Microsoft updates desktop management tools

Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack is available now

Microsoft has released the next version of its desktop management toolset for IT with updates for resetting admin passwords and collecting crash data.

The Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) 2008, which is only available to users with Software Assurance contracts, is designed specifically to help IT administrators manage collections of Windows desktops, including Vista SP1.

MDOP includes Application Virtualization to stream applications from a centrally managed service; Asset Inventory Service, an inventory scanning tool; System Center Desktop Error Monitoring; Advanced Group Policy Management (APGM) for change management via group policy objects; and the Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset which helps in recovering a crashed PC.

MDOP is comprised of software from Microsoft's purchases of Softricity, AssetMetrix, Winternals Software and DesktopStandard.

Microsoft also announced it will add a tool called Enterprise Desktop Virtualization for deployment and management of virtual PC images in the near future.

The product updates center on the Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset 6.0 (DaRT), a set of tools to debug and troubleshoot unbootable PCs, and Desktop Error Monitoring 3.0 SP1 (DEM), for collecting information about desktop crashes.

DaRT's new tools include Locksmith, which lets IT reset a local administrator password. Also new is Hotfix Uninstall for removing corrupt hotfixes, and Standalone System Sweeper, antimalware software that can run while Windows is unable to boot.

DEM is the internal version of Microsoft's Watson tool, which collects data sent by end-users when their PCs crash. The SP1 Version adds performance and scalability improvements and reports for Top Application Crashes and Top Error Groups. The new version also can be upgraded to Microsoft's System Center Operations Manager 2007.

MDOP 2008 is available now.

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John Fontana

Network World
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