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The Infinite Office

Posted 2 years ago.

Hi all,

So I've finally had some motivation to write again, and this time it's a tech support story. So today I was working with a client who came back from a break only to find that his Office 2016 install is unlicensed. Not to worry, we have a script for that that reconnects to the KMS licensing server.

So I remote into his machine and notice that he has Office 2010 installed on his computer, side by side with his 2016 install. Not wanting to cause any corruption or issues when I install the license patch for his 2016 install, I get to work on uninstalling 2010.

One reboot later and I'm back in elevated CMD, right in the heart of the beast that is C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office16. I run the handy cscript OSPP.VBS /sethst:kms.domain.com only to find an issue that I've never seen before: No Office KMS licenses were found on the system.

"Odd..." I think to myself, and ponder over the possible solutions to the problem. I turn to the Internet but my Googlefu is failing me, nothing obvious jumps out at me. So, I do what any nooby technician would do and chat to someone more knowledgeable. My colleague asks if he's running Office 2016 or Office 365. Thinking back, I recall the words "Office ProPlus 365" flashing across the screen. It turns out that while Office365 ProPlus and the office16 package that we have in our \\software drive have the same programs, they use different licensing protocols. So, after figuring that out I uninstalled Office365 and installed office16, also allowing the user time to configure it and remove the junk that he didn't need (such as language proofing for French and Spanish, two languages that he did not speak).

After yet another fun reboot, I loaded up Microsoft Word and hey presto, absolutely no licensing errors at all! The world was saved once again!

This post didn't really have much point, I'm just cheesed off that Microsoft thought that it'd be a good idea to have separate licensing systems for two products which are identical, save for the fact that one was personal and one was for businesses.

See you in the next one.

-Natfan.