Microsoft kicks off beta of new Windows 8 encryption tool

Microsoft is rolling out new test versions of a number of its tools for Windows business users that are meant to complement Windows 8.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor on

The new (2.0) version of the Microsoft Bitlocker Administration and Monitoring tool, a k a MBAM, is available to beta testers as of June 12.

Microsoft also has released a new beta of Microsoft Advanced Group Policy Management (AGPM) Service Pack 1 and a commitment to a second beta of  User Experience Virtualization (UE-V) (due by the end of this month), as well as a release candidate for its Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset (DaRT) 8, today, as well.

These tools are all part of the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP), a set of complementary Windows tools for enterprises. MDOP includes Microsoft Application Virtualization (App-V), Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization (MED-V), Advanced Group Policy Management (AGPM), Asset Inventory Service (AIS),Advanced Group Policy Management (AGPM),  Microsoft BitLocker Administration and Monitoring (MBAM) and Desktop Error Monitoring (DEM). Microsoft uses MDOP as a carrot to try to get more of its business users to subscribe to Software Assurance. MBAM 2.0, when used with Windows 8, will reduce the time it takes to provision BitLocker to devices, according to a new post on the Microsoft Springboard Series blog. It also enables self-servicing of key provision.

"On traditional storage disks, BitLocker and MBAM can perform Used Disk Space Only Encryption, which means that rather than encrypting the entire disk, just the portions of the disk that contain data on them will be encrypted. This can reduce the time that it takes to provision encryption to a new device by many times," according to the Springboard post.

MBAM 1.0, which was released late last summer, was designed provisioning and providing compliance reporting for Windows 7 on encrypted devices.

The beta of MBAM 2.0 is downloadable here

The beta of APGM 4.0 SP1 is downloadable here.

The new release candidate of DaRT 8, supporting Windows 8 Release Preview, is here.

I've asked Microsoft officials when they expect a new version of the company's MDOP tool bundle to be released. No word back yet. Update: Microsoft officials declined to say anything further on timing on the next MDOP version.

Update No. 2: In my hasting reading of Microsoft's post, I failed to notice that the company is dropping MED-V from MDOP. Luckily, Directions on Microsoft's Wes Miller did notice the fine print. MED-V support ends with Windows 7; there won't be a WIndows 8 version.

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