Update: RSAT is ready for download.
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The Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT) Beta is now available for participants of the Windows Beta program. This tool set will replace the famous Windows Server 2003 Administration Tools Pack aka Adminpak. It allows you to remotely manage a Windows server without logging on via RDP.
If you installed Vista on your desktop you probably ran into the same problem like countless other Windows admins. The Administration Tools Pack doesn't work properly on Vista. There is a workaround, but it won't solve all problems. You won't believe it, but the articles I wrote about this issue still belong to the most often accessed ones on this blog. More than 60,000 frustrated Windows admins read these posts so far. So I have to say thank you to Microsoft. 😉
Sometimes I wonder whether this issue is one of the reasons for the slow Vista adoption. I suppose many Windows administrators got the impression that Vista is not yet ready for prime time. I mean if even Microsoft's own management tools don't work, then it's no wonder that third party vendors have problems, too.
It is amazing that even one year after Vista's release, there is still no official new version for the Adminpak tools. And RSAT will probably only work on Vista SP1. Many admins will take this as another hint that a major rollout of Vista RTM is too risky. Why can't Microsoft offer these tools for the current Vista version?
Unfortunately, I haven't been able to try RSAT for Vista SP1 yet. It is a bit difficult to get into this beta program, somehow. Usually, I don't have problems with such things since I am also working part time as an IT journalist for German magazines. Microsoft recently invited me to Redmond for a presentation of Windows Server 2008. They would have paid my flight from Germany to the US, but when I asked them for a copy of Vista SP1 Beta they were not able to help me.
It seems to me that Microsoft is a bit nervous about Vista. Why don't they want journalists to report about this service pack? Perhaps, even more organizations might postpone their Vista rollout then?
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If you are curious about RSAT and don't belong to the privileged beta testers, you might want to check out my review of RSAT for Windows Server 2008.