Microsoft’s Office 365 suite is now accessible within the Mac App Store. Can it make managing Office simpler?

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Microsoft’s macOS model of Office has had a brand new lease of life over the past couple of years. It’s now constructed on the identical codebase as its Windows sibling, with the identical options and a consumer expertise that mixes the most recent model of the Office ribbon with acquainted macOS instruments. It’s even acquired the brand new Office app icons, and helps the macOS Mojave darkish theme.

With help for OneDrive’s files-on-demand now accessible on macOS, with integration into the Finder, it is simpler to make a Mac part of a Microsoft 365-based infrastructure. As a part of improved help for managing Macs as a part of a company fleet by Intune, you should use customary Apple options to enroll units in Intune, working with Mac-specific MDM-based administration instruments to use insurance policies and deploy apps.However, whereas you should use Intune to deploy instruments like Office to Macs, you are restricted to utilizing Microsoft’s personal deployment tooling through the Intune firm portal. In many instances you don’t need this stage of management over consumer units, particularly for those who’re managing a bring-your-own-device coverage. Microsoft requires apps to be repackaged through its personal tooling (accessible on GitHub) earlier than it may be delivered by Intune.
Image: Simon Bisson/TechRepublic
Office within the StoreMicrosoft just lately made Office accessible by the Mac App Store for Office 365 account holders. You can obtain particular person Office apps, or the whole suite of Mac Office: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Excel, OneNote and OneDrive. As it is a one-click obtain, set up is simple sufficient, the apps putting in into the Applications folder with icons in Launchpad. Not all of the Office apps can be found by the Mac App Store: you may want to put in Teams individually.

Once downloaded, customers have to log into an Office 365 account earlier than they will use the apps, both utilizing a private or a piece subscription. With work subscriptions, both by Office 365 or Microsoft 365, you can begin to make use of Azure Active Directory to handle entry to apps and knowledge; and for those who’re utilizing OneDrive to retailer Office information, you should use the identical instruments to handle consumer entry to company cloud storage.

SEE: Cloud Computing Policy (Tech Pro Research)The Mac App Store model of Office will likely be up to date robotically, on a month-to-month cadence very similar to that utilized by the Windows releases. Apple’s content material caching instruments can cut back bandwidth calls for when updating a big fleet of Macs, just like utilizing the peer-to-peer updating instruments utilized by Windows. Not all machines must be arrange as content material cache hosts, and you could desire to have a system in your IT division set as much as act purely as a content material cache for any macOS or iOS enterprise apps you are utilizing.If you have got a perpetual licence for both Office 2016 or Office 2019, you possibly can’t use it with the Mac App Store variations of Office. They’re supposed for Office 365 solely, and for those who attempt to activate them with an current quantity licence code they’re going to revert to what Microsoft calls a “reduced functionality mode”, the place they function as doc viewers and cannot be used to create new paperwork or modify current information. To get full worth for a perpetual licence you may have to obtain Office instantly from Microsoft.Automating Office installsWhile Intune would not handle functions deployed by the Mac App Store, it is not the one Mac administration resolution. One possibility is to make use of a device like Jamf Pro alongside Apple’s Business Manager tooling to robotically deploy Store apps to new units as they’re enrolled. Similar tooling, within the form of the Apple School Manager, additionally helps instructional deployments.Microsoft helps utilizing Jamf’s administration tooling alongside Intune, as a part of a Microsoft 365 atmosphere. There’s no want to vary any insurance policies, because the Store and direct obtain variations of Office have the identical units of preferences. Microsoft does suggest setting one particular coverage although, setting OfficeAutoSignIn to TRUE to make sure that customers aren’t confused by the default Office 365 new subscription dialog, which asks them in the event that they wish to purchase a brand new subscription the primary time it is run.SEE: Windows 10 energy suggestions: Secret shortcuts to your favourite settings (Tech Pro Research)It’s vital to notice that deploying through Apple’s tooling means you must deploy the Office apps individually; you possibly can’t use the one-click Store deployment accessible to shoppers or to workers putting in the apps themselves. That does improve the dimensions of the obtain considerably, from just below 2GB to round 4GB.If you are switching an current set up to make use of the App Store, then you definately’ll have to take away any current Office apps first, deleting entries from the keychain and eradicating any package deal registrations earlier than putting in the shop releases. This is not simply automated, and you could want to jot down an applicable set of scripts to be used with a device like Jamf.
Image: Simon Bisson/TechRepublic
Sorry, no InsidersThere’s one draw back to utilizing the Mac App Store to put in Office: it would not help Office Insider builds. If you wish to keep on high of preview releases you may have to obtain Microsoft’s personal Office installer and select to obtain Insider builds. In apply this is not a problem; most of your customers will likely be utilizing the usual launch so that you solely have to handle installs on your take a look at group of customers.There’s rather a lot to love about altering how Office is delivered, particularly when you possibly can hand over software updates to Apple. You’ll stick with it managing software entry by the Office or Microsoft 365 portals, so there is no new abilities to be taught. All you have to do is both give customers an set up hyperlink, or automate every thing with Apple’s personal instruments and a Mac system administration platform.So must you use the Mac App Store to deploy Office? It’s actually a simple manner of getting the apps onto consumer PCs, and can guarantee they’re all the time updated utilizing the Store’s built-in replace instruments. It’s an method that works effectively for each small places of work and for bigger organisations.

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