The return of PC Relocator

The return of PC Relocator

Summary: Back in March, Microsoft purchased Apptimum, Inc., maker of Alohabob PC Relocator and other PC-to-PC migration products. This week, the first hints appeared that those products are about to return, just in time for the launch of Windows Vista.

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TOPICS: Windows
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My ZDNet colleague Mary Jo Foley notes that Microsoft has officially announced its soon-to-be-released tool to migrate programs from one computer to another:

That tool, the Windows Easy Transfer Companion, will transfer actual applications from Windows XP PCs to Vista PCs using a cable or a network connection.

Microsoft is planning to launch an "extended public beta" of the tool at the same time as Vista launches

This sure sounds like the official relaunch of Alohabob PC Relocator and its corporate cousin, Migrate DT, both of which were acquired by Microsoft when it purchased Apptimum, Inc. back in March.

Mary Jo notes that this will be one of three migration tools available shortly after Vista is released and asks:

Why is Microsoft readying so many migration and deployment tools? Is this a sign that the Softies are anticipating app-compat problems galore with Vista? Or is it just a case of being safe instead of sorry? We'll soon find out.

I think I can answer that one. Each product serves a specific niche:

  • Windows Easy Transfer is an update to the Files And Settings Transfer Wizard, which moves data files (including e-mail), preferences, and program settings to a new PC. If you use only this tool, you have to reinstall all programs on your new PC.
  • The Windows Easy Transfer Companion moves programs and data from one machine (running XP or Vista) to another. Currently, this feature is only available with extra-cost third-party programs.
  • The Easy Transfer Cable, as Mary Jo notes, is one choice for making the physical connection between old and new PC. Again, this is an option that companies like LapLink have offered for a while. It removes a lot of the complexity from the process by allowing the user to directly connect two PCs via their USB ports instead of having to set up a network or use a removable hard drive as the transfer mechanism.

Hint to Microsoft: The Windows Easy Transfer Companion should be free.

Topic: Windows

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11 comments
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  • Hint to Ed Bott

    Don't hold yer breath!
    CTSTechs.com
  • Better idea!

    d:\format c: | echo y

    or buy a new PC

    :)
    xstep
    • Huh?

      Maybe I'm missing the joke, but the point of this software is for use when you "buy a new PC." It transfers your data and programs from the old PC to the new one so you can immediately get to work.

      After you've completed the transfer, you probably want to format the drive and reinstall the original OS so you can sell it or give it away.
      Ed Bott
      • In a word

        Swing kit

        Nice idea but.. a wait and see kinda thing, will it work?

        Plus, there is more then one way to skin a cat.
        xstep
        • It's not new

          PC Relocator has been around for at least three years and has gotten rave reviews. The transfer wizard has been in use for more than five years and works great. So wait and see isn't really required in this case.

          "More than one way to skin a cat"? You keep talking in riddles. Why not just say what you mean?
          Ed Bott
  • A solution in search of a problem

    You've heard it before, but: put data and preferences where you can find it, get rid of the registry, make software install modular.

    Then we wouldn't need Rube Goldberg software "solutions". Oh well -- have to throw the developers a bone one way or another.
    SteveTheWirePuller
    • Where have you been

      Probably lost in that 70s show OS. Might as well also say stop using an API, don't use component software and make sure every app has its own library of routines.

      Of course if you only have the low number of apps available in *nix, it's probably not a problem.
      TonyMcS
  • To The Nay-Sayers...

    Go to eBay (or Yahoo auctions, etc) and pick up a copy of Aloha Bob's PC Relocator. 3 month's ago, I picked up a copy (new-in-box) and all I can say is it works as advertised.

    Maybe, there are better products for a corporate enterprise, but it's great for home users/SMB users.
    Altiris_Grunt
  • But what have they done to my baby?

    I've used AlohaBob a lot, standard, Ultra, and Enterprise versions. They weren't perfect but they were damned good and saved me a lot of time moving people to a new PC. Now that the DRM lords have gotten hold of it I expect it will be a pale shadow of it's former self. Nobody profits if all your apps just move nicely over to your new toy and you don't have to buy any new licenses.
    gregry
    • But noone profits if I stick with what is working.

      My biggest problem with moving to Vista is that legacy printers, scanners, essential business software, and many tiliities like backup programs may break. Moving everything to a new Vista system is no help if it no longer works.
      TerryNT
    • But no one profits if I stick with what is working.

      My biggest problem with moving to Vista is that legacy printers, scanners, essential business software, and many utilities like backup programs may break. Moving everything to a new Vista system is no help if it no longer works.
      TerryNT