We watched the clock as the dates approached. We suffered through slow downloads of the Windows 8 RTM from TechNet or the Volume License Service Center. We may have even updated the hardware we were running Win8 RP on with the new bits, or fired up a new VM. Now the boss is ready to see it piloted to a few machines. Not so fast…we’re not quite there yet.
Windows 8 RTM available for download in the Microsoft Volume Licensing Service Center
Whether Windows 8 is ready for deployment in your environment depends on your environment and deployment methods. If you use Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) to do Lite Touch deployments, you’re in luck! MDT 2012 Update 1 has been released to production, and it includes full support for Windows 8 RTM. What about your boot images? Well, it just so happens the new Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK), the replacement for the Windows AIK, has also been released to production with full support for Windows 8 (download here). You will need to update your boot images and re-create your MDT Task Sequences (the MDT team does not guarantee Task Sequences created in previous versions will be fully functional in newer versions), but you can now do full production LTI deployments of Windows 8 in your enterprise environment!
If you are using Configuration Manager 2012 for your OS deployment, you have a little more waiting to do. ConfigMgr 2012 RTM does not support Windows 8 or the Windows ADK. ConfigMgr 2012 SP1 will include the full support for these pieces, however it is still in the Community Technology Preview (CTP) phase. You can download the ConfigMgr 2012 SP1 CTP2 install, but Microsoft makes it very clear it is not intended for production use:
“CTP2 is for evaluation purposes only and not to be used in production as described in the EULAs associated with the product.”
So you can play with Windows 8 RTM to your heart’s content in a lab, but as far as deploying Windows 8 for pilot in your production ConfigMgr environment you will have to wait for the release of ConfigMgr 2012 SP1. If you are still using SCCM 2007 for OS deployment, Microsoft has only committed to “limited support” for Windows 8 in SCCM 2007. Mainstream support for SCCM 2007 ends in 2014, so you now have another reason to update to ConfigMgr 2012!