Office 2008 Enterprise series: Office 2008 Deployment


Installation is something that the average user doesn’t have to spend too much time thinking about. They pop in the cd/dvd, go through a few screens (most often just clicking the continue button without making any changes) and more often than not things go pretty smoothly.  However, for IT admins, installation can be a very different beast.  

As part of our investigation for each new version of Office for Mac, we talk to our “Customer Council” which is made-up of different groups of Office for Mac users, including IT admins.  Over the years, when we have asked about their experiences with the deployment of Office, the feedback has been that the current system works, but it would be nice if we would streamline things by moving to a .pkg format.

After talking about the issue in more depth, we discovered that in previous versions of Office for Mac, IT admins have needed to do all sorts of complex steps to get builds deployed out to their users.  In fact, it was common for an IT admin to extract the bits from the installation cd, move things around, alter plist files, and more.  Then they would roll it all back up into a .pkg format file before deploying it out to remote machines.  Frankly, this is a lot of hoops to jump through and we want make the experience better.

To that end, I am happy to announce that Office 2008 for Mac will use the Apple-recommended Apple Installer technology for Office 2008 installation. This means that the data that Office installs will ship on the disc in .pkg format, installs will work well with Apple Remote Desktop (ARD) and will be Applescript-able. Once installed, the user has the freedom to move the Office folder to a different location on the system and Office will run from there. I hope that this will make Office for Mac configuration/deployment easier for IT admins.   

For those reading this post who don’t know much about the Apple Installer, here is a link to Apple’s developer website where you can find more information.  This is a significant departure from how we have handled installation in the past, and I hope that this new approach will offer IT admins a streamlined, more consistent way to deploy Office on their networks.

Another area for improvement we have heard about from our Customer Council (and from Mac Office users in general) is around the issue of font installation.  A significant number of Mac Office users very carefully manage the fonts on their system, and don’t want to install the fonts that come with Office for Mac.  In the past, users didn’t have the choice about what fonts got installed with Office, but that is going to change.  

In addition to the change to the Apple Installer, we’ve provided IT admins greater ability to customize their deployment with optional font installations.  This option will be available through the custom installation portion of the Office Installer.  For the best experience with Office 2008 for Mac, we recommend that you install the fonts provided, but we do want to give IT admins/users increased control around what gets installed on their system.

These are just two examples of the changes we have made to Enterprise deployment functionality in Office 2008 for Mac.  The bottom line is that we hope that the move to the Apple Installer and the option to not install the Office fonts will make Office 2008 deployment easier for everyone, including IT admins.  In upcoming posts, you can expect information on remote home folders, Entourage Exchange account configuration and more.

Comments (71)

  1. Matt Evans says:

    Nice, the fact I can use ARD to remotely install it via a pkg file makes my life easier.

  2. Joe says:

    This is related to the Office 2008 deployment, but a bit off the topic, above.  What about licensing?  Would be great to see a blog post on that here as well.  On the Windows side of the house, the company appears to have realized that home users can’t pay $400 and often get their hands on an educational copy and install that at home. As such the new license is the educational/home license. As a Mac user at home who needs office at work, but work is too cheap to buy it for my home use, I need to buy it myself.  I would dearly love to see a Mac Office “home/educational” license that allows students, teachers, and home users to buy Office to run on their Macs. Many people have done that anyhow, but it would be great if it didn’t violate MS’s licensing terms.

    So, if you can write about this if it’s publicly releasable, that would be great!

  3. Question, did the Mac Office team invent the drag and drop method of installation or was it something that existed for a long time and was implemented first with the release of Office 98? Oh, is drag and drop still supported btw?

    Great to hear more about the improvements coming and kudos for supporting Mac OS X technologies.

  4. Niklas B says:

    This is a good thing. Does adhering to Apple’s recommendations also mean that you will move the Microsoft User Data folder to its correct location?

