Microsoft Updates Vista Deployment Tools

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2007-11-14 Print this article Print

The software maker looks to accelerate what it sees as a growing trend by businesses in testing Vista.

BARCELONA—Microsoft officials are seeing a sharp increase in the number of businesses that are starting to test Windows Vista in their environments, and the software maker is looking to fuel that trend with updated tools that help with the testing and migration planning process. Among these is Microsoft Deployment—formally known as Business Desktop Deployment 2007—which provides detailed guidance and aids large-scale deployment projects. Microsoft Deployment can be used to deploy Windows Vista, Office 2007, Windows Server 2003 and prerelease versions of Windows Server 2008.
It now also integrates with other deployment technologies such as System Center Configuration Manager 2007 and the Windows Automated Installation Kit to create a single path for image creation and automated installation, Stella Chernyak, group product manager for Windows client, told eWEEK here at the TechEd IT Forum.
Forrester is predicting that Vista will be deployed across at least one-quarter of PCs in North American and European enterprises next year. Click here to read more. The software maker has opened up beta testing for the Microsoft Assessment and Planning Solution Accelerator, a newer and expanded version of the Windows Vista Hardware Assessment Tool, an inventory, assessment, and reporting product that checks computers on the network to see if they are ready to run Vista and Office 2007. The upcoming release will add support for Windows Server 2008, Vista Service Pack 1 and System Center Configuration Manager 2007 SP1 deployments. Microsoft Deployment includes Version 5 of the Application Compatibility Toolkit, which has been updated to support the .Net Framework 2.0 and should help customers more quickly test and remediate their line of business applications, Chernyak said. To help make the migration to Windows Vista as seamless as possible, Microsoft created the Application Compatibility Factory, which connects enterprise customers with selected partners who offer application compatibility and remediation services. Read more here about how Microsoft has helped ease Vista deployment. Another component of Microsoft Deployment is the Windows Vista Hardware Assessment solution accelerator, which offers increased scalability and is designed to help them decide which PCs should be upgraded to Vista and Office 2007, along with what hardware and device upgrades will be necessary, Chernyak said. Version 2.1 also offers IP-range targeting and non-Windows device discovery, and is localized in seven languages: English, German, French, Japanese, Korean, Spanish and Portuguese. The third component of Microsoft Deployment is the User State Migration Tools Version 3.0, which lets customers conduct remote migrations of multiple computers from Windows XP to Vista while saving all user files and settings. "Our customers and partners are using these tools to help them prepare to deploy and move to Windows Vista, which is evident in the fact that the Windows Hardware Assessment tool has been downloaded 329,000 times during the last eight months, the business desktop deployment 2007 tool has been downloaded 283,000 times, and the Application Compatibility Toolkit 5.0 has been downloaded more than 340,000 times since February," Chernyak said. The fact that many businesses had waited a year to start testing Vista for deployment was not unusual and followed the same adoption pattern with the earlier Windows releases, she said, adding that the spike in interest was not just due to SP1. Read more here about the six Vista migration tools Microsoft rolled out. Microsoft was also helping business customers decide whether a complete migration to Vista was the route to go, or if they should just do so as they refreshed their hardware, she said. "This is a big change for us given how we previously used to focus pretty much just on getting them to move all of their machines across," Chernyak said. Microsoft has also introduced an online resource called "The Springboard Series," which is part of TechNet and provides a portfolio of recommended materials and resources about the Vista adoption life cycle based on early adopter and community experiences and feedback. Check out eWEEK.coms for Microsoft and Windows news, views and analysis.
Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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