Just a week after my colleague Shanen Boettcher wrote about virtualization and its role in the Optimized Desktop, specifically announcing the RTM of Microsoft Application Virtualization 4.5, commonly called “App-V”, I’m proud to let you know that the entire MDOP 2008 R2 suite of products has officially reached RTM status! New and existing customers can get App-V 4.5 starting TODAY, and will be able to get the other MDOP 2008 R2 components the first week of October!
As Shanen noted in his blog post,” the Optimized Desktop eliminates the “tug-of-war” that exists between IT and end-user needs in a traditional desktop infrastructure.” We know that this is where IT is going, and today’s news plays a critical role in fulfilling that vision. In an Optimized Desktop, a partnership is established in which IT can constructively maintain control over the desktop infrastructure, without getting in the way of the users they’re supporting. With MDOP 2008 R2 and Windows Vista, you get a solution that’s greater than the sum of its parts…a “1+1=3” scenario where IT is controlled and managed, users are empowered and productive, and the pace of business accelerates.
There are a lot of new and very useful upgrades and improvements in MDOP 2008 R2 in addition to last week’s upgrade to App-V 4.5:
App- V, Advanced Group Policy Management (AGPM), Desktop Error Monitoring (DEM), and Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset (DaRT) technologies are now localized in 10 languages (Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, Simplified & Traditional Chinese, Dutch (App-V only), French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, and Russian).
Asset Inventory Service 1.5 (AIS)
Asset Inventory Service is a hosted inventory service that scans and analyzes all the applications on customers’ desktops and translates inventory data into useful and actionable information. Basically, it’s a company-wide monitor that allows customers to track the software that they have deployed within their organization. With 1.5, customers can now see license reconciliation along with inventory information. This allows them to clearly see if all software deployed within their enterprise is compliant with license agreements. Having deployment and licensing information in one place is critical to software asset management, specifically when looking at true-ups, renewals, and license reallocation. This new version of the service will be available in November 2008.
Advanced Group Policy Management 3.0 (AGPM)
Advanced Group Policy Management 3.0, which enables governance and change controls over the deployment of group policy objects in your IT environment, adds customizable permissions to enforce the use of the Group Policy change management tool within an organization. This new feature gives AGPM administrators the ability to customize the permissions that are set on production GPOs controlled by AGPM. Enhanced Tracking allows customers to use AGPM for compliance with branch specific regulations. The new version of AGPM is compatible with Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista SP1, and offers full support for 64 bit machines, as well as and the newly introduced Group Policy Preferences. It’s a major overhaul that makes AGPM a true “must-have.”
But wait…there’s more!
It’s important to note that this isn’t the end of our development cycle. Rather, it’s another milestone on our continuing mission to make 1 plus 1 always equal 3 (or more!) standard math when it comes to Desktops. Next, in the first half of 2009, we’re planning to release Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization (MED-V). MED-V, which will be the first Microsoft-branded release of the recently acquired Kidaro technology, will be a key addition to MDOP; it provides a secure, fast, manageable, local hardware virtualization solution that complements App-V, and will serve to further strengthen our “desktop to datacenter” virtualization story.
We hope that you’re as excited with MDOP 2008 R2 – and the news that more is on the way – as we are. The question I have for you is: How will you use Windows Vista and MDOP to optimize your desktop experience? Leave us a comment and let us know!