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MDOP 2009 R2 Arriving Next Month

Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) 2009 will get an R2 upgrade next month, according to an announcement by Microsoft on Monday.

MDOP is a bundle of six Windows-based tools that is available to Microsoft customers with Volume Licensing agreements in place -- particularly those who have signed Microsoft's Enterprise Agreement and opted for Software Assurance (SA).

The six tools include Microsoft Application Virtualization (App-V), Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization (MED-V), Microsoft Advanced Group Policy Management, Microsoft Asset Inventory Service, Microsoft Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset, and Microsoft System Center Desktop Error Monitoring.

The next package of those tools, or MDOP 2009 R2, will be released in late October 2009 to MDOP subscribers, according to Microsoft's MDOP blog. Shortly after that release, Microsoft will make an evaluation version of MDOP 2009 R2 available to its TechNet and Microsoft Developer Network subscribers.

MDOP is the fastest selling product in Microsoft's history, according to Brad Anderson, Microsoft's corporate vice president for Microsoft's Management and Services Division.

Microsoft is promising that the new MDOP tools will have management components that support Windows Server 2008 R2, which was released to manufacturing on Sept. 14. In addition, all of the components in MDOP 2009 R2, except for MED-V, will support Windows 7. Microsoft expects to add Windows 7 support in MED-V when it releases MED-V 1.0 Service Pack 1 sometime in the "first quarter of calendar year 2010," according to the blog.

The MDOP package is available by subscription only to SA licensees. Microsoft estimates the cost of an MDOP subscription at "less than $10 per desktop per year." The company offers two new subscription plans to get the MDOP package -- namely, "Professional Desktop with MDOP" and "Enterprise Desktop with MDOP."

Of course, you have to pay for the SA option too. SA provides a number of perks, including training support and software upgrades for the covered product at no additional cost within the SA licensing term, which is typically two years. A July study by Forrester Research, entitled "Plan Now For Licensing Windows 7," estimates the annual cost of the SA option at 29 percent of the cost of Microsoft's annual license.

If an IT organization is planning to deploy Windows 7 Enterprise edition, then it will need to purchase SA anyway. Windows 7 Enterprise is only available with SA licensing, according to Forrester's study.

Microsoft is touting cost savings from using its App-V application virtualization technology, according to a Microsoft-produced white paper (PDF). However, the numbers cited in the paper are based on the company's own calculations. The current release, App-V 4.5 Service Pack 1, only supports 32-bit machines, but App-V 4.6 will add 64-bit hardware support. Microsoft expects to roll out App-V 4.6 in the first half of 2010, but a beta version is currently available for testing.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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