Microsoft announced today that it has released Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) 2013, the latest version of its diverse set of management, virtualization, and app deployment tools. As with previous versions, MDOP 2013 is available to Software Assurance (SA) customers via Microsoft’s volume licensing service center.

The big general improvement in this release, naturally, is support for Windows 8, though that work started with last year’s release of MDOP 2012. The biggest single change in MDOP 2013 is the inclusion of the final release of Microsoft BitLocker Administration and Monitoring (MBAM) 2.0, a tool that simplifies the provisioning and deployment of BitLocker encryption, while offering improved compliance and reporting.

Many MDOP components have been updated in this release. These include:

MBAM 2.0. Now includes a Self Service Portal, System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) integration, reporting enhancements, and simplified provisioning for Windows 8.

Advanced Policy Group Management (APGM) 4.0 Service Pack (SP1). Provides Group Policy change management capabilities to Windows 8, helping organizations keep their desktop configurations up to date.

Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset (DaRT) 8.0 SP1: Accelerates desktop repair by adding support for 10 additional languages. DaRT also includes a new Defender engine for better protection against malware.

Microsoft Application Virtualization (App-V) 5.0 SP1: Adds support for Office 2010, and support for the sequencer and client in 24 languages. App-V 5.0 server is asupported in 11 languages.

Microsoft User Experience Virtualization (UE-V) 1.0 SP1: Adds support for Office 2007, a big customer request. UE-V now supports 24 languages.

SA customers can download MDOP 2013 from the Microsoft volume licensing service center.