  5. Hans says:

    Awesome. It’s always bothered me that you can’t move the Office folder (to be precise, you can move it, but then the updates won’t find it).

  6. fsmpm says:

    You guys rock! Thanks for using the Apple installer.

  7. Bob Jones says:

    Fantastic, this is very welcome news indeed.

  8. julian says:

    Is the way that you deal with font installation going to change? I appreciate that Office 2004 comes with newer versions of many fonts that ship with Mac OS X, but I don’t appreciate that I have to go through and manually disable the older versions just to be certain I’m using the correct versions everywhere (and to get rid of the annoying •s in Font Book!).

  9. Splashman says:

    Hard to believe this is the first time these issues (installation & fonts) have appeared on MacBU’s radar screen, but this is a welcome evolution.  Thanks!

  10. Francesco says:

    Yeah, agree with Niklas B. above, the Microsoft User Data folder has to move to the proper location…

  11. Joe, there is already a Student and Teacher edition of Office for Mac 2004, running it on my Mac at home, it has existed since Office for Mac v.X. Comes with all four applications you find in the Standard SKU too, no changes in features, just the licensing which allows up to 3 installations in the household.

    With the recent release of Office 2007, Microsoft has changed the name from ‘Teacher and Student’ to ‘Home and Student’, I expect a similar branding for Office 2008.

    I wonder if there will be a Professional SKU for this release Office for Mac.

  12. Dan B says:

    This is very good news!!!  I have been asking for years for this and even better to include the font issue as well.  Both changes sound positive!

    Would be great to see Outlook come back to the Mac platform!!

    Now if we can get Adobe on board!!

    Thanks,

    Dan

  13. Mo says:

    I really won’t be happy if I won’t be able to drag-and-drop install (not to mention the fact that Apple’s guidelines state quite clearly that drag-and-drop installation is generally preferred over Installer packages).

    Good work on the fonts front, though!

  14. Nick says:

    Oh Thank you!  

    I’m curious if there’s a way to do licensing through this for a large scale ARD deployment as well?

    I also second the question of putting the user data folder in the proper place, as well as if the updater will be intelligent enough to locate a new office location when the folder is moved.

  15. Dan B,

    My knowledge of Outlook on the Mac was just a basic Mail client. I do know there was a Outlook client released for the Mac for OS 9 for free between 98 and 2001, but I don’t think it was as powerful as the Windows version or even on par with the features of Entourage.

  16. Joe says:

    In response to Andre’s comment, yes, I am aware of the Student Teacher edition.  But read the license carefully and it specifies that one must be student or teacher.  A lot of folks ignore that and install it at home anyhow, so calling it the "student, teacher, home edition" as has been done on the Windows side would be great, as you suggest!

    Joe

  17. Tim Buchheim says:

    As a system administrator with two labs full of Macs, I’d like to say "Thank You!"

    Now, if only you can stop creating an 18 megabyte "~/Documents/Microsoft User Data/Office 2004 Identities" file.  It really bugs our students to have a huge (seemingly useless) file eating up so much of their disk space quota.

  18. sammy says:

    Please let me have my Documents-folder unclutterd. Please put the Microsoft User Data folder somewhere else. Perhaps inside ~/Library/Application Support/ Anywhere but inside ~Documents.

    And also, put all the stuff thats in the Microsoft folder except the apps inside /Library/Application support. I just want Entourage, Word, Powerpoint and Excel in the Microsoft Office 2008 folder.

    That kind of stuff is important for us mac-users…

  19. Gustavo Beathyate says:

    Thank you so much for this. It will certainly make my life easier. But yeah, PLEASE move the Microsoft User Data to ~/Library.

  20. bubba says:

    It’s actually easy to deploy the intial install of Office, but the updates are a pain in the arse.  Will they be pkg based as well?

