to deploy Office 2003 in your organization are:

  • To scale successful deployments from your test lab, to pilot users, through verification, and throughout your enterprise.

  • To deliver and complete the installation during off hours to reduce the effect on your users.

  • To coordinate upgrades across multiple sites.

  • To manage slow links between sites.

    • SMS 2003 provides administrators with the ability to compress package source files, which minimizes the bandwidth usage.

    • SMS 2003 allows administrators to throttle and schedule bandwidth usage so that SMS reduces its concurrent network usage.

  • To deploy Office 2003 to a large number of clients.

  • To force the installation of Office 2003 on client computers.

  • To take advantage of status reporting and troubleshooting tools.

  • To provide the ability to deploy different configurations of Office 2003 to different systems, based on system use.

  • To deploy Office 2003 to different types of clients that are running Microsoft Windows® operating systems, such as Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Microsoft Windows XP Professional, and Windows 2000 Professional.

Using SMS also gives you the benefit of additional administrative control over you deployment of Office 2003, including the following:

  • SMS administrators can verify a pilot deployment of Office 2003, and then expand the collection targeted with Office 2003 to effectively scale a deployment that meets corporate requirements.

  • You can use the SMS administrative context to deploy Office 2003 to computers where users do not have administrative credentials on the local computer.

  • You can use SMS reporting through the status message system on delivery and execution.

  • You can create SMS collections in order to install Office 2003 only to computers that meet your corporate standards, and then install to the remaining computers when they meet the requirements. For example, a corporation might determine that only systems with at least 128 MB of RAM should upgrade to Office 2003. As RAM is upgraded, these computers become part of the dynamic collection of computers with 128 MB of RAM, and then they install Office 2003.

  • You can use SMS to provide additional Office 2003 source locations by using the Windows Installer Source Location Manager feature for the install on demand and self-healing features of Office 2003.


This white paper is targeted at SMS administrators. Before you attempt to use SMS 2003 to deploy Office 2003, verify that:

  • SMS 2003 or later is deployed in your organization. For information about upgrading SMS, refer to the Systems Management Server Web site at http://www.microsoft.com/smserver/default.asp.

  • You are familiar with Office 2003 and SMS 2003.

  • You are familiar with SMS 2003 administration and software deployment. If not, see the SMS 2003 documentation.

  • You are familiar with the Microsoft Office 2003 Resource Kit. The administrator should be very familiar with the Office Profile Wizard and the Custom Installation Wizard in Office 2003. These topics and others are covered in the Microsoft Office 2003 Resource Kit at http://www.microsoft.com/office/ork/2003/.

  • You have a test organization or test lab that verifies the results prior to deploying Office 2003 in your production environment.

Office 2003 Operating System Requirements

Table 1 lists operating system support for Office 2003.

Table 1   Office 2003 Operating System Support

Operating System

Supported by Office 2003

Windows Server 2003 family


Windows XP Professional


Windows 2000 Server SP3 or later


Windows 2000 Professional SP3 or later


Windows Millennium Edition


Windows 98


Windows NT Server 4.0 SP6a or earlier


Windows NT Workstation 4.0 SP6a or earlier


The approximate minimum hardware requirements for Office 2003 are:

  • Pentium 233 or higher, PIII recommended

  • 128 MB RAM

  • 400 MB disk space for a restricted, minimum installation, but at least 600 MB is recommended

If your clients are currently running any unsupported operating systems or do not have the minimum required hardware, you must upgrade the client hardware or operating system to a supported operating system before installing Office 2003. Alternatively, you can exclude from your Office 2003 deployment the computers that are running unsupported operating systems.

For more information about Office 2003 system and disk requirements, see the Office 2003 Editions System Requirements Web page at http://www.microsoft.com/office/editions/prodinfo/sysreq.mspx.