Windows 8 Is Ready For Your Enterprise

Windows 8 Is Ready For Your Enterprise

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Earlier this month, we announced that Windows 8 reached the RTM milestone. Today Windows 8 Enterprise is available to Software Assurance customers via the Volume License Service Center (VLSC), allowing you to test, pilot and begin adopting Windows 8 Enterprise within your organization.

For those customers who are interested in trying out the key features in Windows 8 Enterprise, you can also now obtain Windows 8 Enterprise through your TechNet Professional Subscription or MSDN Subscription. For those IT professionals that don’t have access through these other sources, a 90-day evaluation version is now available for download through the TechNet Evaluation Center. For more information about this evaluation version, please see the Windows 8 Enterprise Evaluation FAQ.

For customers who will be deploying Windows 8 Enterprise, be assured that the KMS and MAK volume activation methods that were available with Windows 7 Enterprise are still there and work as they did before. But there is also a new Active Directory-based Activation method, offering a way to leverage your existing Active Directory infrastructure to simplify the activation process.

In order to use KMS or MAK activation, you will need to obtain new keys from the VLSC. If you are using a Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2 computer as your KMS host, you will also need to install a hotfix to enable Windows 8 Enterprise activation. For more information about volume activation, please see the Volume Activation Overview on TechNet.

To help with the planning, image engineering, and deployment processes for Windows 8 Enterprise, some key free tools are also now available for downloading:

  • The Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK), which replaces the Windows Automated Installation Kit for Windows 7, contains many key deployment tools that are essential for IT pros, including new versions of Windows PE and the User State Migration Tool. Tools that used to be available separately, such as the Application Compatibility Toolkit and the Windows Performance Toolkit, are now included in the ADK. Additionally, a new Windows Assessment Toolkit has been added to measure the performance, reliability and functionality of Windows in your lab environment. You can also access the Windows ADK online.
  • The Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2012 Update 1 (MDT) automates and accelerates the deployment of Windows 8 Enterprise by integrating all of the ADK tools into a single, easy-to-use deployment process. By leveraging MDT, you can easily create your own custom Windows 8 Enterprise images that can then be deployed throughout your enterprise.
  • The Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) Toolkit 7.0 can quickly and efficiently collect detailed infrastructure information you need for planning your migration to Windows 8 Enterprise. It includes detailed hardware and operating system information about each desktop, indicates which computers meet the hardware requirements for Windows 8 and also lists applications installed.

To find additional resources to help you plan for Windows 8 in your organization, bookmark the Springboard Series for Windows 8 and check out our step-by-step Plan for Windows 8 guide.

Thanks for your interest in Windows 8 Enterprise. Start your testing and evaluation today!

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  • Rezwanur Rahman Rahat,

    Questions like this are best posted in the WIndows 8 forum here- They are set up specificly to answer questions like yours.


  • I have a problem in Windows 8 RTM. When i install the OS in my laptop, my laptop is running very slow. and give me an error "Laptop Drivers Missing". My laptop is Acer aspire 5735, RAM 4GB, Processor: Core 2 Duo.

    Have you any idea, how can i solve the problem ?

  • xpclient
    50 Posts

    It took me a whole day to download the full ADK on my fast 1 Mbps connection because maybe the BITS job or whatever it uses to transfer was set to low priority. Just let me have an ISO for the SDK and ADK and save our time.

  • @utuba Updates to the landing and download pages for MDT are cached and should update shortly.  The download already points to the MDT 2012 Update 1 installer.

  • @Checho - thanks for flagging! We have corrected the link.

  • utuba
    1 Posts

    The link for MDT Update 1 is for the beta.

  • Mantlo
    5 Posts

    what's the difference between Professional, Professional K, Professional KN and Professional N?  I know i could Google it but I'm getting old and tired of these kinds of minutiae, so I thought I'd let you guys explain it.

  • Checho
    3 Posts

    @Stephen, I think you put the wrong link to the ADK RTM, that's the RP one, this is the right one:

    Thanks for your post!