On Tuesday, I downloaded the Windows Automated Installation Kit (WAIK). I am not sure since when it became already available, but it was not before Monday. Now, it seems that Microsoft removed it from the Web. The reason probably is that its setup program contains a bug.

If you try to install the WAIK from the DVD, you'll get an error message requesting for the WAIK installation CD. At first, I thought that it might have been my fault because I couldn't believe that Microsoft would offer a 990 MB download with such an obvious bug.

But some commentators on my blog post confirmed it and one even found a solution to the problem. Thanks for that! If you copy the DVD to the hard disk and start the MSI there, the installation will run through without problems.

Now, I really wonder, how something like this can happen. Doesn't Microsoft test their software before releasing it to the public? Of course, software can always contain bugs. But, in this case, you can't even install the software. This can only mean that nobody tested it before they released the WAIK to the Web. It seems to me that Microsoft staff is still working under very high time pressure. I am sure, the WAIK's release is far behind the schedule. This is probably also true for a couple of other tools related to Vista deployment (SMS 2003 SP3, KMS, VAMT, etc.).

Another thing, I find remarkable, is the fact that Microsoft removed the WAIK download without any note. If you access the WAIK download URL now you only get this:

The download you requested is unavailable. If you continue to see this message when trying to access this download, go to the "Search for a Download" area on the Download Center home page.

Doesn't anyone have time anymore to write a message that would explain the situation? Or is it just too embarrassing?

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This incident is a further hint to better wait with the Vista roll out as long as you can. At the moment, you can't rely on Vista and its related products. People working under time pressure make mistakes.

6 Comments
  1. Jim 15 years ago

    Ha! Kinda like trying to find a page with instructions on how to deploy Office 2007 via Group Policy. The page is not there. On one forum I visited, someone mentioned it was up for awhile but was taken down not long after. Some have stated that the instructions they had provided didn't work correctly and then suddenly the page was gone.

    MS seems to be truly pushing things. Meeting dates and revenue/profit numbers for stockholders seems to be more important than having enough staff to get these things done in the proper manner.

  2. This is interesting. It is really not fun to be an early adopter of Microsoft technology these days.

  3. Roger 15 years ago

    You can still get the WAIK by first downloading the Business Desktop Development toolkit (search for BDD on Microsoft downloads).
    Once installed, go to Components, you can choose to download and install WAIK.

  4. Greg Muir 15 years ago

    All Microsoft bashing aside, it seems to be observable fact that Vista has been shoved down the birth canal prematurely. Beta testing for Vista SP1 is announced before Vista actually ships? Come on, I know even the best software will have unforseen problems but this is ridiculous. If you have a service pack worth of problems before launch, the software isn't ready for launch.

    The old rule of thumb is that you never try a new Microsoft OS until the first service pack. I think this may have to be amended to the second service pack, if at all.

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