December 8, 2014 10:20 am

MDOP 2014 R2 Now Available

You might recall that, at this time last year, we announced the availability of Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) 2013 R2, which included the launch of Microsoft Application Virtualization (App-V) 5.0 SP2 and User Experience Virtualization (UE-V) 2.0. Today we are delighted to announce the availability of MDOP 2014 R2 for download, which includes significant enhancements to App-V and UE-V solutions.

MDOP is a suite of virtualization management and security technologies available as a subscription for Software Assurance customers that helps maximize the benefits offered by Windows. It continues to grow in popularity with our customers, recently increasing to over 56 million customer licenses worldwide.

In MDOP 2014 R2, we focused on application and settings virtualization with the release of App-V 5.0 SP3 and UE-V 2.1.

Microsoft Application Virtualization (App-V 5.0 SP3)

App-V makes it easier for IT departments to deploy across a fleet of devices by allowing “anywhere access” to virtualized applications on any authorized PC without requiring that the application be installed directly on said machine. The latest version of App-V 5.0 SP3 builds on these solutions by adding the following new features, some of which were developed based on direct feedback from App-V’s extensive customer base:

  1. App-V Management Improvements
  2. Streamlined virtualized Office Deployment
  3. Performance Updates

App-V Management Improvements

Powerful and flexible management is a key component of Microsoft’s application virtualization solution, allowing IT to deploy, track and service virtual applications. In App-V 5.0 SP3 we’ve focused on improving connection groups, a feature in App-V where virtualized and individually isolated applications can be grouped together to create integration between the applications, creating a virtual Application Connection Group. This enables the applications to communicate, work and be managed together like locally installed software. Though this is a very popular feature, we did receive customer feedback that we needed to simplify the management of these connection groups. In SP3, we have made a number of updates to address this feedback. See here for details about these management updates.

Other management enhancements in App-V SP3 include improvements around publishing control, App-V Server infrastructure updates, sequencing improvements, and modifications to the integration between virtualized and non-virtualized local applications.

Streamlining the deployment of Virtualized Office

Last year we announced the support of Office 2013 with App-V. Based on feedback from customers, together with the Office team, we have streamlined the deployment of virtualized Office. For more info, click here.

App-V Performance Updates

App-V 5.0 SP3 includes ongoing performance enhancements in application publishing and launch, and includes the recent updates in the Spring 2014 App-V hotfix, where again, based on customer feedback, we made significant product innovations focusing on virtualized desktop scenarios.

User Experience Virtualization (UE-V 2.1)

App-V is not the only critical component of our virtualization story. UE-V, an on-premise solution that captures and centralizes application and Windows settings for users across each of their devices, enables users to change devices without reconfiguring their application or OS settings. UE-V is a simple and versatile way for IT professionals to control which applications and OS setting groupings should have their settings roamed. UE-V also easily integrates with and scales through existing tools and management infrastructure, including System Center. This latest version, UE-V 2.1, continues to deliver on these focus areas by delivering:

  1. Support for Windows credentials roaming
  2. Backup and Restore of settings
  3. Support for external settings storage, including OneDrive for Business
  4. Extensions to existing Office 2013 settings support

Support for UE-V Windows Credentials Roaming. We have added support for synchronization of Windows Credentials between devices. If enabled, this allows users to retain their Windows Credentials between their devices.

UE-V Backup and Restore of Settings. To give you and your users more flexibility and control of settings, we have included the ability to assign UE-V templates to a Backup Profile. This profile can be used as a restore point for a user’s device.

Support for UE-V External Settings Storage, Including OneDrive for Business. One of the top customer requests was for cloud-based settings synchronization. In UE-V 2.1, we have added this support to enable users to use their favorite approved enterprise cloud storage provider, such as OneDrive for Business, Work Folders, SharePoint, etc. to store their OS and application settings.

Extensions to Existing UE-V Office 2013 Settings. Based on feedback, we have made enhancements to Office 2013 settings support, with the addition of enhanced Outlook signature synchronization and default UE-V Office 2013 settings templates.

For additional detail on MDOP 2014 R2, please visit the Windows Enterprise website and the MDOP Zone on TechNet. If you already own MDOP, or want to test it in your lab, you can download MDOP 2014 R2 from the Volume Licensing Service Center. MSDN and TechNet paid subscribers can also download it from MSDN or TechNet.

I encourage you to take a look at MDOP and see how it might be able to help your company work more efficiently.

Updated December 8, 2014 10:24 am