As you may have noticed, either from the http://blogs.technet.com/msdeployment blog or via an e-mail announcement from http://connect.microsoft.com, we have released MDT 2010 Update 1 Beta.  If you haven’t yet downloaded this to try it out, sign up now to get the files.

So what’s new in this version?  Well, there are a few new features, such as:

  • Support for Office 2010.  We’ve made a few adjustments to the way Deployment Workbench handles Office and customization so that it now supports Office 2007 and Office 2010.
  • New “User-Driven Installation” scenario for ConfigMgr 2007 OS deployment, consisting of a few pieces:
    • A new task sequence template that displays a wizard at the beginning of the task sequence, asking various questions about the deployment (e.g. computer name, domain to join, apps to install, etc.), similar to what you would see with Lite Touch.
    • A wizard designer to configure the wizard behavior, settings, and defaults.
    • Offline user state capture, using USMT 4.0 hardlink support in Windows PE to capture the user state even when the task sequence is initiated via PXE.
  • Improved driver importing with Deployment Workbench.  We’ll now automatically detect the platform of each driver as it is imported into the deployment share – if it says it supports x64 but we can’t find any proof of that, we’ll automatically uncheck the platform so that the driver doesn’t get used incorrectly (which causes all sorts of problems).
  • Support for ConfigMgr R3 OEM prestaged media.  This provides a better alternative to the MDT 2010 ConfigMgr OEM task sequence templates for a couple of reasons:
    • You can have a single, standard task sequence that is used for OEM and non-OEM deployments.  (The MDT templates required a special two-part “split” task sequence, which meant that you needed a different task sequence for non-OEM deployments.)
    • You can prestage an OSD boot image on the hard drive.  (The MDT templates required using boot media or PXE to initiate the second half of the process.)

There are also lots of bug fixes and other minor enhancements, mostly based on the feedback we have received from people using MDT 2010.

Try out the beta and provide feedback via Connect as soon as you can – we want to get any remaining issues taken care of as soon as possible so that we can get a final release out this summer.