As a person that has spoken about Office 365 ProPlus deployments to a few User Groups and organisations, I wanted to write a new blog looking at whats new/whats been removed from Office 2016 ProPlus.
The first thing I have noticed is that there is a new Office C2R Deployment Tool.
So the first thing to note is that you cannot upgrade Office 2013 C2R, you will need to install Office 2016 via your chosen method whether thats manual install, batch scripts, App-V or SCCM. The configuration.xml has not changed from Office 2013 but the setup.exe has increased in size from less than 1mb to nearly 2mb. Also the icon has changed as well.
There is no new surprises under supported OS.
Supported Operating System
Windows 10 , Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2
But as like all Microsoft Products there has been a change to the System Requirements for Office 2016, the minimum requirements are now 2 GB RAM and 1280 x 800 screen resolution.
What is this?? Branch=”Current” ??
In Office 2016 Microsoft have released a new mechanism for receiving updates to the Office 365 ProPlus deployments called Branch Updates. Allow you how quick users receive feature updates from Office 365 ProPlus. One choice is a monthly update to Office 365 ProPlus, which can contain new or updated features, bug fixes, and security patches. This is called the Current Branch release.
If you prefer, you have the option to receive only security updates for Office 365 ProPlus each month, and instead defer for several months receiving any features changes and bug fixes. A few times a year, we’ll provide an update to Office 365 ProPlus for you to test and deploy that contains those feature changes and bug fixes. This is called the Current Branch for Business release.
As you can see below you would add extra text to your Add SourcePath line.
<Add SourcePath=”\\server01\office” OfficeClientEdition=”32″ Branch=”Current”>
More details of Branch Updates can be found over at https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/mt455210.aspx
Long live Office 2013 Version of Office 365 ProPlus?
Like all Microsoft products they all come to an end like Windows XP and Office 2013 ProPlus is no different however the lifespan of this version will end after September 2016 as you will no longer receive updates for this product. Which gives you a year to plan your Office 2016 ProPlus deployments.
Updating your Office 2016 ProPlus
The method of updating ProPlus has not changed from the 2013 release but its worth noting that. If youve configured your machines to download direct from the Office Content Delivery Network (CND) you will received the Office 2016 update in February 2016. If you would like to update earlier you would need to download the required packages from CND using the new Office 2016 Deployment Tool.
Additional Languages in Office 365 ProPlus
Instead, with Office 2016, you install language accessory packs after you’ve deployed Office 365 ProPlus in one of its 40 base languages.
There are two ways to install language accessory packs:
- Have your users download and install the language accessory packs that they need. There will be a link on the Software page in the Office 365 portal to the language accessory packs.
- Use the Office Deployment Tool to deploy the appropriate language accessory packs to your users
Planning Consideration for Office 2016
- You can’t have the Office 2013 and the Office 2016 version of Office 365 ProPlus installed on the same computer. Also, you can’t have a volume licensed version of Office 2016 installed on the same computer as the Office 2016 version of Office 365 ProPlus
- You can’t have a volume licensed version of Visio 2016 or Project 2016 installed on the same computer as the Office 2016 version of Office 365 ProPlus
- However, you can install the 2016 versions of Visio Pro for Office 365 and Project Pro for Office 365 on the same computer with the Office 2016 version of Office 365 ProPlus.
- InfoPath 2013 remains the current version and therefore won’t be included in the Office 2016 version of Office 365 ProPlus. When you update an existing installation of Office 365 ProPlus to the Office 2016 version, InfoPath is removed from the computer. If your users still need to use InfoPath, the previous version will be available for installation on the Software page in the Office 365 portal
- If you are using Office 365 ProPlus against Exchange 2007 this will no longer be supported, as Office 2016 doesnt support Exchange 2007
- There is a new set of Administrative Templates files (ADMX/ADML) for Group Policy
- Review your bandwidth as the installation files for Office 365 ProPlus are approximately 850 mb for the core files plus approximately 200 mb for each language deployed. Because of the underlying changes between the Office and Office 2016 versions of Office 365 ProPlus, the update process takes longer and requires the entire Office 2016 build to be downloaded to users’ computers
- Skype for Business Client removed when upgrade to Office 2016. If you have Office 365 Business or Office 365 Business Premium and upgrade Office 2013 to Office 2016, you might experience this issue. https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3098207