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Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2010 arrives a little early

Microsoft released Deployment Toolkit 2010 (MDT) earlier today, somewhat sooner than expected. The set is designed to ease the burden on those getting ready to deploy Windows 7 and/or Windows Server 2008 R2.

The release candidate for MDT 2010 was made available in August, and the official release was expected soon after the October 22 launch of the company’s latest desktop and server operating systems. Nicholas Kolakowski over at eWeek opines that the bump up is due to the expectation that organizations will be looking to move to Windows 7 ASAP, which seems like a good guess to me.

According to a post on the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit Team Blog, the set has been in development for over a year and has seen a code change of 70% from Deployment Toolkit 2008. New features include deployment share management improvements as well as enhancements to database support and linked deployment share replication.

Microsoft’s Michael Niehaus has posted an in-depth series with details on all the new MDT 2010 features on his blog that is definitely worth checking out. According to the Microsoft website, while the toolkit can be used for Zero Touch Installation (ZTI) deployments using System Center Configuration Manager 2007 SP2, all new features are supported for Lite Touch Installation (LTI) deployments only.

I should also note that while the toolkit has been pushed out to simplify Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 deployments, it can also be used for current OSes like Server 2008, Vista and XP. While R2 might take some time to gain traction, some recent survey results show that a lot of organizations are chomping at the bit to put Windows 7 into production. We’ll be posting more details on those results at some point over the next few weeks.

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