With the first service pack of Windows 7 just out the door, Microsoft has already begun offering the Windows Automated Installation Kit (AIK) for Windows 7 SP1, allowing administrators to deploy the operating system along with the upgrade.
Windows Automated Installation Kit (Windows AIK) is a collection of tools and technologies produced by Microsoft designed to help customization and deployment of Microsoft Windows operating system images to target computers or to a VHD (Virtual Hard Disk).
By using Windows AIK, administrators and corporate IT professionals can automate Windows installations, create Windows images, configure and modify images using Deployment Imaging Servicing and Management (DISM), create Windows PE images, and migrate user profiles and data with the User State Migration Tool (USMT). Windows AIK also includes the Volume Activation Management Tool (VAMT), which enables IT professionals to automate and centrally manage the volume activation process using a Multiple Activation Key (MAK).
In addition to Windows 7 SP1 RTM and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 RTM, the latest iteration of the Windows Automated Installation Kit continues to support older releases of Windows, such as Windows 7 RTM, Windows Server 2008 R2 RTM, Windows Vista SP1, Windows Server 2008, and Windows Server 2003 SP2.
To install the Windows AIK, you must first download the ISO, write the ISO file to a DVD using a third party tool, and then install the Windows AIK from the DVD.