Thursday, September 18, 2008

Office 2007 Install Pain

More tips n' tricks here... We've been running Office 2007 since the spring now...

Training: Our on-site office training was - awesome!
I was learning tricks I had never used before from previous versions. Well worth the effort.
Train people the same day as their installation. A great suggestion from our training partners. They get back to their desk and have to use the training right away.
Customized classes for different levels of students. All day MS Office overview for the 'information workers'. Half day classes for the folks who drive trucks around, prune trees, grow things in our greenhouse.
A few high end trainings sessions for the remainder.
In total we trained 55 users over the course of four days, leaving Friday for in depth training sessions that were optional.
Mandatory Training. Excellent idea. We're paying to have someone come on site. To get the greatest value out of the training we need to insist that employees attend.
Expectations: Don't expect the 'troubled trainees' to learn anything more than the basics...
Training got them up to speed, but can't help them remember what a style is, or to use tables instead of spaces to line up text.
We spent a lot of money to get the pricey 'corporate' version of Office 2007, because it includes the "administrative" install feature that Office 97 included at no charge in the OEM release of the software. The customization utility is buggy and the results are pretty messy. The customization utility crashes when selecting certain settings.
(Save frequently!) And then the transforms don't seem to take effect anyway.
Were I to do this again, I might go with shrinkwrap or OEM software.
We couldn't seriously consider Software Assurance (aka highway robbery).
The savings could easily pay for a KBOX to do the roll-out...
At the end of the project, I discovered that the Office 2003 Resource Kit has a tool that properly removes Office 97. Office 97 never seems to uninstall cleanly otherwise.
We have many buggy machines as a result of incomplete removal of Office 97.
Removing Office '97 when the installer can't find the source...
Also, in case you're trying to update the installation source for an administrative install of Office 97 - so you can run the uninstall later once the administrative share has changed location... Look for a file ending in ".STM" on the C drive, there's a line in there that seems to do the trick.

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