This blog, created by the WinPE product group, is the first step in an effort to help unite the existing WinPE community, and introduce people to WinPE who haven't used it.

Windows PE (Preinstallation Environment) is Microsoft's core deployment, diagnostics, and recovery technology. That's marketing speak. In technical speak, it's a special purpose, small-footprint operating system built from Windows components. It's about 100MB in a compressed image. It has Win32, scripting and networking support among many other features. You can boot it from a CD, a network (via a PXE server, preferably WDS), a hard disk, or a USB key.

For example, you can use WinPE to:

- Install Windows automatically

- Boot into a command prompt and fix your computer

- Run hardware diagnostics applications

Prior to Windows Vista, customers needed to have an SA (Software Assurance), OEM, or ISV license to obtain WinPE. However with Vista, these licensing restrictions are removed, and now everyone will have access to WinPE! We're very excited about the opportunity to help make installing and managing Windows applications easier for everyone.

We also have a host of exciting new features coming in the pipline, and we hope to get feedback from you! Ask lots of questions and post a lot! Stay tuned for more!

- Andy Zeigler, PM

- Richard Russo, Dev

- Layek Ali, Test