So this is the other half of the two-part session … and the story is very different from the "this is going to be really easy" story of deploying Vista with BDD.
You see, BDD is really primarily about getting the whole desktop image deployed. So, if you want to deploy Office at the same time as Vista, BDD can help. However, if you want to deploy Office separately, for example if you want to leave Vista for a few more months, you can’t use BDD.
The really big news is that you aren’t supposed to use GPO either. That’s right, using GPOs to deploy Office is going to disappear. It was clear from the questions being asked that this is not popular and it is being taken as a sign that Microsoft generally might be moving away from application deployment using GPO. That sucks big time, if it is true, as a lot of people in a lot of companies have put a lot of effort into doing just that. Software deployment using GPOs is not easy to do, but the results are worthwhile if you can pull it off.
Anyway, the deployment of Office is going to be very different with 2007. You will either need to deploy it as part of the OS image, or you’ll need to use something like SMS. If you haven’t got SMS, you might want to look at System Centre Essentials, which is aimed at SMBs and builds on the infrastructure of WSUS to provide application deployments.
Good and bad points … and I’ve got to go away and do some thinking now about how we can deploy Office with the minimum of pain. I’m sure we’ll want to deploy Office ahead of Vista, which means we can’t use BDD for that part.