New deployment tools available for Windows 7 Beta!

We know many of you have downloaded the Windows 7 Beta (enough to overwhelm our servers!), and are likely putting the new operating system through its paces. Now that you’ve had a chance to explore the new UI and some of the advanced end-user features, it might be time to begin working with the management and deployment capabilities.

Microsoft has just released two complementary deployment tools you will want to take a look at:

The Windows Automated Installation Kit (AIK) is a tool to help IT pros create and deploy Windows images to new hardware. The Windows AIK is a collection of tools and documentation that help you automate Windows OS deployments with a high degree of flexibility—allowing you to configure many deployment options, which is helpful in highly customized environments. Tools such as the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT—discussed below) and products like System Center Configuration Manager use components of Windows AIK to create system images and automate their installation. This latest release of Windows AIK is designed to work with Windows 7 images, and supports the new Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) tool that is part of Windows 7. The User State Migration Tool (USMT 4.0) is now installed as part of Windows AIK, to help streamline and simplify the migration of user accounts, files, OS settings and application settings. You can download the latest Windows AIK here.

The Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2010 Beta is also now available as an open beta on Connect. MDT 2010 is the fourth generation deployment Solution Accelerator from Microsoft. Along with detailed guidance, MDT 2010 provides unified tools and processes for desktop and server deployments from a common deployment console, delivering standardized images across both your server and client infrastructure. MDT 2010 also supports Hard Link Migrations using USMT 4.0 for refresh scenarios, which will reduce your user state back-up and restore time. MDT 2010 supports deployment of Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, in addition to supporting Windows Vista SP1, Windows XP SP3 and Windows Server 2003.

Check out other Solution Accelerators at, and visit the Springboard Series on TechNet for more information and guidance on Windows technology adoption!