Microsoft Corp. wants corporations and consumers to be able to roll out Vista more quickly, reliably and cheaply than they have been able to do with previous versions of Windows.
On the corporate side of the house, Microsoft is planning to release a variety of new deployment tools, including one called the WAIK (Windows Automated Installation Kit), that it is banking on to deliver these improvements.
Microsoft recently posted to its Web site for download a users guide for WAIK.
Microsoft describes WAIK as "a new set of tools designed to help Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), system builders, and corporate IT professionals deploy Windows Vista onto new hardware."
Microsoft officials first outlined publicly its plans for WAIK at WinHEC (the Windows Hardware Engineering Conference) in April.
At WinHEC, Mark Myers, senior program manager for industry engagement and engineering, told attendees that Microsoft was planning to componentize Vista (formerly code-named Longhorn) and make it available to OEMs and system builders as a set of selectable modules.
Microsoft has said since last year that componentization will be key to the way both Vista and Longhorn Server will be distributed to and installed by customers.
But modularization alone wont simplify deployment for enterprises. They also will need WAIK, according to Microsoft. WAIK is a corporate-customer-focused version of the existing OPK (OEM Preinstallation Kit), via which system vendors currently install Windows on new desktop machines.