Microsoft announced today that its Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) 2012 is now available for download. This version of the enterprise-focused toolkit includes one new tool, User Experience Virtualization (UE-V), and major updates to Application Virtualization (App-V) and Microsoft Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset (DaRT).

MDOP is an added-cost option for Microsoft’s Software Assurance (SA) subscribers (It’s also made available to Windows Intune subscribers.) It includes 6 products: Microsoft Application Virtualization (App-V), Microsoft User Experience Virtualization (UE-V), Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization (MED-V), Microsoft Advanced Group Policy Management (AGPM), Microsoft Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset (DaRT), and Microsoft BitLocker Administration and Monitoring (MBAM).

“MDOP virtualization technologies help personalize the user experience, simplify application deployment and improve application compatibility with the Windows operating system, while its management technologies help to manage, monitor, deploy and repair key Windows features such as BitLocker and Group Policy,” Microsoft’s Karri Alexion-Tiernan wrote in a post to the Windows for Your Business blog. “By using MDOP, IT departments are able to shift desktop repairs from reactive to proactive, save time and remove many challenges associated with troubleshooting and repairing system failures. And with 44 million licenses sold its clear businesses are finding value in the products.”

The biggest update in MDOP 2012, perhaps, is the new UE-V. As Alexion-Tiernan nots, “UE-V provides a consistent and personal experience regardless of the device being used, meaning that employees have the option to change their device and keep their experience without needing to reconfigure their applications or desktop settings each time they login to Windows 7 or Windows 8.” It provides OS personalization across devices and roaming app management.

App-V has been updated to version 5.0, adding better integration between virtual and native applications, multiple applications in a single package, more efficient use in VDI environments, and a new web-based admin UI. DaRT has been updated to version 8.0 and adds Windows 8 compatibility, native support for USB-based deployments, and deep PowerShell integration.

There’s a ton of information about MDOP 2012 hitting the Microsoft web site now. Be sure to start with Stephen Rose’s excellent UE-V overview in New Kid on the MDOP Block: Microsoft User Experience Virtualization.