Office 365 and Horizon Clones

For those of you wrapped been cursed or blessed with Office 365 this blog post is for you. There are some huge benefits to go this way, but also some huge challenges with doing this. And there are not many blog posts out there about this thing and how to make it work with Horizon and DEM or UEM (Dynamic Environment Manager ) depending on how you want to think of it.

One of the big changes if going from KMS, to using office activation that checks into the Microsoft portal. For traditional desktops and persistent VM’s this is great! But for Clones this is not such a great solution.

Step 1….. Make sure the office install on the clone is in shared licensing mode! Well how do you do this? Well if you are doing a fresh install you can configure your XML to include the line:

<Display Level=”None” AcceptEULA=”True” />

<Property Name=”SharedComputerLicensing” Value=”1″ />

Or if you have already installed Office you can change the Reg Key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Office\ClickToRun\Configuration you can edit the Key “SharedComputerLicensing” to the value of ‘1’

By doing one of the above this will set office on the clone master to Shared mode. Now to validate.

Step 2….. Validating the authentication is in shared license mode by checking to lic files exist. I like to test and make sure things work before throwing things into the wild. So I take a snapshot of the VM set a local account, and sign into the master. Log into office with my credentials and validate the license files exist. By default the files are saved in the location:


There will be two files created in this directory. One .authstring and one .signingcert. These are your Office 365 keys. Now we are sure things are working we can revert to the last snap and proceed on.

Step 3….. Setting up DEM (Dynamic Environment Manager). When setting up DEM you really need to grab a few things. Specific for Office 365 License files you need to capture those. So setting up office shared settings as below:


This needs to be set for minimum. But the if you want to capture the Office Quick links at the top of the office apps you much capture the entire Office folder below.


The quick links are saved here in files labeled OfficeUI like below.


Generally this is my go to configuration for office shared settings in DEM.


Step 4….. Throwing into test environment and making sure things work as expected.

There is some pretty good documents from Microsoft to set this up. Setup and Troubleshooting


Bonus Info….. Microsoft Teams for Horizon

For those of you that have struggled with Teams and getting this to work. Well Microsoft finally built the installer for it to work correctly. Instead of installing in the user directory, now it actually installs in Programs. Huge win, but there are some special things you need to do to make it all work.

Step 1….. Installing Teams. Well this is just not a simple click and go install (Not that I was a huge fan of that method), now you need to download the correct installer.  Installer downloads can be found here 64bit and 32bit

Run the following command to install:

msiexec /i <path_to_msi> /l*v <install_logfile_name> ALLUSER=1

One catch to install this version of teams. It requires Horizon Agent to be installed. Also there are a bunch of Known issues and Limitations. Technically deployment for Non-Persistent is not supported but have found it works quite well. Link to Limitations here.

After install it will work for Clone VM’s. There is really just one catch to the mix. A Shortcut does not exist. So for me I just use DEM and build a shortcut to put in the start menu.


Microsoft has has a decent doc for setting up Teams for Virtual Desktop Use here.


Also one last thing…..

If you are splitting out your Standard build of Office 365 on the base image, and then installing Visio and or Project on AppStacks you need to make sure that the full install of Office 365 is installed on the packaging machine and set to Shared Licensing also like your clone master. The license settings must match.



About childebrandt42

I am a jack of all trades and a master of a few things. Manage a enterprise VDI deployment for a living. Automate things, work on my media server and fish for hobbies. Monkey tamer at home!
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