Microsoft’s centralized desktop management tool has been updated to R2 and is now available to SA customers:

Just a week after my colleague Shanen Boettcher wrote about virtualization and its role in the Optimized Desktop, specifically announcing the RTM of Microsoft Application Virtualization 4.5, commonly called “App-V”, I’m proud to let you know that the entire MDOP 2008 R2 suite of products has officially reached RTM status! New and existing customers can get App-V 4.5 starting TODAY, and will be able to get the other MDOP 2008 R2 components the first week of October!

As Shanen noted in his blog post, the Optimized Desktop eliminates the “tug-of-war” that exists between IT and end-user needs in a traditional desktop infrastructure.” We know that this is where IT is going, and today’s news plays a critical role in fulfilling that vision. In an Optimized Desktop, a partnership is established in which IT can constructively maintain control over the desktop infrastructure, without getting in the way of the users they’re supporting. With MDOP 2008 R2 and Windows Vista, you get a solution that’s greater than the sum of its parts…a “1+1=3” scenario where IT is controlled and managed, users are empowered and productive, and the pace of business accelerates.

There are a lot of new and very useful upgrades and improvements in MDOP 2008 R2 in addition to last week’s upgrade to App-V 4.5: Localisation, Asset Inventory Service 1.5, and Advanced Group Policy Management 3.0.

It’s important to note that this isn’t the end of our development cycle. Rather, it’s another milestone on our continuing mission to make 1 plus 1 always equal 3 (or more!) standard math when it comes to Desktops. Next, in the first half of 2009, we’re planning to release Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization (MED-V). MED-V, which will be the first Microsoft-branded release of the recently acquiredKidaro technology, will be a key addition to MDOP; it provides a secure, fast, manageable, local hardware virtualization solution that complements App-V, and will serve to further strengthen our “desktop to datacenter” virtualization story.

That MED-V release is really going to complete the circle. This is the future of Windows application compatibility. It’s amazing stuff.