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Creating an Office 2016 15.18.0 installer

January 14, 2016 19 comments

Microsoft recently released a new software installer to help make the task of deploying updated copies of Office 2016 for Mac admins a lot easier. This new installer is available along with the latest Office 2016 volume license installer and is named Microsoft_Office_2016_VL_Serializer.pkg.

Screen Shot 2016 01 14 at 9 44 13 AM

This installer is designed to do the following:

  • Activate an unlicensed version of Office 2016 and set it to use the volume license.
  • Convert an existing/activated version of Office 2016 for Mac to use the volume license.
  • Fix the volume license on a machine where the volume license isn’t being recognized.

The installer package (which must be downloaded from Microsoft’s volume license site) makes it possible to install an unlicensed copy of the Microsoft Office 2016 full installer and then set up that copy of Office 2016 to use your shop’s volume license for Office 2016. This is advantageous for the following reasons:

  1. Microsoft usually releases unlicensed Office 2016 full installers much sooner than they release the volume licensed Office 2016 full installer via Microsoft’s volume license site.
  2. Unlicensed Office 2016 full installers can be downloaded from the internet without requiring access to Microsoft’s volume licensing site.

For example, as of January 14, 2016, the latest version of Office 2016 is Office 2016 15.18.0. Microsoft has released an unlicensed Office 2016 15.18.0 full installer for use with Office 365. Meanwhile, the Microsoft volume license site site has Office 2016 15.17.0 available for download.

Downloading an unlicensed Office 2016 full installer

  1. Go to http://macadmins.software (this site is run by Microsoft and is safe to download from.)
  2. Locate the O365/Retail download link (highlighted in bright green in the image below.)
  3. Download an unlicensed Office 2016 full installer which is up-to-date with the latest Office 2016 software

 Screen Shot 2016 01 14 at 9 49 42 AM

I have an existing process which can be used to build a combined Office 2016 installer using Packages, so I decided to apply the same process to building an Office 2016 15.8.0 installer. See below the jump for an example of using Packages to build a combined Office 2016 installer which includes both an unlicensed Office 2016 15.18.0 full installer and the Microsoft_Office_2016_VL_Serializer installer package.

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