  21. Joe, as I noted, the licensing is for use in the home, which you are asking for. Parents have gone out and bought Teacher and Student for the US $150 since it was introduced with Office XP and no one has been prevented or asked parents or students to provide identification to qualify for purchase. I am sure you can do the same for Office 2004 for Mac Teacher and Student or Office 2008 SKU when it arrives without feeling guilty. I would appreciate if a MacBU Team member could provide some clarity on this. I see where you are coming from though Joe with the ethical issues.

  22. While it’s nice that Microsoft is finally doing something about the installer and regarding fonts, here’s what I think regarding the PR-speak in this weblog entry, and two ridiculous bugs that Microsoft should fix in Office 2008:

    http://homepage.mac.com/simx/technonova/C486203617/E20070913154259/index.html

  23. Package-based installers?

    THANK GOD!

    Try installing Office 2004 updates across a network (frickin VISE installers)…yeesh….what a nightmare!

  24. Tom Hagopian says:

    Joe: also in the license it states that, in addition to being a student or teacher, you may be the parent of one, which it defines as kindergarten+ (if memory serves), and this is significantly more flexible than many, many definitions (including Apple’s own "college-only" definition).

    I second the applause for the .pkg installer, allowing for greater control over the installation, although I also second the desire for a less flexible but significantly easier drag-and-drop method. Less sophisticated users do not like Installer.app, no matter how easy it is, and as someone noted above, it is the above-all preferred method if possible. I’ve always celebrated the fact that MS’ products are easier to install on its competitor’s platform, and since the feature debuted I’ve thought it was a clever solution to automatically run a self-installer upon first launch.

  25. Jason Broccardo says:

    Will the use of .pkg files extend to service packs and updaters? I currently have to use Jamf’s Composer to create packages that I can push with ARD. It would be nice if didn’t have to do this extra step.

  26. Michael says:

    This is great news, but how will this work with multiple language versions of Microsoft Office?  Will Office still be separated into different installers for different languages or will it finally be an all in one package and the displayed language used is what is set via System Preferences : International? For people who use OS X in multiple languages this is one fix that should be addressed.

  27. Schwieb says:

    Yes, we’ll be using Apple’s installer and packages for updates to Office 2008 as well.

  28. Evanr says:

    Just please please please STOP PUTTING YOUR TEMPLATES in my documents folder. Put them in the ~/Library/Application Support/ where they belong

  29. tre says:

    Please move that Microsoft User Data (I think thats its name) folder from Documents and into "~/library/Application Support" where it belongs

  30. doughlaundry says:

    Joe,

    You CAN get that deal from Microsoft, but you’ll probably have to sign up for an Enterprise Agreement.

    My understanding is that bundled into EAs is a *free* home copy of MS Office for every work EA licence (the work EA licence includes, desktop, Office, CALs etc.). Of course, this isn’t QUITE the great deal it appears to be, as within the numbers of licences, you’re actually buying a copy of Windows for every PC you own in the business (and that includes the ones with an Apple badge on them!).

  31. Karlton says:

    Students who use Windows can now purchase Office Ultimate version for an unbelievably low price of $60. Will there be a similar offer for students who are Macintosh users?

    http://www.theultimatesteal.com/home.asp

  32. I hope that you spend some time looking at network installations where home directories are mounted over the network in a Workgroup Managed situation. Office X and even 2004 have a number of issues in this regard.

  33. Thanks Microsoft! Can someone show Adobe how to do this? Anyone?

    After talking about the issue in more depth, we discovered that in previous versions of Office for Mac, IT admins have needed to do all sorts of complex steps to get builds deployed out..

  34. Vikas says:

    But do you really feel PackageMaker is a good Technology? I mean it just skips all the custom PlugIns if we use ARD or use command line to install a package….

  35. Jamie says:

    Thank you for using the standard Apple installer. and not forcefully installing new fonts into the system.

    I too would very much appreciate a Home/Teacher edition of Microsoft Office and would purchase Office 2008 if such a version existed. Otherwise, I would purchase iWork instead.

  36. Dude says:

    Excellent. Very Welcome news.

