Microsoft Launches Windows 7 Deployment Tool Early

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Deployment tool comes out early to help keen administrators – or encourage those who aren’t so sure?

Microsoft has given an early launch to a deployment toolkit designed to help administrators get to grips with Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 Release 2.

The Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) 2010 is supposed to support IT administrators in deploying not only Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 (read our reviews of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2) but also older versions of Microsoft products including Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008. Although originally intended to roll out in its final version following the release of Windows 7, Microsoft released the Toolkit several weeks before the new operating system.

Although the original Release Candidate build for the Toolkit rolled out in August, the final version was not expected until sometime this fall after the rollout of Windows 7. Perhaps recognising the need of IT administrators and others to rapidly deploy the new operating system soon after its release, Microsoft decided to bump the street date of the Toolkit to 8 September.

Redmond considers the Toolkit to be “the recommended process and toolset for automating desktop and server deployment.” In addition to providing unified tools and processes for desktop and server deployment in a common deployment console, the Toolkit supposedly reduces deployment time and improves security and the ease of configuration management.

According to Microsoft, the Toolkit allows for “fully automated Zero Touch Installation deployments by leveraging System Center Configuration Manager 2007 Service Pack 2 Release Candidate and Windows deployment tools.” Those without the necessary System Center Configuration 2007 infrastructure can still fall back on the Toolkit to leverage “Windows deployment tools for Lite Touch Installation deployments.”

This newest version of the Deployment Toolkit also includes the ability:

  • To access deployment shares “from anywhere on the network and replicate files and settings across organizational boundaries or sites.”
  • To organise and manage everything from drivers and operating systems to applications and task sequences with an improved UI.
  • To “Automate UI functionality using the Windows PowerShell command line interface.”

The application can be downloaded from Microsoft. More details about new Toolkit features can be found on the blog of Michael Niehaus, a member of Microsoft’s Solution Accelerators team.

Windows 7 suffered a blow this week when a zero-day flaw affecting it was revealed.