Microsoft releases Desktop Optimization Pack tools with Windows 10 support

Microsoft's latest set of virtualization, deployment and recovery tools, MDOP, now support Windows 10. Up next: A Windows 10 version of Microsoft's remote server administration tools.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

Microsoft has released the latest version of its Windows Desktop Optimization Pack, which includes support for Windows 10, among other features.

Microsoft made available to MSDN subscribers Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) 2015 on August 17. (Thanks to Tero Alhonen for the link.)

MDOP is a collection of virtualization, management and recovery tools for Windows business customers. It bundles together Advanced Group Policy Management (AGPM), Application Virtualization for Windows Desktops (App-V), User Experience Virtualization (UEV), BitLocker Administration and Monitoring (MBAM), Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset (DaRT) and Enterprise Desktop Virtualization (MED-V).

The 2015 "Spring" release includes App-V 5.1; MBAM 2.5 Service Pack (SP) 1; UEV 2.1 SP1; DaRT 10; and AGPM 4.0 SP3. All of those updated pieces now include support for Windows 10. The full list of updated features for MDOP 2015 is available on the MDOP 2015 MSDN page by clicking "Details."

Microsoft delivered MDOP 2014 R2 in December 2014.

Earlier this year, Microsoft officials told some customers that Microsoft planned to offer Enterprise users with Software Assurance free access to MDOP. To date, MDOP has been an optional but paid add-on for Enterprise and Software Assurance customers. As of the launch of Windows 10, MDOP was slated be included for free with Software Assurance for new customers and renewal customers, but not retroactively.

MDOP isn't the only set of Windows 10 tools for which business users are waiting. I've had several users ask me when Microsoft plans to release Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows 10. These tools allow Windows 10 PCs to connect to and manage Windows Server.

A Microsoft official said last month the Windows 10 version of RSAT should be out around mid-August. I've heard from others that Microsoft is planning to deliver the Windows 10 release of RSAT simultaneously with its next Windows Server 2016 preview. Given the Windows Server 2016 third technical preview bits leaked over the weekend, I'd bet the new RSAT tools should be out very soon.

Update: Microsoft also is rolling out the latest version of the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT), MDT 2013 Update 1. The latest MDT release supports the deployment of and upgrade to Windows 10. It includes support for the Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK) for Windows 10; the new Enterprise Long Term Servicing Branch and Education editions of Windows 10, and more.

A couple more Windows 10 tidbits that may be of interest to business users. For those who've been asking why some users who have PCs on domain-joined networks are having the "Update to Windows 10" app, if not Windows 10 itself, automatically downloaded to their PCs -- a scenario Microsoft officials seemed to indicate wouldn't occur -- there are various possible reasons.

Windows IT Pro's Rod Trent noted a few of them, including the fact some business users are set to get automatic updates via Windows Update, and some users log in to multiple domains.

When I asked Microsoft about this situation, I received the following statement from a spokesperson:

"For individuals who have chosen to receive automatic updates through Windows Update, we help upgradable devices get ready for Windows 10 by downloading the files they'll need if they decide to upgrade. When the upgrade is ready, the customer will be prompted to install Windows 10 on the device. For organizations, IT professionals have access to tools, which enable them to manage and control downloads on their network domain, and also make a determination as to when and if to install Windows 10. This approach is an industry practice, which stages software, reducing the time for installation and ensures the device is ready (e.g., has the correct graphics drivers to ensure display monitor will function correctly), should the customer choose to install the upgrade."

Another domain-join-related Windows 10 issue that has been plaguing some users is a lock-out scenario which can occur with domain-joined PCs running Windows 10. I asked Microsoft for an update on this issue and was told a fix is in the works, but not when it might be delivered.

"We are aware that a small set of customers are experiencing issues with Active Directory account lockouts on Windows 10. Customers experiencing this issue should contact Microsoft Support for assistance. We are working to resolve the situation as soon as possible and thank our customers for their patience," a spokesperson said in response to my question via an emailed statement.

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