OK, so now OEMs may have the Windows 7 RTM and MSDN and TechNet will have it on August 6 (in exactly two weeks, as I write this blog). In the very near future, the breathless hype and excitement of a new release will be replaced by the hard work of learning how to install, package, and deploy that new OS in a workplace setting. Of course, my first big question is “Will the MS servers be ready and able to handle the download traffic as everybody with a TechNet or MSDN subscription tries to grab licenses and keys on 8/6?” I can’t also help but speculate that there will be a kind of “birthwatch” in effect, as would-be downloaders keep checking in on the download areas on both sites to see if the files and keys are ready for access or not. As I recall, when the final version of Vista SP2 hit MSDN, it didn’t actually become available until mid-afternoon the day it was made available. It will be interested to see how the initial proferring plays out, and how heaviliy loaded the MS servers will be.
Longer term, though, I suspect there’ll also be lots of interest in and traffic toward the various Microsoft deployment tools that can accommodate Windows 7. Interested enterprise desktop professionals will surely want to check out (and keep an eye on) the Microsoft Solution Accelerators Web page, where they will find links to the following items of special interest:
- Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2010: This is still in Beta (Beta 2, actually) and it looks like access may be limited, so keep an eye on this item because it will surely change to production status around the Windows 7 GA date (10/22/2009).
- Microsoft Operations Framework 4.0: Developing guidelines and documents on Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 deployment efforts. Access to this beta is still wide-open and may be worthwhile for enterprise admins.
- Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit: Includes tools and guidance to assess IT infrastructures and plan for introduction of Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2, among numerous other items of potential interest. This beta is still wide-open, too.
Here are some other items of related and potential interest as well, already widely available:
- You can already download the MED-V V1 Planning, Deployment, and Operations Guide, and the toolkit itself should also be available by the GA date (but only to MS Assurance customers). Still some interesting into in here, however.
- The TechNet Library includes an interesting offering entitled “What’s New in Deployment Tools” that includes coverage of the new Windows Automated Installation Kit (WAIK) and in Windows Deployment Services.
- The MS Download Center offers a document entitled “Windows 7 Desktop Deployment Overview.”
- You’ll also want to dig into the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (requires a subscription through the Microsoft Volume Licensing program), if that’s relevant to your enterprise.
- The TechNet Deployment Tools Technical Reference is a great place to go looking for information on all the various tools and capabilities that MS provides to help admins automate Windows deployment efforts.
There’s plenty more where all those things came from, but this will be more than enough to get you started, and to help you zero in on the items most likely to do your enterprise some good during upcoming deployment planning and implementation efforts. Enjoy!