Microsoft Releases Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2010

Microsoft's new Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) 2010 is supposed to support IT administrators in deploying not only 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 Oct. 22 release of Windows 7, Microsoft released the Toolkit several weeks before the new operating system.

Microsoft has released the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2010, a "solution accelerator" that supports IT administrators in their deployment of not only the upcoming Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2, but also Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP.

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 Oct. 22 rollout of Windows 7. Perhaps recognizing 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 Sept. 8.

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 organize 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 this site. More details about new Toolkit features can be found on the blog of Michael Niehaus, a member of Microsoft's Solution Accelerators team.