Till now Windows 7 had to be a clean install, there was no options for upgrade from XP or Vista. Microsoft has now released a beta version of a toolkit for businesses mulling an upgrade of their desktop systems to the Windows 7 operating system.
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,” said Baldwin Ng, senior product manager at Microsoft, in a blog post.
MAP can be downloaded from Microsoft’s TechNet Web site.
Microsoft recently said it’s on pace to release Windows 7 on October 22nd. A so-called 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.