There's more than one way to migrate to Windows 7

There's more than one way to migrate to Windows 7

Summary: Microsoft is working on a new physical-to-virtual (P2V) tool for helping customers move legacy applications to Windows 7 using virtualization technology.

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Microsoft is working on a new physical-to-virtual (P2V) tool for helping customers move legacy applications to Windows 7 using virtualization technology.

The latest migration tool in Microsoft's arsenal -- "P2V Migration for Software Assurance" -- is a combination of the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) and the company's Sysinternals Disk2 VHD product. Microsoft is currently beta testing the migration toolkit offering.

The P2V bundle converts customers' existing Windows XP Service Pack (SP) 3 or Vista client environments to a virtual hard disk and then automates the delivery of a personalized Windows 7 containing a virtual machine with the previous Windows environment, apps and browser. The virtual desktop retains the management components, including domain membership and management policies, and makes availble users' legacy settings via the Windows 7 start menu.

The "Software Assurance" part of the puzzle is a way for Microsoft to attempt to hide its licensing complexities from the user. Microsoft isn't trying to "gate" the new tool so it is only available to its volume licensees who have signed Software Assurance annuity deals, according to a September 9 post to the company's Springboard blog. Because the bundle involves transferring the install from one PC to another, Microsoft ran into its own rule that OEM-installed copies of Windows cannot be P2V'd. Software Assurance includes licensing policies around volume activation that do allow this scenario, however.

Microsoft execs demonstrated the P2V migration tool at the company's internal TechReady conference in July. The first public presentation on the toolkit will be at the TechEd EMEA conference in Berlin in November, according to company officials.

The current P2V Migration beta, which Microsoft made available on its Connect site in early September, includes support for "Refresh and Replace" scenarios without relying on System Center Configuration Manager. But another beta release "with Configuration Manager documented/working and better international support is coming in the coming days," according to the Springboard blog post.

The P2V Migration tool isn't for everyone, the Softies acknowledge. From the Springboard post:

"The best way to deliver a standardized local Virtual PC environment to many users is to use Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization. It enables provisioning and management of much lighter weight VMs, lets you manage how links are published to applications from the VM, redirect URLs to the VM’s browser and back, start the VM when the user logs into the physical machine, etc. It also requires that you know about and manage the applications going into the VMs. Where P2V Migration comes in is where you don’t have the source media, don’t want to include rarely required apps into a standard VM (all this applies to Internet Explorer customization as well). For that handful of users with highly-specialized and otherwise deployment-blocking PCs, you can target them for P2V Migration."

Anyone out there have apps/scenarios where you could see P2V convincing you to upgrade from an older version of Windows to 7?

Topics: Windows, CXO, Emerging Tech, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Software

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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23 comments
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  • Interesting

    "Microsoft ran into its own rule that OEM-installed copies of Windows cannot be P2V?d."

    They were bitten by their own licensing complexity.
    dragosani
  • RE: There's more than one way to migrate to Windows 7

    And for those who aren't "volume licensees who have signed Software Assurance annuity deals" you can use Virtualbox ( http://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Migrate_Windows ) and VMWare Converter ( http://www.softpanorama.org/VM/conversion_of_harddrive_partition_into_virtual.shtml ) to achieve the same thing, and there's the advantage that VMWare and Virtualbox VMs run on any host - Windows, Linux or Mac.
    explodingwalrus
    • RE: There's more than one way to migrate to Windows 7

      @explodingwalrus: VMWare's P2V tool has been the best to use thus far, but to be fair, nobody has a working P2V tool for OSX (at least outside of Apple).
      Random_Walk
    • RE: There's more than one way to migrate to Windows 7

      @explodingwalrus - I saw a blog that has a link to a similar tool that appears to be simpler and migrates to diverse virt platforms (Windows, VMware, Parallels, and Oracle) http://bit.ly/9jmsyB.

      I don't know how many are supported as I've only tested on Windows VPC, but it worked well for that target.
      phat_pow
    • RE: There's more than one way to migrate to Windows 7

      @explodingwalrus Oracle royally screwed Virtualbox. But the older versions still work well if you can get a hold of them.
      Socratesfoot
  • If you are going to use virtualization anyway why don't to you go...

