Through the Microsoft Virtual Academy, the company has released the complete set of videos from its recent Windows 8.1 Deployment Jump Start, free to anybody who wants to look them over. Here’s a screencap of the items on offer (check the link to dig more deeply into any of them, and/or to access the video content):
All the major tasks involved in creating, setting up, managing, and deploying Windows 8.1 images to desktops is covered in this free online course.
There are four separate modules, each of which includes a video and a support PPT deck, along with a 10-minute self-assessment test worth up to 5 points upon completion. First you begin with an overview that walks through the various tools that MS makes available to support Windows deployment, including ADK 8.1, WDS, and MDT. Second, you explore the process of engineering a Windows 8.1 image, to create a reference image using automated and repeatable processes. Next, actual deployment is explored and explained, with special emphasis on driver management and application deployment. The final module melds the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) with System Center 2012’s Configuration Management facilities to deploy Windows 8.1, including managing drivers.
All in all it’s a nice introduction to the tools and techniques that MS recommends for Windows 8.1 Deployment. For those wishing to learn more about what’s involved and to get a general idea of how it’s done, this is a perfect way to spend a half-day learning the necessaries. Those who really want to dig in and learn this stuff from end to end will find it makes a nice point of departure, but one that must then be augmented by lots of hands-on interaction and experimentation with the tools and platforms covered in the course.