Today I’m excited to announce that the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) 2013 for Software Assurance is now available for download! When people think about MDOP, they often think about its virtualization tools that help personalize user experience, simplify app deployment, and improve app compatibility for Windows. MDOP is much more than that though, it also helps manage and deploy important Windows features like BitLocker and Group Policy, as well as saves time by helping to make desktop repair planning proactive instead of reactive.
We’ve been working for some time to optimize our MDOP products for Windows 8 with the goal of making them easier to adopt and take advantage of all the new Windows 8 platform capabilities. Last November, we took our first step by releasing MDOP 2012, in which Microsoft User Experience Virtualization (UE-V), Microsoft Application Virtualization (App-V) 5.0, and the Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset (DaRT) 8.0 supported Windows 8.
In addition, to help manage BitLocker and Group Policy in Windows 8, we released beta versions of Microsoft BitLocker Administration and Monitoring (MBAM) 2.0 and Advanced Policy Group Management (APGM) 4.0 SP1. With the release of MDOP 2013 today, we are continuing our commitment to making Windows 8 even easier to adopt and manage.
The biggest update you’ll notice in MDOP 2013 is the official release of MBAM 2.0. As a quick refresher, we first released MBAM 1.0 in response to customers asking for an easier way to manage BitLocker. The feedback on MBAM has been very positive and it’s clear that it’s a valuable tool that simplifies the provisioning and deployment of BitLocker encryption, while at the same time offering reduced costs, improved compliance, and reporting.
MBAM 1.0 has enabled BitLocker to quickly become one of the most popular Windows features that organizations are either using or evaluating. Since MBAM 1.0 was released, we’ve continued to garner feedback from organizations to ensure we’re continuing to deliver the innovative features that you need for your business. One of the primary goals for MBAM 2.0 was to help customers further reduce the costs associated with managing and supporting encrypted devices. We’ve done this through new features including the Self Service Portal, SCCM integration, reporting enhancements, and simplified provisioning for Windows 8.
With MBAM 2.0, organizations will have improved compliance and security mechanisms, along with streamlined integration across management solutions, resulting in long-term cost savings. Here’s a closer look at the key MBAM 2.0 features found in MDOP 2013:
· Compliance reporting calculation improvements: Reporting has been updated so that devices are only listed as non-compliant when they’re in a state that is less secure than the minimum requirements defined in policy. This differs from MBAM 1.0 where compliance was based on strict adherence to policy and resulted in devices appearing non-complaint even when they were in a more secure configuration than was required by policy.
Al Gillen, program vice president of System Software at IDC, shared his thoughts with us on the new updates: “MDOP 2013 provides a definitive value to Windows enterprise SA customers through the enablement of flexible work environments, improved operating system capability and enhanced IT cost savings. Now, with the upgraded features available via MBAM 2.0, organizations can be more effective in how PCs are managed to ensure constant compliancy and security in any business scenario.”
In addition to general quality improvements, we’ve also updated many of the other technologies in MDOP 2013, with enhanced features and benefits ideal for businesses using Windows 8. Key updates include:
We’re so excited to have shipped MDOP 2013, I encourage you to download it for your own organization and let us know what you think. For those of you who are using MBAM Beta 2, you can easily migrate your existing deployment to the official release, enabling you to retain all existing reporting and recovery data.
I have a question about MDOP and DaRT. Does each major version of Windows, ie Vista, 7 and 8 require different versions of Dart or does the most recent version work with previous OS's Vista and newer?
The reason i ask is, do i have to maintain multiple version of MDOP for the purposes of DaRT or can i use the current one?
MBAM sounds interesting. I recently published a little story with my experience with Windows 8, and some recommendations. Hope you find this useful: blog.atos.net/.../windows-8-dont-forget-about-alt-f4