    Add mine to the chorus of making fonts an optional part of the install and you hit it out of the park on this one.

    Deleting comic sans and all the other unneeded fonts is a extra step that I could do without

  37. Dude says:

    Ah skimmed the last part… Fonts are optional!

    Thanks MBU this does indeed rock! Keep it up, keep wowing us.

  38. Shane Palmer says:

    I think that the only thing that should reside in the Applications folder are strictly Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Entourage and Messenger.  You need to follow Apple’s standards and place all supporting applications and libraries in the /Library/Application Support/ folder.  The Microsoft AutoUpdate could probably be put in the Utilities folder since many companies seem to be doing that.  No Microsoft Office subfolder either.  All of your apps should be loose in the Applications folder.  You don’t need to worry about keeping them grouped together in a folder because they all have Microsoft in front of their name so they will always be sorted together.  

    You have been offered an Application Support folder since the days of Mac OS 9 so use it and quit littering the Applications folder with stuff that doesn’t need to be there.  If every developer would adhere to thisthen  us IT people could just drag the Applications folder onto the Dock and have a nice clean application launch menu by right clicking on it in the Dock (without the need of a shareware util).

    I would much rather have you follow these standards than having a drag-n-drop install, or a Microsoft Office folder that can be moved around by the end user.  However, you could still easily do a drag-n-drop install where any single one of the applications has all of the Libraries and Fonts in highly compressed form inside of its .app package and on first run it uncompresses these and installs them in the Apple sanctioned locations such as /Library/Application Support/.

  39. Charles says:

    In general as a systems administrator I favor more install options rather than less.

    I have another suggestion.  How about add an MS.collection in the LibraryFontCollections folder?

    Fonts bug me, but for a different reason.  The systems I administer tend to have multiple users.  I see no reason for one system with X number of users to have X+1 copies of the MS Office fonts.   I would actually PREFER they be installed in the /Library/Fonts/ location rather than ~/Library/Fonts/ !  

    BUT ONLY IF the installer can actively check that the MS Font is a newer version than the font it is replacing in /Library/Fonts, and if it it can cache the replaced versions elsewhere if I decide to revert.  I don’t know if the standard Apple installer can do that.  

    Can Fonts be installed into a sub-folder such as: /Library/Fonts/MS/ ?

    However, my current work-around of renaming or emptying the /Applications/Microsoft Office 2004/Office/Fonts/ folder and manually installing them into /Library/Fonts/ is easy enough.  I do it once; make an image; and distribute the image.

    Keep up the good work!

  40. Charles says:

    Is the new Microsoft ClearType Font Collection included with MS Office ’08?  I’m referencing Cambria, Consolas, Calibri and relatives.

    http://www.microsoft.com/typography/ClearTypeFonts.mspx

  41. Charles says:

    Add me to the chorus with Niklas asking to move the "Microsoft User Data" to the proper location, and not in Documents.

  42. People, there is already a Microsoft Office 2004 Teacher and Student edition:

    http://www.amazon.com/Microsoft-Office-Student-Teacher-Macintosh/dp/B0001WN16M

    If you are University student, you should be able to already get Office for Mac on the cheap. I just don’t think you get perpetual licensing after you have graduated which the Office 2007 Ultimate steal offers. So, the question is still relevant I guess to Office 2008.

  43. Jonathan says:

    Great!!!!! great!!!

    I hope the next Office release will also perfectly support Apple Network/Mobile Users and Manifest technology to manage MCX preferences for OpenDirectory Users.

    Great news guys,  we are waiting for your incoming netx Office release

  44. MSDNArchive says:

    Andre,

    The Mac Office team did not invent the drag and drop install type; that came from Apple back in the days where you would install software to your Mac via floppy disc.  And to answer your other question, we are no longer going to support the drag and drop install method in Office 2008.  Why?  Our research shows that the overwhelming majority of our customers use the Installer when given the choice between Installer and Drag and drop.  Coupling that with the requests from IT admins to have a package-based installer resulted in us choosing the Apple Installer as our installation mechanism for Office 2008.

