Windows Vista deployment tools are now available to help you deploy Windows Vista. Below is a summary about each tool and how to get it. All the tools are free and available now from Microsoft.com.
Solution Accelerator for Business Desktop Deployment 2007:
BDD 2007 is a set of comprehensive guidelines and tools that organizations can use to help deploy Windows Vista and the 2007 Office system to desktops. BDD 2007 includes single-image engineering and deployment capabilities, user-state migration tools, remote deployment tools and integration with other key Microsoft deployment products such as Systems Management Server 2003. BDD 2007 brings together many deployment tools into a consolidated, comprehensive solution. BDD 2007 also includes or can be used to obtain and integrate many of the important deployment and planning tools announced today, including ACT 5.0, Windows Vista Hardware Assessment and the Volume Activation 2.0 tools. Download it here.
Application Compatibility Toolkit 5.0:
ACT 5.0 is a tool that helps businesses reduce the cost and time needed to resolve potential application compatibility issues encountered when moving to Windows Vista. Through a series of compatibility evaluators and tools, ACT 5.0 enables software developers, independent software vendors (ISVs) and IT professionals to determine whether their applications are compatible with Windows Vista and how best to resolve any conflicts, even before Windows Vista is deployed within an organization. ACT 5.0 also includes mechanisms for remediating compatibility issues and tracking compatibility information through an application’s entire life cycle. In addition, the new online ACT community feature provides users with access to regularly-updated assessments and test results from Microsoft and a range of other companies, including the ISVs themselves. Download it here.
Windows Vista Hardware Assessment 1.0:
The Windows Vista Hardware Assessment solution accelerator enables businesses to make more informed decisions about which of their existing PCs to upgrade to Windows Vista and the resources required to complete the upgrade process. This network wide tool quickly inventories all PCs on a business’s network without installing any software agents on each PC, assesses their hardware and device compatibility with Windows Vista, and automatically generates a set of comprehensive reports with upgrade recommendations for each PC. Download it here and read this in-depth post from Hardware Assessment product manager Baldwin Ng.
Microsoft Volume Activation 2.0 Tools
Microsoft has added several options to the ways in which business customers can use volume activation technologies to activate multiple Windows Vista-based PCs in their desktop environments.
· The Volume Activation Management Tool (VAMT)
Enables IT professionals to automate and centrally manage the volume activation process using a Multiple Activation Key (MAK). MAK activation requires a one-time communication with Microsoft either independently by each computer, or VAMT can proxy the communication on behalf of multiple computers at once. VAMT is available from the Microsoft Download Center at Download it here .
· Key Management Service (KMS) for Windows Server 2003
Provides customers with the functionality of running KMS on Windows Server 2003. KMS enables business customers to host a local service within their environment that is used during the Windows Vista activation process without sending information to Microsoft. KMS for Windows Server 2003 is available from the Microsoft Download Center at Download it here .
· KMS Management Pack for Management Operations Manager 2005
KMS Management Pack for Management Operations Manager 2005 This tool allows enterprise customers to monitor and report the health of the KMS host that is fulfilling the activation requests within their organization. System administrators can also create alerts for conditions that could indicate KMS outages or impending problems-to help ensure that the activation process happens seamlessly. Download it here
Windows Vista Volume Activation 2.0 Technical Guidance:
Virtual PC 2007:
Virtual PC 2007 is optimized for Windows Vista and makes it possible to simultaneously run multiple operating systems on a single PC. This allows business customers to migrate computers to Windows Vista for a more secure and manageable experience while keeping a previous Windows environment available to run legacy or custom applications in a virtual setting. Enhancements include improved performance, hardware virtualization, preboot execution environment (PXE) functionality and support for 64-bit versions of Windows Vista. Download Virtual PC 2007