IT professionals can now use Intune, Microsoft's cloud-based enterprise mobility management service, to remotely install Office applications onto company devices running Windows 10 version 1703 or later.
The functionality was added to Intune in June, but on Thursday the Redmond, Wash. company implied it's an important feature of Microsoft 365, the subscription announced last month that will go on sale by the end of this year. Microsoft 365, which comes in both Business and Enterprise SKUs (stock-keeping units), is an amalgamation of Windows 10, Office 365 and a slew of cloud services, including Intune and Azure Active Directory (AAD).
Caveats abound: For example, only applications from the Office 2016 suite -- for Office 365 subscribers, the bundle is known as "ProPlus" -- may be installed. And the destination systems must be running Windows 10 1703, the upgrade Microsoft released in April that was dubbed "Creators Update." Also, an Intune-managed deployment cannot be conducted on PCs that already have a version of Office. (In other words, no upgrades.)
Microsoft recommended that IT uninstall Office from systems prior to Intune enrollment.
In an unsigned post to a company blog, the company used several screenshots to illustrate how IT administrators could configure Intune to deliver Office 365. (Three weeks ago, Microsoft MVP - "Most Valuable Professional" - Mark O'Shea blogged about Intune and installing ProPlus, and offered illustrated tips as well.)
Expect improvements and additions to the Office deployment process, Microsoft's Intune team said in the blog post Thursday, promising "more enhancements to come in the near future."
Documentation for the Intune capability can be found on Microsoft's website.