Key Windows 7 Management Suite Ships

Microsoft said it is now shipping a key corporate desktop management suite for Windows 7, just in time for Thursday’s big launch of the new operating system. However, one major piece is still missing.

The company has offered the Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) for various versions of Windows over the years, including for Windows Vista.

This latest version, dubbed MDOP 2009 Release 2 (R2), is now ready for download by enterprise customers, according to a post on the Official MDOP Blog Tuesday.

“[MDOP] is a suite of management, deployment, and virtualization tools designed to help IT increase Windows 7 manageability, reduce costs and improve overall infrastructure,” a Microsoft spokesperson said in an e-mail to

MDOP 2009 R2 is sold separately as a Windows add-on for enterprise customers. Among the key new components are tools for application virtualization called App-V.

Microsoft claims that App-V provides “automated deployment, patching/updates, non-standard applications, image management, PC provisioning and replacement, and installation risk, as well as user productivity gains,” according to a September post on the Official MDOP Blog.

However, not every piece of MDOP 2009 R2 is done and available quite yet. Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization, or MED-V, isn’t finished.

The Windows Team Blog said in mid-September “MDOP 2009 R2 will add Windows 7 support for all of the tools except MED-V, which will support Windows 7 in the first quarter of calendar year 2010 via MED-V 1.0 Service Pack 1.”

Other capabilities provided by MDOP include Advanced Group Policy Management (AGPM), Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset (DaRT), System Center Desktop Error Monitoring (DEM), and Asset Inventory Service (AIS).

Customers with a Software Assurance volume license can license MDOP 2009 R2 for less than $10 per desktop per year. The basic MDOP bundle has been extremely popular with corporate customers. Microsoft officials claim to have sold more than 21 million licenses to date.

MDOP 2009 R2 is available via Microsoft’s Volume Licensing site as well as MSDN and TechNet.

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