Microsoft buys Alohabob

Summary:For years, Windows users have been complaining that the process of moving programs and data to a new PC is needlessly complex. Microsoft just announced that it's buying the most popular utility designed to solve this problem. But there's a catch.

What took them so long?

For years, Windows users have been complaining that the process of moving programs and data to a new PC is needlessly complex. A whole cottage industry of less than perfect software utilities has grown up to deal with the problem.

Today, Microsoft announced that it’s buying Apptimum, Inc., makers of the whimsically named Alohabob PC Relocator line of products and the more buttoned-down Migrate DT products. (Alas, download links to both product lines have been scrubbed from the Apptimum website in the past half-hour. Update: Trial and for-purchase versions of PC Relocator were available for download from the alohabob.com domain for an hour or so after the announcement, but those download links have now been taken down as well.)

So why didn’t someone think of this a year ago? With a little foresight, this technology could have been ready for the launch of Windows Vista later this year. Instead, all Microsoft will commit to is this tepid announcement: “The first public release of a Microsoft product based on the Apptimum technology is planned to be an optional download for Windows Vista customers. Further details about the planned Microsoft product, including the timeline for delivery, are not yet available.” The current versions of both product lines work with Windows XP, but it looks like anyone who chooses to stick with Windows XP is out of luck.

If this development cycle follows the same timeline as the GIANT Software acquisition, it will be 18 months to two years before a ready-for-primetime Microsoft-branded solution is available.

Just in time for the first beta of Vienna, probably.

Topics: Windows

About

Ed Bott is an award-winning technology writer with more than two decades' experience writing for mainstream media outlets and online publications. He has served as editor of the U.S. edition of PC Computing and managing editor of PC World; both publications had monthly paid circulation in excess of 1 million during his tenure. He is the a... Full Bio

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