  45. Duncan says:

    Thanks in advance to MacBU for putting some thought into this. Personally, I liked the drag-to-install option but am willing to cede to an installer (but not one from VICE) if it can answer the following:

    If I, as a non-admin user, wish to install private applications into ~/MyApps, and I’m the only user on the machine who will be running them, can I likewise run the installer program without authenticating as an admin?

    My end goal is to keep everything – app, support files, fonts (if desired) – entirely within my home folder, so if I back that up, or use it on a different machine, there won’t be any extraneous files scattered elsewhere in the file system. I can understand for a specific class of apps or utilities that require close system contact that they live in /Library or a hidden Unix directory, but not for an office application. It should be autonomous enough to run wherever it is placed.

    This is something that drag-to-install made possible, and I’d hate to lose it.

  46. Don Montalvo says:

    In the past several years, I’ve grown so used having to package Microsoft Office that I lost sight of how incredibly silly it is (or was).

    While deployment was manageable (albeit painful in the beginning), it was still extra work and another thing to have to manage.

    Hopefully Microsoft hired KNOWLEDGEABLE Mac developers who know how to make a PROPER pkg installer. Not all pkg files are well written – or safe.

    Take for example the Citrix Mac client…anyone who’s tried to push thier package installer knows how frightening it is to get a call from the user asking why "root’s home directory" is open and accessible from behind the Mac login window.

    Not all pkg installers are good ones. 😉 Check this link in the next day or two to get an eyefull:

    http://donmontalvo.com/citrix

    Don Montalvo, NYC

    Curmudgeon at large

  47. Thanks Dustan. I only used Drag and Drop once anyway, when I had to reinstall I just used the provided installer which is more, should I say less confusing. But, I sense a lot of the staunch Mac users will be a bit angry.

  48. Enrique García says:

    Stay the course!

    Focus on quality and ship.

  49. opensourcefan says:

    It’s about time! Oh. Well never mind. I don’t actually plan to waste money on any Microsoft Office products again. I’m banking on OpenOffice going native and working great for free.

    But it would be nice if you would fix the@%$#*&! Microsoft User Data folder being DUMPED like GARBAGE into my documents folder where it DOESN’T belong in the current version of Office. Got an update for that bit of disregard for the Apple User Interface recommendations?

  50. PatGmac says:

    Will the updaters update any previous version of Office 2008? Or will they have to be updated in order?

    And if we do install the fonts, will they be installed in /Library or each users library?

  51. Andreas says:

    I do not care about drag n drop installation or if you can move the apps around. Not important. What’s important is that you leave the ~Documents folder alone. And if you got the time, hide the Auto update app inside one of the apps or in application support And it should look nice if the apps is set free inside the Application folder and put all the rest of stuff in app support

  52. Javier Lopez says:

    Good news indeed. Thanks.

    How about the updates? Could those also be in .pkg format so I don’t have to go thru so many steps for each and every update?  

    Ahhh.. receive update.. test in lab machine… few days later push install via package on ARD… that would be very nice indeed.

    Thanks for listening!

  53. Oliver says:

    From a sysadmin  perspective what make Office 08 a candidate number one for deploying in our large company are:

    1) Full support for Mac OS X Server Network User home, (all temporary scratch files into /tmp (not inside the network home mount point).

    2) take away from ~/Documents/Microsoft User Data/* e punt in ~/Preferences

    3) let Office check someits common resources using Libary domains.

    4) let /Applications/Office  only readonly for staff group and other (not temporary files in the Office folder.

    5) take contact with John De Troy (googli it) about how satisfy  Mac Sys admin deploing Office (i.e: Manifest tecnology to set some preference such as tool bar.

  54. Doug Lawhead says:

    Well it is about time this install was a .pkg. Now, like others have suggested, can MS put the User Data folder in /Library where it belongs? Please!!!!

