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Micro$oft Windoze Office Ultimate 2007

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Lee Crites
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Micro$oft Windoze Office Ultimate 2007

Y'all;

In a nutshell: I have the complete Micro$oft Office Ultimate 2007 CD -- not a hack or some funky download, a real, fully licensed version, and I'd like to install it on my USB drive so I can use it on client machines who might not have the full versions themselves.

Now for the full scoop:

As a consultant, I am frequently dealing with clients computers, most of which run some flavor of windoze. I'm a unix type, and virtually all of my clients either have one of my linux servers on site or use my linux-based hosting service. I also have a dell laptop with a linux-only install.

When I stumbled on the PortableApps site, I was excited! I could load a lot of the OSS I use on my linux systems, and when I happened to have to use a client machine, I'd toss in the USB drive, and life was good.

And... so far so good! It works perfectly! Including XAMPP!!! I LOVE IT!!! (I have a set of backup scripts that copies data back and forth from my linux system to the USB drive, so things will work just right for me!) I use it to demo my software and web sites to prospective clients who do not yet have a linux system and/or will be using my hosting service.

Here's my problem: From time to time, I have to use the "real" Micro$oft Office for a particular client or project. What I did was buy a full blown copy of Office Ultimate 2007, so I have it on CD -- the real thing. I'm not talking about a hijacked copy or hacked copy -- I have the full blown, real, legit software. But I don't have a windoze box to load it on -- my laptop is linux only. What I'd like to do is load the whole Ultimate 2007 on my USB flash drive (8gig, with over 4 gig available).

I tried looking around the forums to see if there were steps to do with, but I'm just not sure I found what I was looking for. I don't want to "mess up" a client computer by installing it on there (I can if I have to, one of them will let me; I'd just rather not worry about cleaning up afterwards).

So, here's my question: How can I install this complete and comprehensive set of apps on my USB drive in the first instance, and in such a way that I can plug that into anyone's windoze box and have it work? Since PortableApps is working so well for me, I'd like to stay within that paradigm, if at all possible.

Thanks muchly, y'all!

Lee

John T. Haller
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Can't, Legally

The bottom line, unfortunately, is that you can't do it legally. Office 2007 uses activation and locks itself to a specific hardware profile of a given PC. You're only allowed to reinstall it I think once, after which you will have to call Microsoft and ask then to re-enable installation. The only way around that is to actually install illegal bits into Office 2007 itself.

The other way would be to install it into Windows within a Virtual Machine on your Linux box.

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Bruce Pascoe
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...

Seems odd to see you speak so negatively of Windows and Microsoft in general but then go on to refer to MS Office as "complete and comprehensive" (compared to the tone of the rest of your post that comes off like a pretty big compliment). Seems contradictory and/or hypocritical.

"Windoze", "Micro$oft", "complete and comprehensive"? One of these things is not like the other... Blum Don't take this the wrong way by the way, this is all just in fun. Biggrin

computerfreaker
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Nah

As a former user of MS Office, and a current user of Windows, I know what he's saying.
He probably likes the fact that Office really is "complete and comprehensive", but hates the fact that M$ is just a greedy cash pig. Love the product, hate the price and the business model.
I know that's what my feelings are, and, IMHO, they aren't contradictory at all.

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Bruce Pascoe
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...

Yeah, I guess in that light it makes sense. I kinda feel the same way about Windows 7: W7 is awesome, but the price and one-license-per-machine restrictions are ridiculous. And mandatory activation just makes paying customers feel like criminals without stopping the real pirates at all.

Oh well, what can you do?

savedR
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M$

Yeah, I totally agree. I used to work IT for a small company, and for a while I entertained the idea of moving to an Exchange server for our email & to host a domain rather than the workgroup network we had going. Then I learned that it would cost over $1000 for the server OS, assuming we had the hardware, and over $2000 to buy a user license for every concurrent user (around 30). And that was WITHOUT another paid add-on so that Windows Mobile users could access the Exchange server remotely (or a Blackberry server). Holy sh!t.

Now, Office is pretty great, I even really like the new Ribbon interface. But I hate the pricing, I'd only use it for free, I'm certainly not paying $250 for the Student version. Which is why I usually just use OO.o or Google Docs, which is surprisingly agile & convenient.

LOGAN-Portable
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I suggest to take another

I suggest to take another look at Open Office for your portable needs. Unless you really need some Office specific thing chances are that in many cases it will work.
In the cases it doesn't, your clients have Office installed, right?

Bruce Pascoe
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They don't

No, if you read it again, that's what he was saying--he would prefer not to have to install it on his clients' machines, which implies that they don't already have it.

NathanJ79
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Consultant who works for free?

What kind of consultant are you that you work for free? I mean, isn't that what the "Micro$oft/M$" thing refers to; disgust that Microsoft charges money for their products and services? On the other hand, if you're happy to get paid for your work, why shouldn't Microsoft? ...Or is that just what the DVD-R has written in Sharpie on it... because "Windows" isn't part of the official product name.

That being said, there is no reason why an office suite should need to tie itself into the hardware. So I will never buy Microsoft Office. They are very nice looking programs -- and it's not even that I can't afford them; I can -- I just prefer OpenOffice Portable. I just install each new version as it comes out to my external hard drive, and it's there. I reinstall Windows, it's still there. OO.o takes longer to start up, but MS Office makes up for it with install times and price.

