Today we are delighted to announce an update to Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) with the availability for download of User Experience Virtualization (UE-V) 2.1 Beta

As a critical component of Microsoft’s Desktop virtualization story, UE-V is an on premise solution that captures and centralizes application and Windows settings for the user. This enables users to change devices without reconfiguring their applications or settings. UE-V focuses on providing a personal and flexible experience for the end user while being simple and versatile for the IT Pro to configure what applications should have their settings roam, and be easily integrated and scalable through your existing tools and infrastructure. UE-V 2.1 continues to deliver on these focus area through:

  1. Support for Microsoft Office 2013 shipped with the UE-V Agent, which enables you to personalize >1500 Office 2013 settings across your devices.
  2. Support for More Windows 8/Windows 8.1 settings and Windows 7 Credential Manager & certificate settings.
  3. Empowering your Users to continue to enjoy the Windows store and app experience while synchronizing OS and Windows Store settings via UE-V.
  4. Empowering you to control settings that are backed up vs synchronized across devices. These backed up settings can then be automatically or manually be restored to a user’s device.

Let’s now go into some more detail on features supported in this latest beta release of UE-V.

Office 2013 support

UE-V 2.1 now includes the Microsoft Office 2013 settings location template. It also includes improved Outlook signature support, by adding enhanced synchronization of signature settings for new, reply, and forwarded emails.

UE-V 2.1 seamlessly integrates with Office 365, including ensuring if settings are already roamed by Office 365 then they do not get roamed by UE-V. For more information, see “Overview of user and roaming settings for Office 2013” (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?LinkID=391220). If you prefer to enable full Office 365 settings synchronization using UE-V 2.1, do one of the following:

    • Use Group Policy to disable Office 365 synchronization
    • Do not enable the Office 365 synchronization experience during Office 2013 installation.

UE-V 2.1 ships with Office 2013 and Office 2010 templates. This release removes the Office 2007 templates. Users can still use Office 2007 templates from UE-V 2.0 or earlier.

Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 settings support

UE-V 2.1 provides the ability to synchronize credentials and certificates stored in the Windows Credential Manager. Enabling this component helps users keep their domain credentials and certificates in sync. Users can sign in one time on a device, and these credentials will roam for that user across all of their UE-V enabled devices.

Windows Store and app experience while synchronizing via UE-V

In UE-V 2.0 if a user had linked their Microsoft Account (MSA) on a Windows 8+ machine, then UE-V would not synchronize settings. We received feedback from our customers that they wanted to use UE-V to synchronize their MSA enabled applications like Microsoft Store apps settings with UE-V. We have responded to this feedback in UE-V 2.1, by allowing customers to use Group Policy to turn off MSA Sync and use UE-V instead as follows:

Open GPEdit and enable “Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Sync your settings\Do not sync” Group Policy.

Alternatively, Users who manually turn off the OneDrive Sync in the modern Control Panel and have UE-V installed, then UE-V will automatically synchronize OS and Windows 8 enabled Apps.

Backup/Restore support

We also received requests from our customers to enhance the backup and restore capabilities of UE-V. We have addressed these requests by allowing IT administrators to restore additional settings when a user adopts a new device. Administrators can put a settings location template in a “backup” or “roam (default)” profile using the Set-UevTemplateProfile PowerShell cmdlet. This enables computer settings in addition to user settings sync to the new computer. Templates assigned to the backup profile are backed up for that device and configured on a per-device basis.

Conclusion

With UE-V 2.1 beta we are continuing to innovate ensuring that you experience increased personalization, flexibility and management of your OS and application settings, on any physical or virtualized device. When completed, UE-V 2.1 will ship as part of a future version of the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP).

I encourage you to review these betas in your own organization and let us know what you think in the comments.  To learn more about MDOP, make sure to visit the MDOP Zone on the Springboard Series on TechNet.

Ronald Dockery, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Windows Commercial