By Ken Marlin, Microsoft Champion and Technical Consultant at Avnet Embedded
One of my recent blog articles Office 2013 Products Bring New Changes and Challenges, I touched on many of the new changes and opened the door for more questions from OEMs that want to pre-install the Office 2013 products onto systems before they ship them to customers.
Many of the OEMs aren't even sure which flavor the customer will want so they typically ask how can they load all editions of OEM Office 2013 and let the customer choose. In some cases, they already know which version as the customer has placed an order and requested that the OEM load and activate it for them.
Steps to Pre-Install OEM Office 2013
The first step is the OEM needs to download the OEM OPK (OEM Pre-Installation Kit) from the OEM System Builder website located in the Microsoft OEM Partner Center. Simply choose the language of the OPK you require and download the IMG file and burn to a DVD.
The DVD has a small batch file named OEMsetup.en-us and you will launch this batch file with administrator rights. Right click on the file and choose Run as Administrator, which launches the file and starts a full installation. This takes a few moments and once completed, you will see an icon on the Start menu for Microsoft Office.
OEMs can pre-install the Office product onto every system they ship or they can sell a license of Office with the system and perform the installation on behalf of the end user. When the System Builder or the end user clicks on the icon for Microsoft Office, they will get the options: buy, activate or try Office 2013/365. If you are a System Builder and you want to pre-install and pre-activate the Office product for your customer, you should click on Activate and enter the 25-digit code located on the Product Key Card.
The next hurdle with this new version of Office after you activate the license is that Microsoft wants the user to assign the license to a Microsoft Live ID account so the user can sync files with Microsoft Skydrive. This can be a problem for OEM System Builders as in many cases they won't know the user's Live ID account. The solution in this scenario is for the OEM System Builder to go to http://www.outlook.com and create a generic account for the end user customer, then install and activate Office with this generic account. The final step is to give the account information to the customer, and then they can rename and or re-assign the licenses as needed.
I've created a short how-to video on How to Pre-Install Office 2013 on new computers via the OEM Office OPK
Based in Phoenix, Ariz., Ken Marlin is a Microsoft Champion and Technical Consultant at Avnet Embedded. He has over 30 years of Microsoft experience supporting all Microsoft products and programs with specialties in Microsoft OEM System Builder, OEM Embedded and Open Volume programs. He is a regular contributor to http://www.IntelligentSystem.com.