Guest Blogger – Writing the Vista Resource Kit

Mitch Tulloch (Winnipeg, Manitoba - IT Author)

Windows Vista 

Before I joined Microsoft, Mitch Tulloch was instrumental in helping me get more involved in writing and more importantly, getting paid to do it!  Mitch has written 14 books, and countless articles for various technical publishers but his biggest challenge to date would have to be the Windows Vista Resource Kit for Microsoft Press.  I asked Mitch to share some information on the book and the challenges of writing it and here is what he had to say.


For the last six months I've been leading a team of top-notch authors at Microsoft Press where we've been busily writing the Microsoft Windows Vista Resource Kit. The book is almost finished and it will be THE book for IT pros who will deploy, maintain and support Windows Vista in enterprise environments. Rodney suggested I outline what will be in this book and briefly describe my experiences writing it, so here goes!

Summary of Contents 

Here's a summary of what the book is about, taken directly from the Introduction:

The Microsoft Windows Vista Resource Kit is a comprehensive technical resource for deploying, maintaining and troubleshooting Microsoft Windows Vista. While the target audience for this Resource Kit is experienced IT professionals who work in medium and large organizations, anyone who wants to learn how to deploy, configure, support and troubleshoot Windows Vista in Active Directory environments will find this Resource Kit invaluable.

You'll find in-depth information and task-based guidance here on managing all aspects of Windows Vista including automated deployment, desktop management, sharing and collaboration, search and organization, patch management, client protection, networking, remote access and systematic troubleshooting techniques. You'll also find numerous sidebars contributed by members of the Windows Vista product team that give you deep insight into how Windows Vista works under the hood, best practices for managing the platform, and invaluable troubleshooting tips. Finally, the accompanying Companion DVD includes deployment tools, additional documentation, and over a hundred scripts you can use and customize to help you automate various aspects of managing Windows Vista clients in enterprise environments.

The six parts of this book cover the following topics:

  • Part 1 Overview - Provides an introduction to the features of Windows Vista and an overview of security enhancements for the platform.

  • Part 2 Deployment - Provides in-depth information and guidance on deploying Windows Vista in enterprise environments, with particular focus on using the Microsoft Solution Accelerator for Business Desktop Deployment 2007 (BDD 2007).

  • Part 3 Desktop Management - Describes how to use Group Policy to manage the desktop environment for users of Windows Vista computers and how to manage specificfeatures such as disks and file systems, devices and services, sharing and collaboration, printing, search and Internet Explorer.

  • Part 4 Desktop Maintenance - Describes how to maintain the health of Windows Vista computers by using the eventing infrastructure, monitoring performance, managing software updates, managing client protection, and using Remote Assistance.

  • Part 5 Networking - Provides in-depth information on networking enhancements in Windows Vista including core networking improvements, wireless networking, Windows Firewall and IPsec enhancements, remote connectivity using virtual private networking (VPN) and Remote Desktop, and deploying IPv6.

  • Part 6 Troubleshooting - Describes how to troubleshoot startup issues, hardware issues, networking issues, and interpreting Stop messages.

The book also includes several appendices on different topics and a glossary for reference.

My Experiences

As for my own experiences leading the author team for this project (and writing about a third of the book myself) well all I can say is, if you think it was challenging for the Windows Vista product team to create this amazing product, try writing THE book about it while the product still under development!! Fortunately, as authors we have had several terrific advantages including:

A fantastic team of editors at Microsoft Press who have helped and supported us every step of the way.  Dozens of members of the Windows Vista product team who have (despite how insanely busy they were) graciously spent hundreds of hours reviewing our chapters to ensure technical accuracy, contributed sidebars to our chapters to provide expert insights into the product, and tirelessly provided us with advice, encouragement and support as we worked on this project. 

And quite a lot of work it's been! We're in the final stages of this project now and the book will hit bookstores in March 2007, but you can pre-order it today on! Like it's predecessor the Windows XP Resource Kit, which was Microsoft Press's all-time top selling title, the Windows Vista Resource Kit is one book you will definitely want to have on your bookshelf if you're an administrator who manages Windows clients.


Mitch Tulloch is President of MTIT Enterprises. Before starting his company in 1998, Mitch worked as a Microsoft Certified Trainer for Productivity Point International. Mitch is a widely recognized expert on Windows administration, networking, and security, and has been awarded Most Valuable Professional (MVP) status by Microsoft for his outstanding contributions in supporting users who deploy Microsoft platforms, products and solutions.

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