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Microsoft's Desktop Optimization Pack gets Win 8.1 management capabilities

The Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) suite of IT management tools has been updated with support for Windows 8.1 device and application management and Office 2013 virtualization.

MDOP 2013 R2, released on Monday, lets IT administrators manage BitLocker in Windows 8.1 using version 2.0 SP1 of Microsoft BitLocker Administration and Monitoring (MBAM) and manage Group Policy with version 4.0 SP2 of Advanced Group Policy Management (AGPM). The suite's Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset (DaRT) also can be used now with Windows 8.1, a major update to Windows 8 that became available in mid-October.

The suite also includes Version 5.0 SP2 of the App-V virtualization tool, which has an Office Deployment Tool for Office 2013 virtualization. App-V is designed to let IT departments store applications on a central server and stream them on demand to multiple user devices. Office 2013 is the most recent version of Microsoft's ubiquitous suite of desktop productivity applications.

More support for Windows 8.1 device management is found in version 2.0 of MDOP's User Experience Virtualization (UE-V), which is designed to establish user preferences and settings in a central server so they can be automatically applied to the multiple devices a user employs. With it, applications don't need to be reconfigured manually in each device. UE-V 2.0 now also lets IT administrators control how users apply the settings of Windows Store applications in their various devices. Windows Store apps are those written specifically for Windows 8.

MDOP 2013 R2 is available now for download for Volume Licensing, Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) and TechNet subscribers.

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