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From the folks who brought you the Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit (MAP) Toolkit 6.5—one of this blog’s most popular posts—the Microsoft Solution Accelerator team now brings us the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2012 (MDT), available for download today.
The MDT is a solution accelerator for operating systems and application deployment. With the new version, users can now deploy Windows 7, Office 2010, Windows 8 Consumer Preview, Windows Server “8” Beta and Windows Server 2008 R2 with the new release. It is also the recommended process and toolset for automating Windows 7 and Office 365 deployments.
The Solution Accelerators Team added new features to MDT 2012 that include the ability for users to initiate and customize their own deployments using System Center Configuration Manager 2012, key enhancements in Windows 7 driver support, and much more.
From virtualization, device proliferation and the consumerization of IT, managing an enterprise’s IT inventory is becoming increasingly complex and time consuming. But it’s a task of significant importance, as organizations want to take advantage of every software license they hold, and manage the updates, support and service that are attendant. Getting an accurate count on software licenses and assets can be difficult. Inventory can consume people resources, time and budget, and even then it leaves many software procurement teams with an “educated guess” on what they need to buy or what they no longer need.
To that end, customers have asked us to help them lower the cost of managing their software licenses. We have responded by providing more robust SAM Services, in addition to free tools such as the Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) Toolkit
Today, Microsoft is taking its efforts a step further by announcing plans to implement the ISO/IEC 19770-2:2009 standard for software identification tags. These SWID tags are simple XML files embedded in the software that provide a universal method for IT departments to track and manage the software running in their respective IT environments.
Microsoft Volume Licensing serves organizations worldwide of virtually all sizes, from those with just a few employees to those with tens of thousands dispersed across the globe. Seeing similarities between your organization’s needs and the success achieved by another company through a case study is a great way to help inform your choices.
With this in mind, the Microsoft Case Studies website serves as the go-to resource into how customers and partners utilize the various Microsoft Volume Licensing programs, from open value to the enterprise agreement, and numerous other options which provide the flexibility and cost efficiencies to the best technology solution.
To gain access to the software that they need to run their businesses, software customers must navigate a lot of contractual territory. Most customers are managing multiple software license contracts, and the terms of these contracts — even within the same vendor's roster of products — are almost always different. Complexity increases compliance risk and reduces customer satisfaction.
Meanwhile, customers are also calling for increased flexibility in software licensing -- concurrent licensing, pay-per-use models, and licensing approaches that allow customers to take advantage of the benefits of virtualization — while at the same time that they are calling for increased simplicity. Market dynamics are ensuring that the complexities associated with understanding and managing software license contracts will likely increase. So, how can flexibility be simplified? How can complexity be managed?
IDC suggests that software customers employ a three-pronged approach to dealing with this complexity — process, technology, and compromise.
Recently we have been asked whether and how Microsoft partners and outsourcers can use Windows 7 Clients on hosted server platforms to deliver desktops as a service while remaining consistent with their licenses. Microsoft’s licensing allows the following: