Single office installation for different licenses - is it possible.

Discussion in 'Microsoft Office' started by kmmng, Mar 24, 2019.

  1. kmmng

    kmmng MDL Novice

    Oct 7, 2009
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    Hello,
    I'm trying to make a Windows installation image for organization, where part of the users have a license only for Office 365 ProPlus, and the other users have only Office 2019 volume license with MAK key. This is difficult to explain why it is licensed this way, but this helps the organization to cut the license costs.
    I want to make a computer reimaging as fast and simple as possible, so I want to include the Office installation in the image (I sometimes use WIM format and sometimes use Symantec Ghost). But the problem is that I need two different images, depending on Office license for the particular computer/user.

    But maybe there is a way to install Office in such configuration that I can select the appropriate license on first run ?

    I was doing some experiments with Office Deployment Tool, and by forcing install of Office 365 using Office 2019 "PerpetualVL2019" channel, then installing Office 2019 using the same channel, I had both Office versions on one computer, even using the same install files without being installed twice.
    Then after more experiments with ospp.vbs and editing one particualr value in registry, I was able to either activate the installed Office with Office 365 user account, or with Office 2019 MAK key. BUT with one big problem - the installed Office cannot install updates ! Not manually and not automatically. As this is an organization - this isn't an option.

    So maybe there is a way to do it right ???
     
  2. abbodi1406

    abbodi1406 MDL KB0000001

    Feb 19, 2011
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    You didn't say what's Windows OS?
    Office 2019 on 7 and 8.1 is blocked from updates
    PerpetualVL2019 is exclusive to Office 2019, trying to update Office 365 from it might also blocked
     
  3. kmmng

    kmmng MDL Novice

    Oct 7, 2009
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    The OS is Windows 10, so no problem with it.
    If updating PerpetualVL2019 is blocked, how do I switch channel after the install ?
    I tried changing the channel by modifying CDNBaseURL in registry but it doesn't help. It did help me in other cases but not here.
     
  4. kmmng

    kmmng MDL Novice

    Oct 7, 2009
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    I have done more experiments and discovered something interesting :
    If I install Office 2019 ProPlus Retail from TechBench dump, I can either :
    a) Enter my work account with 365 license, then Office 2019 ProPlus Retail immediately runs update and "magically" transforms itself to activated Office 365 ProPlus. Even product title in add/remove programs becomes "Office 365 ProPlus",
    b) Enter Office 2019 ProPlus Retail product key to continue using it as Office 2019, however ours organization doesn't have it as we use VL product key and not retail,
    c) Use your R2V script to convert to Office 2019 VL, then activate it legally with our VL product key.

    So it is possible to install "self-transforming" Office !

    But now I have 2 questions :
    1) If I use your R2V script with our legal VL product key, will the installation be considered as legal ? This is very important as it is for organizational use and about once a year Microsoft representatives actually visit us and check the real count of licenses used.
    2) How can I achieve the same "self-transforming" result with Office Deployment Tool and custom xml ? As I prefer to not use the install from TechBench dump as I need to specify some custom settings in my xml.

    Thank you in advance !
     
  5. abbodi1406

    abbodi1406 MDL KB0000001

    Feb 19, 2011
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    This self-transforming is new to me, since i never had Office 365 subscription to try :)
    i wonder how Office 2019 accepted Office 365 keys (since the licenses are separate), but probably the magic is within the email account

    be advised that on Windows 10, C2R-R2V treat Office 2019/365 separately by default
    you need to set _O365asO2019=1 on line 112

    i cannot really say if it follow legal terms, but it only convert and install volume licenses, no activation touching

    like i said, i don't much about this transforming, but ODT has more restrictions
    it won't allow Office 2019 except from PerpetualVL2019 source
     
  6. kmmng

    kmmng MDL Novice

    Oct 7, 2009
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    I think I have found the "official" Microsoft solution.
    1) Set group policy "Upgrade Office 2019 to Office 365 ProPlus" - HKLM\software\policies\microsoft\office\16.0\common\officeupdate\ : "vltosubscription" - REG_DWORD = 1
    2) Install Office 2019 Volume from Office Deployment Tool.
    3) Run Office update once from any office app, it should update Office to semi-annual channel.
    4) After update, Office will "auto-transform" and appear in Add/Remove list as Office 365, but actually it can be activated either with Office 365 account or with VL MAK or KMS product key.
     
  7. DeadlySkull

    DeadlySkull MDL Novice

    Mar 17, 2019
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    It is necessary to install from ODT or a R2V converted setup file will also do the task (provided that the group policy is configured properly)?
     
  8. kmmng

    kmmng MDL Novice

    Oct 7, 2009
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    What do you mean converted setup file ? I only know how to convert after setup, and I wasn't able to make it work with Office 365 license.
     
  9. DeadlySkull

    DeadlySkull MDL Novice

    Mar 17, 2019
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    We can convert the license from R2V both before installing Office and after installing it. But in any case I guess what you mean is that R2V conversion plus gpedit followed by activation using Office 365 Key won't auto transform Office 2019 to Office 365 right?? Office 2019 has to be installed using ODT for self transformation, correct?
     
  10. kmmng

    kmmng MDL Novice

    Oct 7, 2009
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    I don't sure about this. I wasn't able to make it work using install methods other than ODT, but I think more experiments are needed to find out what exactly triggers the auto transform.
    But as I wrote before, when using retail install, without R2V conversion and without setting gpo registry value, when I log in using my work account with Office 365 license, Office 2019 also auto transforms to Office 365. I think the special thing about the GPO is that it allows the "auto transform" to happen even on volume version of Office 2019.
    Other things is that for auto transform to be useful, you have to use real Office 365 account with Office license assigned. Because even if transformed Office is updated to latest semi-annual or even monthly channel, it won't display any Office 365 features or the new user interface, unless activated with Office 365 account. I have tested it - let the Office auto transform, activate with work account - and I have the new UI. Then I remove my work account, and activate the same Office with MAK or KMS key, and it immedately goes back to old UI.
    But for my purpose this solution seems to be perfectly fine.
     
  11. kmmng

    kmmng MDL Novice

    Oct 7, 2009
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    Update: GPO solution doesn't work exactly as I want. I can activate the same setup of Office using either O365 account or 2019 MAK but this works only if I don't run sysprep.
    I don't mean I want to activate before sysprep, this should not work. I mean I install Office before sysprep and don't activate it, then after sysprep I want to activate it but cannot.
    Sysprep destroys something in the licensing process. After sysprep, Office still asks me to activate using O365 account, however when I log on with an account, it tries to activate but silently fails. Office remain not activated despite being logged on with O365 account. Activating with 2019 MAK does work.
    My solution now will be installing Office 365 without GPO or other settings, then after sysprep if I want to activate using 2019 MAK, I just run a simplified version of R2V script.
    For now it works.
     
  12. Myrrh

    Myrrh MDL Expert

    Nov 26, 2008
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    They make it so fricken' complicated to be properly licensed, and wonder why people go the piracy route. Sheesh.

    I work for a small company, not much chance of an actual visit from Microsoft. We have adequate number of Office 365 licenses but every time I've tried to come up with a plan to implement the damn thing I end up with a mess. My users don't need another thing they have to sign into, company policies prevent storing the documents in the cloud anyway, and I don't need the admin headache of integrating my AD into Azure.

    I'm seriously considering just going with Office 2019 VL or 2016 Mondo (minus the components not in our 365 plan) company-wide, being careful not to exceed the same number of installs that would be allowed with 365 if I ever get it working. Mondo, if I understand correctly, provides the latest 365 experience without the necessity of logging into a subscription.
     
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