Mar 02

How to: Install Office 365 ProPlus / Business on a RDS Server (Terminal Server / MultiPoint Server) using Shared Computer Activation – Office 2013 version

How to: Install Office 365 ProPlus / Business on a RDS Server (Terminal Server / MultiPoint Server) using Shared Computer Activation – Office 2013 version

Here you can find the Office 2016 version/instructions: How to: Install Office 365 ProPlus / Business on a RDS Server (Terminal Server / MultiPoint Server) using Shared Computer Activation – Office 2016 version

I know that title just reads like a mouthful but trust me, could not think of a better one that would let the user know how to install Office 365 in say MultiPoint Server 2012. We’ve been promoting MultiPoint Server as an alternative to the traditional desktop model as even older desktops running even Ubuntu if licensing costs are an issue can serve as terminal (thin clients). On other scenarios, we have the Remote App functionality on a Windows Server. However, the only way to install Office on a Server product (Windows Server / Terminal Server, MultiPoint Server, etc.) was to install via a Volume License Key. So, what about those of us who purchased through either Open, Open Value, etc. several copies of Office? Well, as far as I knew we were all out of luck. Fortunately that has recently changed. Microsoft released late last year Office 365 Shared Computer Activation. This bring several advantages to companies using Office 365, but the most noteworthy obviously is the ability to use Office 365 on a Windows Server. Note: Back then the only supported product was Office 365 ProPlus, so for those of us with Office 365 Business we are not officially supported. I believe I figured out how to get it working but I will confirm once I have an Office 365 Business user up and running.

Shared computer activation lets you to deploy Office 365 ProPlus to a computer in your organization that is accessed by multiple users.

Shared computer activation gets enabled during the installation of Office 365 ProPlus, Project Pro for Office 365 and Visio Pro for Office 365 using the Office Deployment Tool. Once enabled, Office installs without being activated. When a user signs in to a computer with Office installed via shared computer activation, Office will check to see if the user has been provisioned for Office 365 ProPlus and temporarily activates Office 365 ProPlus. If a second user signs in to the same computer, the activation does not persist from the first user and process is repeated.

So there is the second beauty of Shared Computer Activation: The Activation does not persist. You can imagine what Microsoft decades ago would have done, making you use one of your precious computer quotas on each of the shared computers. But thankfully they thought really how in certain scenarios having the activation persist would result in people not adopting the shared computer model or purchasing Office 365.

It’s also important to note that deploying Office 365 ProPlus using shared computer activation does not count against a user’s five total installations of Office 365 ProPlus or Office for Mac.


Here are the steps to deploy Office 365 with Shared Computer Activation.

I. Download the Office Deployment Tool for Click-to-Run: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=36778

II. Run and extract the tool to a folder on your computer or preferably prepare a network share if you are deploying this enterprise wide.

III. Edit and configure the configuration XML file as follows: (change the SourcePath to your network share. Also, Consider I already added the Small Business Premium Retail Product ID and the Spanish language. This is not necessary)

<Configuration>

<Add SourcePath=”\\DomainName\DFS\o365\” OfficeClientEdition=”32″ >

<Product ID=”O365ProPlusRetail”>

<Language ID=”en-us” />

<Language ID=”es-es” />

</Product>

<Product ID=”O365SmallBusPremRetail”>

<Language ID=”en-us” />

<Language ID=”es-es” />

</Product>

</Add>

<Property Name=”SharedComputerLicensing” Value=”1″ />

</Configuration>

 IV. From an elevated Command Prompt, run Setup to download the installation files. Please note that there is no GUI / progress bar / etc. to get you know how it is doing. You can check the network share to see if the 1.02gb have been downloaded or not (at the time of writing it is 1.02gb, could be more or less in the future.)

Setup.exe /download configuration.xml

 

V. From an elevated Command Prompt, run Setup to install Office Click-to-Run.

Setup.exe /configure configuration.xml

VI. You’re done!

I recommend you read more on this topic. Microsoft has the following 4 resources I found very helpful in figuring this out:

4 comments

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  1. Maybe ought to mention this won”t work on small business premium as it requires pro plus licensing on RDS and only Enterprise or an open agreement allows this.

    1. You’re absolutely right. An agent told me if I got volume license Office 365 business premium it would work as it is an enterprise agreement… but no. You necessarily require Office 365 E3 or above (Enterprise version).

    • DF on April 22, 2016 at 1:26 pm
    • Reply

    “I believe I figured out how to get it working but I will confirm once I have an Office 365 Business user up and running.” Any luck?

    1. No, I have resorted to purchasing E3s for all the users that require shared activation. For everyone else I am getting business premium licenses. If you manage to get them working let us know, it would be nice to get cheaper licenses for everyone.

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