In the earlier posts in this series we covered Windows 10 Business, Azure Active Directory and Windows AutoPilot, and now we move over to the deployment of Office 365 Business. In the last post on Windows AutoPilot we saw that this gets installed automatically as part of the Azure Active Domain Join and autoenrollment into Intune, and today we’ll take a look at enabling this deployment, as well as what is going on behind the scenes with Intune.

From the Microsoft 365 Portal we choose Manage Office deployment.

First of all, we need to select who to assign this to. We will keep this simple today by using the inbuilt groups, rather than doing more selected targeting.

In this case we have the All Users group, but if we had more groups created they would appear here.

Select All users

A couple of things to highlight here – first of all that this is targeting Intune enrolled devices. How can we tell? Because we are doing an automated application installation, as opposed to just applying policies to an already installed application. The second point is that we only have the options to Install Office as soon as possible, which I have highlighted, or to Uninstall Office.

Take a second to review the changes.

And then we can close the window. That’s it. If you’ve previously deployed Office 365 desktop apps via the Office Deployment Tool or Intune, you probably realise there were a large number of options that you weren’t presented with, so how do you know if the defaults that were selected make sense for you. That’s easy, we can just jump in to the Azure Portal.

After opening the Intune blade, select Apps, and you can see something a little peculiar – the TYPE column for the Office Desktop Suite shows Office 365 Pro Plus Suite (Windows 10). The version of Office that is installed converts to Office 365 Business when it is automatically activated, so don’t worry about the Pro Plus licence not activating against a Business license, this is transparent.

Selecting Office Desktop Suite and then Properties shows us the three pre-configured property areas.

Configure App Suite shows
that we could do select install of the Office suite components, but in this case we want a full install. The second thing to notice here is that we could also have Project and Visio show as installed, but you would need to have purchased and assigned those licences separately. This is not a change you would usually make in the default Office installation settings, instead you would create a new group and target that group instead.

Under App Suite Information we have some prepopulated options, but again the recommendation here is to not change the settings that are in here, instead create a similar Mobile Apps policy but with your required settings.

App Suite Settings is where things really get interesting though, this is where Microsoft 365 Business is making decisions that are designed to be most beneficial across a variety of scenarios – thus the 32 bit installation, Monthly updates, acceptance of the EULA and setting up for single user activation, not shared computer/RDS installation. What other options would we normally see here? Let’s take a look.

Before I explain these options, I need to highlight that I am not editing the base configuration, I’ve just taken a screenshot of a new deployment. As the names of these releases has evolved the names in the drop down have also changed. If you take a look at my earlier post on this topic you can see this. If you need to learn more, take a look at Overview of update channels for Office 365 ProPlus. If you want to get an idea of just how much Office 365 desktop apps change over time, take a look at Office 365 client update channel releases.

The final section, Assignments, shows what we already know, that the All Users group has an install type of Required.