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Microsoft automates Office 365 installs

Deployment Toolkit 2012 released, helps Windows 7, 8 rollouts too

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Microsoft has updated its automated software development tools to the new Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) 2012, and in a sign it wants to push its cloudy productivity has added the ability to automate Office 365 deployments.

Details are sketchy at present, but the download page for the software promises “Comprehensive tools and guidance to efficiently manage large-scale deployments of Windows 7 and Microsoft Office 365.” That's a step up from the “Office 365 Assessment Report” offered in the tool's predecessor, the Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) Toolkit, which did little more than check if PCs were capable of running Office 365.

MDT 2012 can handle deployments of Windows 7,Office 2010, Windows 8 Consumer Preview, Windows Server “8” Beta and Windows Server 2008 R2.

Redmond also promises the following features:

  • New support for System Center 2012 Configuration Manager
  • Integration with Microsoft Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset 7 (DaRT) and Security Compliance Manager (SCM)
  • Support for Windows 8 Consumer Preview in a lab environment
  • Support for Windows Server 2012 Beta

There's no explanation offered, among the various pages about MDT, about just what constitutes a “lab” environment, in terms of either the number of machines allowed or the functionality afforded. ®

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