Microsoft releases Vista migration tools

Posted by Humphrey Cheung

Redmond (WA) - Microsoft has released six new tools that should help businesses migrate to Vista. The tools do everything from figuring out a computer's hardware compatibility to solving pesky and oftentimes complicated volume licensing issues. One tool even blasts through a company's network to rate their hardware.

The new Hardware Assessment Tool 1.0 uses either Active Directory or the Computer Browser to find and rate computers on their Vista suitability. Computers are classified as Windows Vista Capable, meaning that they can run Vista, but not the Aero desktop. Computers that can run Aero are classified as Windows Vista Premium Ready. Specific hardware upgrades are recommended for computers that don't meet the Vista cut, but Microsoft won't be suggesting a CPU. "The assessment does not recommend upgrading the CPU of a computer," says Microsoft's website.

Hardware is of course just one-half of the puzzle as companies often have proprietary applications. Microsoft's new Application Compatibility Toolkit will run through a computer to inventory applications and websites. The tool will then see if Vista's new security controls will break the applications.

Microsoft's other four migration tools include Business Desktop Deployment 2007, Volume Activation 2.0 Tools, Key Management Service for Windows Server 2003 and Virtual PC 2007.

All the tools are currently available as a free download on Microsoft's website.