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Looking at potential ways to deploy Office 2013 via GPO.

First and most obvious way is to run a startup script which calls the Office 2013 setup.exe. Problem here is what happens after it is installed, will that startup script keep re-installing the product every time the machine boots?

Another potential way is to install each Office component separately using the multitude of .msi files which are present, would that work and provide the same thing as a full install of Office? There is actually twenty three separate .msi files. What about officemui.msi is that a wrapper which contains calls to all of the other office components.

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Depends on how badly your script is written. It should be trivial to test if office is installed, and only run the setup when it isn't. –  Zoredache Nov 30 '12 at 16:32
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2 Answers

Installing from the .msi files is not supported. It just plain doesn't work.

You have to install from a startup script (or logon script, but that's generally a bad idea). You'll want to write the startup script such that it checks for a previous installation.

Also, it's the exact same process for Office 2010. And you can do some fun stuff like dumping Office, Visio, Project, and Sharepoint Designer all into one installation folder (still have to call setup for each individually, but saves on space)

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How does it save space? Are their common components between all three installations? If not, then a folder with three cd images in it is the same size (realistically) as three separate folders with their own image in them. –  Glenn Sullivan Nov 30 '12 at 16:41
    
The installer itself is identical in all 4; and there are common components (Proofing, Office Core, Telemetry, and Admin; about 110MB in all). It's only worth mucking with if space is an issue (commonly with deployment systems that copy the installer to the local computer first, like SCCM) –  Chris S Nov 30 '12 at 16:52
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I don't believe that deploying Office 2013 via GPO Software Installation is a supported method of deploying it. Here's a link to deploying it via computer startup scripts:

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff602181.aspx

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So how do I write a batch file to test if Office 2013 is already installed? –  NickC Nov 30 '12 at 17:04
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