The Custom Install Wizard (CIW) has been improved, and now includes the option to remove old files before installation as well as setting security levels for each program. On top of this, the new Custom Maintenance Wizard (CMW) allows you to apply changes once the installation is complete, so you can remove files or applications afterwards.
Rather than installing from a LAN file share, Web servers can now be used with support for HTTP and FTP just by creating an image on the server that's tied to a setup.exe link on your Web page. With smart installation, Office XP will also upgrade only those elements that are already on the target system, using the language settings present.
System administrators who have suffered at the hands of VBA mail attachment viruses will be relieved to hear that Office XP can be installed with the Visual Basic component disabled. System Policy improvements can also be implemented for the new functions in Office XP such as Data Panes.
With the exception of Access 2002, file formats used by the various Office XP applications are compatible with Office 2000, reducing the need for large-scale file conversion of existing company documents. Also, if your company uses Microsoft Exchange Server with Web Storage configured, employees can save directly to the server via the File/Save dialogue box.
Hot-desking is also less of a chore thanks to Office XP's Save My Settings wizard. This allows users to save their Office XP configuration to a file (either locally, or on the Web) and restore it to a different system, removing the need for manual configuration.
If you wish to add specific functionality to your company installation, custom Smart Tags can be developed using the SDK that comes with Office XP Developer Edition (you can also download this from Microsoft's Web site). For example, you can attach customer data or pricing -- from sources such as your Outlook Address Book or shared Excel 2002 spreadsheets -- and have them available in a custom Smart Tag that appears when an order reference number is typed into Word 2002. It's also possible that third-party developers will create and distribute their own custom tools once Office XP gains momentum.
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