Windows 7 Upgrade Tool Released - InformationWeek

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Software // Operating Systems

Windows 7 Upgrade Tool Released

Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit 4.0 will let enterprises know if they're ready for Redmond's next OS.

Microsoft has released a beta version of a toolkit for businesses mulling an upgrade of their desktop systems to the Windows 7 operating system.

Windows 7 screen shot
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Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) Toolkit version 4.0 is designed to analyze computers and other devices on a network to determine if they're compatible with Windows 7, Windows Server 2008, and other software products, including Microsoft Office 2007.

MAP also identifies candidates for virtualization, power-saving opportunities, and security vulnerabilities.

"It performs key functions that include hardware and device inventory, hardware compatibility analysis, and generation of actionable, environment-specific IT proposals for migration to most major Microsoft technologies," Baldwin Ng, senior product manager at Microsoft, said in a blog post.

MAP can be downloaded from Microsoft's TechNet Web site. Ng did not state when a final version of the tool would be available.

Microsoft recently said it's on pace to release Windows 7 on Oct. 22. A Release Candidate version of the OS is currently available as a free download from the software maker's Web site.

Windows 7 RC will function until June 1, 2010. After that, users will need to upgrade to a full, paid version of the operating system to continue use. Windows 7 Beta is set to expire at the end of this month.

Microsoft is counting on Windows 7 to erase memories of Vista, which flopped in the business market and drew numerous gripes from consumers. Complaints ranged from Vista's intrusive security measures to its heavy desktop footprint.

Windows 7 is said to be lighter and easier to use than its predecessor. It also includes slick new tools that improve everyday tasks such as desktop searches and PC-to-PC file transfers.

InformationWeek has published an in-depth report on Windows 7. Download the report here (registration required).

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