An application software or utility can be installed on many clients at the same time, in a domain network, using the power of Group Policy. This process is called 'Software Deployment’. The software to be deployed or installed on the clients must have Microsoft Installer file, that is, .msi file used to install software. In absence of .msi file, you can create .zap file to deploy the software.
                     The file with extension .mst is used to make modifications in the already installed software on the clients. The files of the software to be deployed are copied to a shared folder. This shared folder is called 'Software Distribution Point'.


1. Go to your DC and create a shared folder named as ‘Software’ in any drive.
2. Give the sharing permissions – allow full control to everyone.
3. Insert the CD of MS-Office XP in the CD-ROM drive.
4. Open the CD and copy all the files from the CD to the folder Software.
5.  Open ‘Active Directory users and computers’.
6. Right-click on the domain-name > properties or you can create an OU and apply Group Policy on it.
7. Select Group Policy > New > Up > Edit.
8.  Group Policy Object Editor will open.
9. Go to Computer Configuration > software settings > right-click on software installation > new > package.
10.  Click on My Network Places > Entire network > Microsoft Windows Network > Click on the name of your domain > click on the name of your DC > Software > click on proplus.msi.
11.  Click O.K.
12.  Close the Group Policy Object Editor.
13.  Click Apply & O.K.
14.  In the RUN, type cmd > O.K.
15. Type the command: Gpupdate /force
16.  Press Enter and restart the DC.
17. When DC has started, restart the clients which must be member of the domain.
18. Office will start installing on the clients.
19. You can similarly deploy other software like MS-Office 2000 and MS-Office 2003.
20. To deploy MS-Office 2000, click on the data1.msi file.
21. If software has more than one .msi files, don’t get confused. Just right-click on the file > properties > summary > subject > to know whether file can be used to deploy the software.

                   When software is assigned, it is readily available in the Start Menu of the client PCs and any user can use it. We assign software to computers. To assign software, during software deployment, in the Group Policy Object Editor, select Computer Configuration > Software Settings > Software Installation.

                     When a software is published, it does not come in the Start Menu of the client PC, user has to go to Control Panel > Add or Remove Programs > Add New Programs > Add to install the software. We publish software to users. To publish software, during software deployment, in the Group Policy Object Editor, select User Configuration > Software Settings > Software Installation.