Microsoft Delivers Final Versions of Free Deployment Tools for Windows Vista

New Tools Help Businesses Simplify and Expedite Planning and Deployment

REDMOND, Wash., Feb. 20 // -- Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) today announced the availability of six new deployment tools that will help expedite businesses' migration to Windows Vista(TM). The recently released tools are the Microsoft(R) Solution Accelerator for Business Desktop Deployment (BDD) 2007, the Microsoft Application Compatibility Toolkit (ACT) 5.0, Windows Vista Hardware Assessment 1.0, the Volume Activation Management Tool, the Key Management Service for Windows Server(R) 2003 and Virtual PC 2007.

"Broadly deploying a new Windows(R) client operating system starts with a testing and planning process, followed by a significant investment in time and effort to roll out the new solution," said Al Gillen, research vice president for System Software at IDC. "The tools Microsoft has delivered with Windows Vista will help customers save time and reduce effort both in the planning process and in the deployment phase."

The tools being announced today can help customers at every phase of their migration to Windows Vista, including assessment, planning, testing and deployment. Many customers that already have been using pre-release versions of these tools along with earlier pre-release versions of Windows Vista now can move to the final versions to complete their deployment process. Following is more information about each of the new Windows Vista deployment tools:

oSolution Accelerator for Business Desktop Deployment 2007: BDD 2007 is a
set of comprehensive guidelines and tools that organizations can use to
help deploy Windows Vista and the 2007 Office system to desktops. BDD
2007 includes single-image engineering and deployment capabilities,
user-state migration tools, remote deployment tools and integration with
other key Microsoft deployment products such as Systems Management Server
2003. BDD 2007 brings together many deployment tools into a consolidated,
comprehensive solution. BDD 2007 also includes or can be used to obtain
and integrate many of the important deployment and planning tools
announced today, including ACT 5.0, Windows Vista Hardware Assessment and
the Volume Activation 2.0 tools. A free download of BDD 2007 is available
to all customers and partners at

oApplication Compatibility Toolkit 5.0: ACT 5.0 is a tool that helps
businesses reduce the cost and time needed to resolve potential
application compatibility issues encountered when moving to Windows
Vista. Through a series of compatibility evaluators and tools, ACT 5.0
enables software developers, independent software vendors (ISVs) and IT
professionals to determine whether their applications are compatible with
Windows Vista and how best to resolve any conflicts, even before Windows
Vista is deployed within an organization. ACT 5.0 also includes
mechanisms for remediating compatibility issues and tracking
compatibility information through an application's entire life cycle. In
addition, the new online ACT community feature provides users with access
to regularly-updated assessments and test results from Microsoft and a
range of other companies, including the ISVs themselves. ACT 5.0 is
available as a free download from

oWindows Vista Hardware Assessment 1.0. The Windows Vista Hardware
Assessment solution accelerator enables businesses to make more informed
decisions about which of their existing PCs to upgrade to Windows Vista
and the resources required to complete the upgrade process. This
network-wide tool quickly inventories all PCs on a business's network
without installing any software agents on each PC, assesses their
hardware and device compatibility with Windows Vista, and automatically
generates a set of comprehensive reports with upgrade recommendations for
each PC. This free download is available at

oMicrosoft Volume Activation 2.0 tools. Microsoft has added several
options to the ways in which business customers can use volume activation
technologies to activate multiple Windows Vista-based PCs in their
desktop environments.

o The Volume Activation Management Tool (VAMT) enables IT
professionals to automate and centrally manage the volume activation
process using a Multiple Activation Key (MAK). MAK activation
requires a one-time communication with Microsoft either
independently by each computer, or VAMT can proxy the communication
on behalf of multiple computers at once. VAMT is available from the
Microsoft Download Center at

o Key Management Service (KMS) for Windows Server 2003 provides
customers with the functionality of running KMS on Windows Server
2003. KMS enables business customers to host a local service within
their environment that is used during the Windows Vista activation
process without sending information to Microsoft. KMS for Windows
Server 2003 is available from the Microsoft Download Center at

oVirtual PC 2007. Virtual PC 2007 is optimized for Windows Vista and makes
it possible to simultaneously run multiple operating systems on a single
PC. This allows business customers to migrate computers to Windows Vista
for a more secure and manageable experience while keeping a previous
Windows environment available to run legacy or custom applications in a
virtual setting. Enhancements include improved performance, hardware
virtualization, preboot execution environment (PXE) functionality and
support for 64-bit versions of Windows Vista. Microsoft's Software
Assurance customers who use Windows Vista Enterprise Edition can take
advantage of Virtual PC 2007 to create virtual machines for the four
additional licenses of Windows they are entitled to on each machine.
Virtual PC 2007 also provides environments for software development and
testing and multiple operating system scenarios for help desks, support
services and staff training. Virtual PC 2007 is freely available online
today; customers that want to download and begin using Virtual PC 2007
can visit

"Windows Vista was built from the ground up to simplify how people work together, find information, reduce IT costs, improve security and enable mobile environments," said Shanen Boettcher, general manager of Windows Client Product Management at Microsoft. "With the availability of these new tools, there is nothing holding back businesses from making the move to Windows Vista and immediately taking advantage of those benefits."

Founded in 1975, Microsoft is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

NOTE: Microsoft, Windows Vista, Windows Server and Windows are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

Source: Microsoft Corp.

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