Office ProPlus Device Based Activation

Microsoft has a special capability called Office ProPlus Device Based Activation, which is only offered to Office 365 for Education customers. It allows the click to run Office to be licensed on a device basis instead of on a user basis. has more info, including a video, brief guide (which is not a guide, but just a step-by-step to implementation), and a FAQ partly hidden a layer below.

This capability has a lot of upside, and I appreciate the solution. There are several aspects of the design that are under-documented and which deserve thought:

  • Most of the issues center on the “device users” which are created and leveraged to enable this capability. Undocumented by Microsoft, the Azure AD object type/class these “device users” are is simply just Azure AD users with _Device_ as a prefix.
  • How do these objects go away? This topic is not covered, and I presume that you must invent your own mechanism to remove them when unnecessary. How you’d effectively do that is pretty unclear.
  • Another issue is where the Office ProPlus licenses which get applied to these users come from.

I’ve got a longer analysis paper over at which discusses the topic and our proposal to implement.

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