For some unknown reason, Microsoft removed the ability to apply transform files to the Office 2007 suite when installing via MSI. On the flip side they made it much easier to deploy patches in MSP format to Office 2007 when installing via the traditional setup.exe. Give and take I suppose. Why is this a problem? Well if you want to deploy any or all of the Office 2007 suite via Active Directory Group Policy you will need to get a little creative.
To be fair, Microsoft still allows you to customize SOME settings when deploying using an MSI. There is a config.xml file that is contained in the same directory as the MSI that allows you to specify things like product key, organization name, and a few other basic items. If you don’t have a need to specify any configuration options and just want a plain vanilla install then you can still deploy Office 2007 using the tried and true MSI installation via Group Policy.
Keep in mind that if you do chose to use the MSI installation method, any patches you place in the Updates folder will be ignored! This is important for things like service packs or critical security updates.
To overcome this Microsoft recommends creating a script that will perform the install, then using Group Policy, apply this script as a computer startup script. I have taken that approach and modified it slightly to achieve a more controllable method whereby an end user can run the install or administrators can place this script into an already existing logon script. The advantage here is that the user will NOT have to wait for the installation to complete prior to logon.
So here goes:
ECHO Detecting Outlook 2007...
IF EXIST "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office12\OUTLOOK.EXE" GOTO End ELSE GOTO InstallOutlook
ECHO Outlook 2007 not found.
ECHO Please wait while the Outlook 2007 installation initializes...
START \\SERVER\Share\OL2007\setup.exe /adminfile \\SERVER\Share\OL2007\Updates\OL2007.MSP
ECHO Initialization complete.
Before you go trying to run this puppy, you will need to have already created a share, copied the installation to the share, and finally created a transform file that contains your desired configuration options. I won’t go into a bunch of detail on how to do all of this other than to say the command to enter the Office Configuration Wizard is