With the public release of the Windows 8 Release Preview, Microsoft has gone back and thought about how IT Pros are going to handle imaging. I suppose this is a good thing since it has become increasingly difficult to locate, download, and install the ‘correct’ deployment tools for the editions of Windows that you will be deploying at this moment in time. It is possible that you may also want to run some assessment tests to see if certain computers are even capable of upgrading to Windows 7 (and now Windows 8). Microsoft has recognized these issues and has revamped the way that they make these tools available. Enter the Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit, or Windows ADK.
The Windows ADK is a web installer for the both computer assessment tools and Windows deployment software. No longer do you need to surf the net to try and look for the correct version of WAIK, or the latest version of the Application Compatiblity Toolkit, it is all right here in the Windows ADK. I will be installing the ADK tonight and write up some type of blog post on some of the new features about it.
I am happy to see Microsoft start to consolidate the deployment toolkits as having to get WAIK, WAIK SP1 supplement, ACT, and MDT, then install it all in a very specific order can be both time consuming and cumbersome…
I believe that Windows ADK is only available for Windows 8 Release Preview, and I don’t yet know if Windows XP support has been dropped from the new deployment tools, but I will play around with it and post my thoughts about it at a later date.