At TechEd last month, one of the sessions I really enjoyed was the MDT 2012 and Windows 8 sesion, which covered off some of the improvements that were coming to help with Windows 8 deployments. Unfortunately the video and presentation for that session have been removed from the site, along with many of the other Windows 8 based sessions.
MDT 2012 Update 1 will officially support Windows 8 advanced scenarios, and includes a new version of Windows PE that does a good job of speeding up installating times, not just for Windows 8, but can also be applied to Windows 7 installs as well.
As it currently stands, there isn’t any ARM support, but considering that it seems to be targetting OEMs only for now, that’s not a big surprise. Other features that would be coming later that were discussed included install and boot from USB3, Windows To GO, as well as the deprecation of several features including Imagex and diskpart.
Anyway, here’s the official Microsoft blurb on the new beta…
Download the latest release to stay up-to-date on your deployment needs. New features and enhancements make large-scale desktop and server deployments smoother than ever!
This release expands your deployment capabilities with support for the latest software releases, including Windows 8 Release Preview, Windows Server 2012 Release Candidate, and System Center 2012 Configuration Manager SP1 Community Technology Preview.
Notable new features include:
· Support for using the DaRT 8 Beta with the Windows 8 Release Preview version of the Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK).
· New “Build Your Own Pages” support for User-Driven Installation (UDI), enabling IT pros to create new wizard panes using simple drag-and-drop operations – no coding required.
· Integration with System Center Orchestrator, enabling task sequences to invoke Orchestrator runbooks at any point in the deployment process.
· Completely reworked “Roles and Features” logic, supporting both installation and removal, as well as providing a new Lite Touch wizard pane for selecting roles and features to install at deploy time.
· Support for PowerShell 3.0 to make it easier to run PowerShell scripts inside task sequences on Windows 8, Windows Server 2012, and Windows PE 4.0.
· Simple monitoring functionality for Configuration Manager task sequences, leveraging the monitoring capabilities provided initially in MDT 2012 for Lite Touch deployments.
· Improved “boot from VHD” deployment capabilities, supporting both bare metal and refresh deployments.