The Windows ADK enables two key scenarios: Windows deployment and Windows assessment.
Windows Deployment is for OEMs and IT professionals who customize and automate the large-scale installation of Windows on a factory floor or across an organization. The Windows ADK supports this work with the deployment tools that were previously released as part of the OEM Preinstallation Kit (OPK) and the Windows Automated Installation Kit (AIK) including Windows Preinstallation Environment, Deployment Imaging, Servicing and Management, and Windows System Image Manager.
IT Professionals can use the tools in the Windows ADK to facilitate deployment of a new version of Windows. The Application Compatibility Toolkit (ACT) inventories applications used in your organization and identifies potential applications compatibility issues. With the User State Migration Tool (USMT), IT Professionals can migrate user data from existing Windows installations. Volume Activation Management Tool (VAMT) enables IT professionals to deploy Windows installations in their organization and manage the activation status of their PCs.
Assessments are for OEMs, IHVs, enthusiasts, and IT professionals who measure the operational characteristics of a computer, including its performance, reliability, and functionality. Windows assessments are tools that help you make these measurements, diagnose problems, and determine how to make improvements. Windows assessments can help reduce support costs by identifying potential issues as you create your hardware and software experiences. By using these tools, you can help ensure that the hardware and software that you develop are responsive and high-quality.
The tools available in the Windows ADK include:
• Application Compatibility Toolkit (ACT)
The Application Compatibility Toolkit (ACT) helps IT Professionals understand potential application compatibility issues by identifying which applications are or are not compatible with the new versions of the Windows operating system. ACT helps to lower costs for application compatibility evaluation by providing an accurate inventory of the applications in your organization. ACT helps you to deploy Windows more quickly by helping to prioritize, test, and detect compatibility issues with your apps. By using ACT, you can become involved in the ACT Community and share your risk assessment with other ACT users. You can also test your web applications and web sites for compatibility with new releases of Internet Explorer. For more information, see Application Compatibility Toolkit.
• Deployment Tools
Deployment tools help you customize, manage, and deploy Windows images. Deployment tools can be used to automate Windows deployments, removing the need for user interaction during Windows setup. Deployment tools include Deployment Imaging Servicing and Management (DISM) command line tool, DISM PowerShell cmdlets, DISM API, Windows System Image Manager (Windows SIM), and OSCDIMG. For more information, see Deployment Tools.
• Windows Imaging and Configuration Designer (Windows ICD) (New for Windows 10 Technical Preview) The Windows Imaging and Configuration Designer (Windows ICD) is an easy to use tool that lets you create a provisioning package that you can use to customize Windows devices without re-imaging, or build a customized Windows image for individual markets, regions, and mobile networks. Windows ICD is primarily designed for use by OEMs and ODMs, system integrators, and IT professionals.
• User State Migration Tool (USMT)
USMT is a scriptable command line tool that IT Professionals can use to migrate user data from a previous Windows installation to a new Windows installation. By using USMT, you can create a customized migration framework that copies the user data you select and excludes any data that does not need to be migrated. USMT includes ScanState, Loadstate, and USMTUtils command line tools. For more information, see User State Migration Tool.
• Volume Activation Management Tool (VAMT)
VAMT helps IT professionals automate and centrally manage the activation of Windows, Windows Server, Windows ThinPC, Windows POSReady 7, select add-on product keys, and Office for computers in their organization. VAMT can manage volume activation using retail keys (or single activation keys), multiple activation keys (MAKs), or Windows Key Management Service (KMS) keys. For more information, see Volume Activation Management Tool.
• Windows Performance Toolkit (WPT)
Windows Performance Toolkit includes tools to record system events and analyze performance data in a graphical user interface. WPT includes Windows Performance Recorder, Windows Performance Analyzer, and Xperf. For more information, see Windows Performance Toolkit.
• Windows Assessment Toolkit
Windows Assessment Toolkit is used to run assessments on a single computer. Assessments are tasks that simulate user activity and examine the state of the computer. Assessments produce metrics for various aspects of the system, and provide recommendations for making improvements. For more information, see Windows Assessment Toolkit.
• Windows Assessment Services
Windows Assessment Services is used to remotely manage settings, computers, images, and assessments in a lab environment where Windows Assessment Services is installed. This application can run on any computer with access to the server that is running Windows Assessment Services. For more information, see Windows Assessment Services.
• Windows Preinstallation Environment (Windows PE)
Windows PE is a minimal operating system designed to prepare a computer for installation and servicing of Windows. For more information, see Windows PE Technical Reference.