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Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2012 released – and new Windows Intune is on the way

Ready, set…deploy.

Microsoft today released the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2012, its product for automating deployment of Windows 7, Office 2010, Office 365 and Windows Server 2008 R2.

According to the company, the latest version of the toolkit has several updates, including self-service, user-customizable installation through System Center Configuration Manager 2012, one of the key products in the revamped management suite that is the focus of this week’s Microsoft Management Summit (MMS) in Las Vegas. Administrators can also expect integration with the Microsoft Diagnostics and Recovery Toolkit, and support for testing the Windows 8 Consumer Preview. MDT 2012 is available for both x86 and x64 platforms; download it here, along with supporting documentation.

The release was one of several announcements Microsoft has made over the past couple of days.

On Monday, the company made note of an upcoming new version of Windows Intune, its cloud-based desktop management service, which will reportedly support mobile devices including Windows Phone 7, iPads, iPhones, and Android-based phones and mobile devices (via Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync). This matches with the recent updates to System Center Configuration Manager 2012, and like that product, Windows Intune 3.0 (not the official name just yet) will also feature a self-service portal for end users. Download the “Pre-Release Getting Started Guide” here, and stay tuned for more information on the official release during MMS.

Also on Monday, Microsoft detailed its plans for Windows 8 SKUs. In contrast to previous releases, there will be only three versions of the upcoming operating system: Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro, and Windows RT (previously Windows on ARM). Though the stripped-down structure is likely intended to reduce consumer confusion, some think the Windows RT name, which may refer to the Windows runtime library that supports the new Metro-style design, thwarts those efforts.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments, or via Twitter (@WindowsTT).

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