  55. Josh says:

    I must say that I always liked the drag-and-drop install. What could be easier than that? That’s also — in part — why I bought a Mac in the first place. And you could always tell others: How do you "install" Office on a Mac? Well, you don’t! ;o) Of course, that’s probably nothing MS must like very much… But I would have preferred a drag-and-drop installation and then .pkg for updates. That would have been ideal. But I guess that people don’t care for easy anymore when it comes to computers…

  56. yoyojon says:

    Apologies if this is not precisely the right place for my comment but where is… Anyway. As to office-mac… I bought an iMac for my daughter-in-law and office-mac. She is a translator e.g. for Spanish-German/German-Spanish. So far so good and she is very happy with computer and program. However… following demand she also translates CATALAN and now there is a problem: No Catalan dictionary in office-mac (only in the win version). She asked me what she could do… and all I could think of is neo-office.

    BUT would it not be easier if a language support pack would be offered (like we’d pay for it of course) and whichever language is available for office win would also be available for office-mac?

    Just a thought 🙂

    Best regards,

    Yo

  57. The Adobe Creative Suite and particular, InDesign, gives users the option to put its special fonts in an Adobe Fonts subfolder INSIDE the respective Adobe application folder. Fonts needed for InDesign, for example, can go into a fonts subfolder inside the InDesign folder in Applications. That way, unecessary fonts that might conflict with other applications don’t get loaded into my user or system Library folders; and yet they are still available to the InDesign program. If Microsoft could load  fonts into a subfolder inside Microsoft Office, that might help.

    RE: FONTS:Another area for improvement we have heard about from our Customer Council (and from Mac Office users in general) is around the issue of font installation.  A significant number of Mac Office users very carefully manage the fonts on their system, and don’t want to install the fonts that come with Office for Mac.  In the past, users didn’t have the choice about what fonts got installed with Office, but that is going to change.  

  58. Ingobert says:

    I am currently using Office 2004 German Version. Since I moved to US I would like to able to choose the program language like you can do under most MacOSX application including the MacOSX.

    I would love to be able to have this feature as well.

    The same issue is discussed in global enterprises that need to be able to configure windows and mac maschines for various language setups.

  59. Joe says:

    In response to the posts from Tom as well as “Doughlibrary,” The current license requires you to be the parent of a child.  As far as I know (no court orders yet), I have no kids.  So, I’m S.O.L.

    However, if you check the current Student and Home licensing FAQ for Office for Windows, it states:

    Q:  “Are there license restrictions to Office Home and Student 2007?

    A:  “Yes. Office Home and Student 2007 is licensed only for noncommercial use by households. It cannot be used in commercial (business) situations.

    Q:  “Can I install Office Home and Student 2007 on more than one device?

    A:  “Yes, if you have purchased a retail license of Office Home and Student 2007. The retail license terms permit installation and use of Office Home and Student 2007 on three devices. For more information about determining what type of license you have purchased and to obtain an overview of your licensing agreement, visit the Microsoft Software License Terms (MSLT) for the 2007 Microsoft Office system.

    Q:  “Do I need to have a student in my household in order to qualify to purchase and use Office Home and Student 2007?

    A:  “No.

    You can find more at http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/suites/HA101655301033.aspx

    Being able to install it at home on three Macs would be great.  Hopefully the Mac BU team is reading this!  🙂

    Joe

  60. Ken says:

    Microsoft Office 2004 is as messy as any Windows application. It stores templates in the Application folder and it puts user preferences in the user’s documents folder, and for all I know it puts other stuff in other weird places.

    I hope that this new version of Office will not abuse the Application folder, will use the library folders correctly and put things where they belong.

  61. Harvey says:

    I recall the activation server debacle a couple of weeks ago. Is Office 2008 going to follow Vista’s precedent of phoning home periodically and committing hari-kari if it can’t find the server? If so, I don’t want to invest in software that can self-destruct without warning.

