05/24/2019 394 views

We currently deploy Office 2016 on campus because it's relatively hands-off with our KMS activation server. We would like to move to O365 Office Suite but a major concern is we don't want professors or students to have to sign into Office for activation just to use it. We have several classrooms that would be this way and also labs that many users signing in daily. My question is does anyone have experience deploying O365 in a similar manner using device based activation? Or is there another way since that process seems overly cumbersome. My plan is to deploy it as part of an image post install task with the KACE SDA. Any advice would be welcome.

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Community Chosen Answer


O365 does support Device Based Activation for education users. More information is available here: https://aka.ms/officedba

The setup took some time to get configured, but once it was done, it works very well. We also prefer it because it always installs the latest version from Microsoft, so when we deploy systems on the K2000, Office installs as a post-install task and we know the user is getting the latest version (based also on what deployment ring they are in).

This is what our configuration.xml file looks like:

  <Add OfficeClientEdition="32" Channel="Broad">
    <Product ID="O365ProPlusRetail">
      <Language ID="en-us" />
  <ExcludeApp ID="Groove" />
  <Updates Enabled="TRUE" Channel="Broad" />
  <Display Level="None" AcceptEULA="TRUE" />
  <Property Name="FORCEAPPSHUTDOWN" Value="TRUE" />

And the batch file for the install:

setup.exe /download configuration.xml
OPPTransition.exe -Tenant yourtenantid -Key thekey -Domain yourdomain.onmicrosoft.com -Version 16 -UninstallVersion msi16

Answered 05/28/2019 by: chucksteel
Red Belt

  • Do they have to Sign in to finish the activation?
    • I don't believe so. Lab users aren't prompted to login and all of the products work without issue. I believe the activation actually happens during installation.

All Answers


Well.. from:


A Microsoft's step-by-step guide about adding O365 to a Golden Image... it says user's will have to sign in to activate office at the end, check the last step from that guide, Step #7.

I believe O365 is suitable for environments where 1 user = 1 device.... 

This could be old news, but I went to an Office 365 introduction course  and as far as I know O365 checks online to see if that specific user has a proper license.  The "expiration" only comes into play if the machine doesn't have an Internet connection.  O365 is licensed to the user, not the device.  Users who do not have an O365 Office license won't be able to use an O365 installation. 

If that's an issue, a standard Volume license of Office 2013/2016/2019 is the correct route to take.....

Answered 05/27/2019 by: Channeler
Red Belt