MDOP 2009 R2: What's New in MDOP for Windows 7

Today I am excited to announce that Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) 2009 R2 will be released in late October 2009 and will add Windows 7 support for all components, except for MED-V. Server and management components will support Windows 2008 R2.

Additionally, we are working to ensure that MED-V will support Windows 7, in the first quarter of calendar year 2010 via MED-V 1.0 SP1.

With its virtualization technologies and manageability components, MDOP 2009 R2 is an essential part of your Windows 7 planning and deployment strategy.

This is a great opportunity to highlight the key innovations of MDOP 2009 R2 and talk about how MDOP can help you rapidly migrate to Windows 7, deploy applications with greater ease, resolve application incompatibility, and reduce desktop management costs.

Optimize Windows 7 Application Deployment Using App-V

With Application Virtualization (App-V) you can transform applications into centrally-managed virtual services:

  • Reduce the costs of application deployment and increase user productivity - deliver most applications without actually installing them. Updates are made easier, application conflicts are minimized, and IT can spend less time in regression testing. For users, once they are granted access, the application is delivered and available instantly, following the user to enable easy roaming between corporate PCs.
  • Reduce your base image footprint and new PC provisioning time - separate your applications from the base image, and minimize the number of applications installed after the image is deployed.

Windows upgrade is the best time to adopt App-V - as part of Windows 7 deployment all applications are tested and re-deployed. This is a great time to take a look at your application delivery strategy and adopt Application Virtualization with minimum overhead and cost.

You can read more in the App-V Cost Reduction Study - savings of $156/PC/Yr in direct costs (11.6% of PC TCO) plus $125/PC/YR in user productivity gains.  The sources of direct savings generated by App-V are across automated deployment, patching/updates, non-standard applications, image management, PC provisioning and replacement, and installation risk, as well as user productivity gains. 

App-V 4.5 SP1 also offers new capabilities and unique integration with Windows 7:

  • Maintain user productivity regardless of application format - integration with the Windows 7 UI maintains the user experience and productivity as virtual applications behave just as regularly installed applications. Users are able to pin applications to the taskbar and leverage jumplists to navigate between applications.
  • Increased IT control with AppLocker integration - enforcing compliance of virtual applications with AppLocker policies, and providing consistent policy management for all application types.
  • Make users productive anywhere and save on IT infrastructure using BranchCache - virtual applications traverse the WAN only once and are available to users faster through local BranchCache points, eliminating the need for an IIS Server in every branch.
  • Secure application delivery with BitLocker ToGo - IT administrators can confidently deliver virtual applications on a secured USB drive, as the associated applications are protected against unauthorized use. Only authorized users have access to the applications, including remote users who may not have connectivity to corporate network.
  • Integrate with third-party LDAP directories - reduce administrative overhead for customers who maintain their user accounts in a third-party LDAP directory, and enable Kerberos via Active Directory trust.

Once available, App-V 4.5 SP1 can be deployed immediately to production environments running XP, Vista, Windows7, and Windows Server 32-bit platforms. For customers preparing to run App-V on 64-bit Windows Client and Server platforms they can download App-V 4.6 Beta at Microsoft Connect. App-V 4.6 will be available in H1 2010.

Enhance Windows 7 Manageability with AGPM, DaRT, and DEM

Advanced Group Policy Management (AGPM) 4.0 enhances governance and control over Windows 7 Group Policies through change management and role-based administration, so you can control, review and track changes made to Group Policy Objects (GPOs) by different IT personnel. There are two great additions to AGPM that will make your Group Policy Management even easier than before:

  • Manage group policies across different domain forests - ability to copy Group Policy Objects (GPOs) from one domain forest to another, even if the two domains are not physically connected, easily creating a new controlled GPO or replacing an existing one.
  • Makes GPO tracking easier with new search and filter capabilities - ability to filter GPOs according to various attributes, such as name, state, or comment. You can also search for GPOs that were last changed by a particular administrator or on a particular date.

Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset (DaRT) 6.5 enhances diagnostics of Windows 7 (and Windows Server 2008 R2) with no infrastructure investment. DaRT may repair unbootable devices, and recover data from them. DaRT 6.5 makes data recovery easier for IT Pros, by presenting system drive letters, as they are mapped when logging normally into Windows

Desktop Error Monitoring (DEM) 3.5 provides insights into application and operating system failures, allowing helpdesk to be more proactive in troubleshooting PCs, without installing an agent to the endpoint. DEM 3.5 now introduces new reports to enhance desktop monitoring: Top System Errors  (the top reasons for "blue screen" errors happening on the network) and Top Application Errors ( the top application errors on the network in the last 60 days grouped by computer name or user name).

Facilitate your OS Upgrade Process with AIS and MED-V

Use the Asset Inventory Service (AIS) to map which applications are running in the existing environment before upgrading to Windows 7. AIS can consolidate license use data from multiple locations, even when those do not have local IT staff. AIS is an online service and does not require server infrastructure.

Address application compatibility with Enterprise Desktop Virtualization (MED-V) , which will enable you to run applications that are not yet supported or tested on Windows 7, in a virtual Windows XP environment.

How Do I License MDOP 2009 R2 and Where Do I Get the Software?

MDOP is available as an additional subscription for Software Assurance customers for less than $10 per desktop per year. Since July 1st, 2009, Microsoft has made it easier to license MDOP through the platform Enterprise Agreement (EA). Two new SKUs have been created to include MDOP: Professional Desktop with MDOP, Enterprise Desktop with MDOP. Visit Microsoft Licensing Site for additional details.

I encourage you to learn more about the MDOP by visiting the MDOP web site or the MDOP section on TechNet.  You can also contact your Microsoft sales representative to learn more about MDOP 2009 R2 release and its licensing options.

MDOP 2009 R2 will be available for download to our MDOP subscribers, late October 2009, through the Microsoft Volume Licensing Site (MVLS).  For others who wish to evaluate MDOP products, the software will become available shortly after the release in MSDN and TechNet in accordance with MSDN and TechNet agreements.