Office…good, bad, ugly.

27 Oct

One of the biggest roadblocks hoster’s have is around Office.  Want to provide a integrated SharePoint solution?  Must include Office.  Have an application that reports back through Excel?  Must use Office.  Want to provide users the ability to create, edit, and view a Word document?  Must include Office.  In this article I focus on what’s happening around Office including the good, the bad, and possibly the ugly.

Let’s start with the ugly and bad.  I hate bad news, so let’s get this out of the way.  I think the ugly is Office under Office 365.  Surprise! We all know about installing on up to 5 devices and installing on RDS right/shared computer activation..right?  You can learn more about it here

Pay attention to what is happening with Azure.  There’s a lot of changes in the way in which Office will be deployed in this environment.   More to come.

So there’s the ugly.  The bad is just the overall cost of deploying Office in a shared environment.  Office is expensive.  You not only have to report Office, but RDS and Windows as well and with currently no option for mobility, service providers have few options.  Remember, if you are providing Office remotely, your RDS licenses should match.  Last, if you think using Office Web apps is a good alternative you may have to think again.  To fully use Office Web Apps a copy of Office must also be licensed.

Here’s some good links around this topic including RDS, Azure and Office 365, as well as my own blog post “SPLA and Office 365”

Azure and RDS –

Overview of Azure/Office 365 from my friends at Code Magazine

SPLA and Office 365

Now it’s time for the good.  Did you know you know you can report the Office components instead of the entire suite?  Did you know Office is a user based license which means if not all users need Office Pro, by all means do not report all users with Office Pro. SPLA Man needs Office Pro but SPLA Girl only needs the features of Office Standard, make sure to report us accordingly.  Here is a good link that compares the features within Office as well as the features of Office Pro and Office 365.

There’s a lot of information to digest in these links.  To summarize my point, you must get creative and you must pay attention to updates (especially Office 365)  Your customers will ask.

Thanks for reading,



Posted by on October 27, 2014 in Office 365


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4 responses to “Office…good, bad, ugly.

  1. ST

    November 6, 2014 at 7:48 am

    Can you point me to Microsoft documentation that states you can license individual components or different editions for different users? I have a hosted installation for an accounting application and only one user out of 15 needs access to Office and then potentially only Excel and Outlook at that.

    • splaman

      November 6, 2014 at 12:29 pm

      Hi ST. Thanks for reading my blog.Page 44 of the SPUR under “Office Standard” it states “Component products in the suite are available separately with separate SALs”

  2. Neil

    January 16, 2015 at 3:05 am

    Hello Splaman. Thank you for running such an informative and useful blog. Do the RDS and Office licenses have to match even if only certain users are granted access to the Office applications via security policy preventing access to the software? I have 2 scenarios where Office is intended to be installed and restricted. One with 25 RDS users and 5 office users, another with 100 RDS users and 2 Excel users. A security group will determine access to the office components. Must I report 25 and 100 Office licenses respectively? Regards,

    • splaman

      January 30, 2015 at 2:36 pm

      Hi Neil

      Sorry for the delayed response. If you can restrict even indirect access than you wouldn’t report it. Be careful though. I’ve seen providers say they don’t have access but it turned out they do.


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