Microsoft this week revealed that the latest update to its Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack, MDOP 2011 R2, is now available. As you may recall, MDOP is a collection of useful desktop management applications, servers, and utilities that is available to volume license customers and, at a nominal per-user cost, to Windows Intune subscribers. (It's also available on MSDN and TechNet for subscribers.)

Compared to MDOP 2011, which shipped in March 2011, the R2 version includes updates to three solutions:

Microsoft BitLocker Administration and Monitoring (MBAM). Supports reporting, recovery key retrieval, and recovery key encrypted storage.

Microsoft Diagnostic and Recovery Toolkit (DaRT) 7.0. My favorite MDOP tool can now be deployed to desktops over a local network, removing the "sneakernet" deployment requirements of previous versions, which were disk (or USB) based, and allowing admins to boot PCs into this environment remotely.

Microsoft Asset Inventory Service (AIS) 2.0. This update brings AIS up to date with the reporting capabilities that Microsoft shipped in Intune 1.0. It now supports 100,000 clients and has a streamlined UI.

For more information, please visit the MDOP page on the Windows Enterprise web site.