If you must use MS Office though, that's your business. The only legal way I can see to do it is to install it into a virtual machine, and get a portable virtual machine loader. That way, MS Office is tying itself into virtual hardware that does not change from computer to computer. This is only legal if you only use it on one machine at a time -- if you duplicate the virtual machine and have it running on two or more machines at a time, that's a violation of the EULA.

But if you really are consulting, you should be very knowledgeable and clear on what the laws are. Corporations are held to a higher standard than individuals when it comes to laws. And even if you're just a contractor, using contractors who use pirated software is trouble for the business, too. Not only can you be fired, if you're not an independent contractor, your firm can lose its contract, and they can in turn sue you (not to mention give your name to Microsoft). This is all extreme-case-scenario stuff, but not impossible, so it would be in your best interests to use free software.

crux
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Where are you getting your information?

Is there somewhere that we can verify your claims? Has what you described ever happened anywhere?

ottosykora
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contact VMware

company and ask them for price scheme for thinstalled MS-office.
This will technicaly and legaly be possible for them to make, you will get then special agreement with MS for that, but I have doubt that it is worth for a single user. It will be very , very expensive just for that one user fun.

Otto Sykora
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spchtr
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Wine?

Does your version of Office work in wine?

If it does you may want to consider the Portable Virtual-Box, that's out there. Not sure what all MS versions it works on, but I know it works on my Vista machine. It's just a wrapper, and can use the actual Sun Virtual-Box setup file to install Virtual-Box to a usb drive. Install linux in a Virtual-Box machine, then install MS Office into that running wine.

I'm currently using the same Portable V-Box to test out different distros of linux to find out which one I like best, for when I try to abandon MS OS's.

Baring Portable Virtual-Box, you may want to consider qemu as an alternative to do primarily the same thing.

The MAZZTer
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As others have indicated it

As others have indicated it may be possible for you to install Office into a virtual machine. What this would mean is it would be technically tied to a single machine... the virtual one... and you could move that machine to any physical machine.

Now to the downsides:
- The only VM software that is portable is Qemu. Qemu's default configuration is slow, there is a driver to speed it up but it is hit-and-miss when trying to find the right version of the driver. As long as you know how to use sc.exe and some batch magic you can easily make it install, launch qemu, and clean up the driver on exit. It requires admin rights though (qemu by itself should not AFAIK). Qemu's interface is also minimalistic and command line based giving it a high learning curve.
- A virtual machine will integrate poorly, and it will be sandboxed from the system it is running on, requiring network sharing to transfer files between the physical system and the vm. However Qemu does have support for mounting physical system folders as virtual FAT drives which is nice.
- You will need to purchase a copy of Windows to run on the virtual machine. This is especially problematic because newer Windows have license restrictions on how you can run them in VMs, specifically it is not permitted to run the cheaper editions in VMs (how convenient for Microsoft).

[Edit: I haven't tried Portable VirtualBox. VirtualBox is IMO the best free VM solution right now. It uses services and drivers though and will probably require Admin access.]

In the end, it is probably far easier and more convenient to use OpenOffice.org, which can handle MS Office file formats.

Of course, you have just brought your own solution's problems to us, instead of asking us the REAL problem you have, so I can only guess that OOo will help you. If you can tell us more about why you need to have MS Office to take to client machines (ie what do you need to do with it) we might be able to suggest alternate solutions.

Oh yeah and be sure to read that Office 2007 EULA... what you are trying to do may be a violation of it, though my suggested VM method may or may not work around that.

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solanus
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The answer is actually fairly obvious...

...although Lee Crites has not touched this thread since the original post.
He's a contractor that works mostly with people using Windows.
Despite being a Linux guy, his job requires him to work with his clients' Windows systems.
Also, his job requires him to occasionally use MS Office.

He should get a second laptop running Windows and install MS Office on that. It will also give him a legit platform to install other client-specified non-portable Windows-only apps, should the need arise.

Sure, it costs money, but the laptop and SW can be deducted as business expenses.
He'd be better off plunking down a few Benjys for a Netbook than wasting time trying to duct-tape a solution that could be illegal and unreliable.
And seriously, if I were looking for a contractor and I had a Windows-heavy company, and the guy I hired told me he doesn't actually have a Windows computer, I'd be shopping around for another guy.

Personally, I like OpenOffice more than MS Office by far. MOST Office documents can be created and edited in OOo, and swapped back and forth to MSO, including almost every document, drawing, or spreadsheet; but I can think of one major file type that would require MSO:
Many companies use MS Access Databases, and OOBase is totally incompatible with Access.

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While the solution of MS

While the solution of MS Office Portable isn't avalible, why not run it on wine?

http://www.winehq.org/

SmithTech
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ThinApp alternatives

I did some searching a while back for ways to do this.
Obviously ThinApp is MUCH to expensive to a single use application.
However I did find a couple of alternatives that are MUCH less expensive and might be worth it for business use.
https://secure.xenocode.com/ and http://boxedapp.com/
BoxedApp is probably your best bet if it will work for Office 2007, cost is under 500.00 compared to 5000.00 for ThinApp.

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