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  63. john_wetter says:

    Just as important (if not more important) would be for office updates to be made in apple package format so that they can be deployed through ARD, or other enterprise mac management suites such as Casper.

  64. macadvisor says:

    Thank you. Our slogan here in Maine is, "The Way Life Should Be."  This is the way installation should be. Our 600 Macs will be happier for it.

  65. Hi. I have a couple of questions.

    Will you please consider moving the "Microsoft …" folder out of ~Documents as has been suggested by several others.

    I greatly appreciate that Office 2008 will be available as .pkg, it makes things a lot easier.

    Will you make Office 2008 available through Technet and MSDN for testing and developers?

    Keep up the great work! 🙂

  66. Janet says:

    Hi:

    I have Office 2004 for Mac and it has always given me a hard time: the formatting defaults and as I’m a writer, currently with about 400pp in a document, it’s frustrating to put it mildly. I am running system OSX 10.3.9 and will wait for Office 2008 if my system is adequate. Otherwise I’ll buy another 2004.

    Can you tell me what the System Requirements will be for 2008?    

  67. [Mac] Office 2008: alcuni screenshot

  68. Fred says:

    My twenty dollars, As an IT admin, I understand all the users frustration, but I have to say I love to have the mail database under the user/documents it makes it easier to find and backup, since most users have now over a gig of mail it become increasingly important to find it and keep a backup, so keeping the mail within the /users is a must

    I do have a big request,  we need a way to retrieve the license from 2008, Windows Apps let you find which license are being use and nowaday users are always moving in and out of offices,so having access to the license is a must!  it would be even nicer to be able to pull the info from Apple Remote desktop, making it easier to inventory and find conflicting installation (sharing same license number).

    I have not seen much paper about entourage and exchange integration, hopefully entourage will become as integrated as outlook, the sychronisation as been creating quiet a few problems, people having to rebuild their database because their synch did not complete is a bit of an issue, so hopefully entourage is becoming THE exchange ckient. thank you for all your hard work.

    Fred the IT dude.

  69. Fred says:

    My twenty dollars, As an IT admin, I understand all the users frustration, but I have to say I love to have the mail database under the user/documents it makes it easier to find and backup, since most users have now over a gig of mail it become increasingly important to find it and keep a backup, so keeping the mail within the /users is a must

    I do have a big request,  we need a way to retrieve the license from 2008, Windows Apps let you find which license are being use and nowaday users are always moving in and out of offices,so having access to the license is a must!  it would be even nicer to be able to pull the info from Apple Remote desktop, making it easier to inventory and find conflicting installation (sharing same license number).

    I have not seen much paper about entourage and exchange integration, hopefully entourage will become as integrated as outlook, the sychronisation as been creating quiet a few problems, people having to rebuild their database because their synch did not complete is a bit of an issue, so hopefully entourage is becoming THE exchange ckient. thank you for all your hard work.

    Fred the IT dude.

  70. Zach says:

    Fred,

    I don’t think anyone wants the data store to be moved out of the home directory, but rather from ~/Documents to ~/Library/Application Support/Entourage or ~/Library/Application Support/Microsoft Office or some other ~/Library directory.  Getting backend Office data files into some subset of ~/Library would match the layout of every other OS X application, and permit the ~/Documents folder to be left entirely for user-created documents as Apple intended.

    Zach

  71. Eric says:

    It’s also be great if the software played nice in a manged user environment.  We use Office on all of our Macs and we use Workgroup Manager where the user doesn’t have read/write privs to the local drive.  Saving files and being able to open them using this system over an AFP share has it’s drawbacks.  Lots of overhead cache files being written bogging down the server, strange and rather odd errors at times when the user tries to save a file or pull one back up.  All in all the current version of 2004 is far better than any of the previous, but it would be great to have a rock solid, faster version that played nice in the managed network sandbox.