Microsoft has taken the necessary steps to let customers able to authenticate a switch configured for IEEE 802.1x authenticated network access for both Windows PE 3.0 and Windows PE 2.1 clients. All those users need to do is access and implement a hotfix offered. “Since the dawn of time, Windows PE (WinPE) has not had any support for the 802.1x authentication protocol. This meant that any network deployment of Windows via a network secured with 802.1x was a non-starter, causing headaches for a few on my customers; I actually had one customer that ran new network cables to a majority of the desks in order to be able to deploy Windows XP over the network,” revealed. Microsoft has released hotfixes that now add 802.1x support to both WinPE 2.1 and WinPE 3.0.