By Jay Garmon
Migrating to Windows 7 is extremely easy -- if you're currently running Windows Vista. Switching to Windows 7 from Windows XP is more complicated, but there are some third-party applications that make an XP to 7 upgrade much easier. Our sister site Search Enterprise Desktop has a rundown of Windows 7 migration tools, one of which is sure to match your needs.
The real bugaboo with migrating from Windows XP to Windows 7 is that XP apps aren't often compatible with Win7. Paving over your existing install of XP with Windows 7 means either upgrading to a Win7 version of your old apps, or reinstalling your old software to run in Windows 7's XP Mode emulation environment. Dragging your existing Windows XP data into Windows 7 -- including music, pictures, and documents -- can prove equally tedious. That's where the migration apps come in.
The migration apps scrape your existing data -- and, in many cases, your existing apps -- and preserve them during the installation of Windows 7. When the Win7 install is complete, your XP data is waiting for you. No muss, no fuss. Most of these tools are designed for mass corporate migrations, but a few of them also support one-off PC upgrades. The chart below breaks down the major Windows 7 migration tools.
|Tool||Price||Approach||Keeps existing XP apps?|
|Laplink PCmover||$20 to $60 per PC*||In-place single PC||Mostly|
|Zinstall||$89 per PC*||Single PC, XP runs in a VM||Yes|
|Microsoft Windows Automated Installation Kit (WAIK)||Free||Automated WIM /deployment||Depends on master image construction|
|Dell KACE Kbox||$4500 for 100 PCs, additional $13/PC||Automated deployment appliance||Depends on master image construction|
|Viewfinity User Migration||Free while in beta||Automated deployment||No|
|Prowess SmartDeploy||$2000 per enterprise||Automated conversion of VMDK to WIM||Yes|
* Quantity discounts available
For a more detailed analysis of available Windows 7 migration tools, check out SearchEnterpriseDesktop.com.
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