    ...why don't to you go all the way and move to a safe system with VirtualBox running in Linux.

    Any other route makes no sense, no sense at all.
    OS Reload
    • The best is to re-compile and test the legacy Win32 apps for WineLib. Then,

      you can run them natively in their own Linux VM. Of course if you do not have access to the source code, that will not work, and VirtualBox is the best alternative!
      DonnieBoy
      • If that where a serious solution

        DonnieBoy, people would be doing it.

        face it, the bottom line is why switch to third best when you can just use the best: Windows 7?

        The numbers back up that statement. I had to laugh when I read the comment someone made saying that a good slogan for Windows 7 would have been:

        "Windows 7: Linux's worst nightmare". ;)
        John Zern
      • RE: There's more than one way to migrate to Windows 7

        @DonnieBoy,
        Go away troll.
        bmonsterman
    • RE: There's more than one way to migrate to Windows 7

      @OS Reload,

      Go away Troll.
      bmonsterman
  • RE: There's more than one way to migrate to Windows 7

    Previous comments are hilarioius! People suggesting to move one application to linux even though it doesn't run it! The whole purpose is to stay on the Microsoft Windows platform so migrations are seamless and applications are compatible. Users don't want to have to recompile anything like they do in linux. Advantage: Microsoft.
    Loverock Davidson
    • I can tell by your lies that you are still in vengeful mode against Linux

      Get over it!
      OS Reload
      • RE: There's more than one way to migrate to Windows 7

        @OS Reload

        It's not lies, OS Reload.... it's the truth. People LOVE Microsoft products because they are so easy to use and, if you use common sense, very hard to infect.

        Using common sense means running antivirus software, using a firewall (hardware or software, either is good), and not going to 'iffy' sites on the internet unless you are using Firefox/Minefield with NoScript installed.
        Lerianis10
      • RE: There's more than one way to migrate to Windows 7

        @Lerianis10
        I highly doubt people "LOVE" Microsoft products.
        ZackCDLVI
      • Which are you, the pot or kettle?

        OS Reload, you're one that really shouldn't be complaining that other people lie... ;)
        John Zern
    • RE: There's more than one way to migrate to Windows 7

      @Loverock Davidson Gawd LD. I know your a troll and you still piss me off every time you say that crap about recompiling software in Linux. It's called automatic update and it works just like Windows. Or you can use Apt, SVN, or any of the other installers.
      Socratesfoot
    • RE: There's more than one way to migrate to Windows 7

      @Loverock Davidson
      Speaking of Trolls....You don't have a clue what VM is or how it works, do you?

      And quit with the 'compile' lie, you've been told a thousand times that's not how it works anymore. What a looser.
      spin498
  • Just another push by Microsoft toooooooo.....

    Get users/clients to move to WIN7...

    We (115) will be staying wth XP/Vista and Office 2003 PRO.
    REASON....
    Microsoft have broken both products, WIN7 by removing the "CLASSIC" option we have set as standard for ease of Support and users moving around computer/jobs within the business, and Office 2007/10 they have the "RIBBON" the most unproductive addition we have ever had foisted on us we want the "CLASSIC" returned in total.
    carlsf1
  • RE: There's more than one way to migrate to Windows 7

    MICROSOFT ESTABLISHED ITS FOOT IN WINDOWS 7 MOBILE TOO, BUT THAT INCIDENT OF FUNERAL TO ALL OTHER MOBILES IS JUS NOT TOLERABLE
    GO FOR MORE
    http://lensfire.blogspot.com/search/label/tech
    http://lensfire.blogspot.com/search/label/leaked%20news
    inspirearun1
  • RE: There's more than one way to migrate to Windows 7

    I would use it to allow me to upgrade to 7 from Vista. They killed Visual Studio 2003 in Windows 7, and I need it for work. We are migrating to VS 2008, and eventually 2010, but some stuff isn't ported yet (it's not as easy as it should be) and of course there are tons of free libraries out there with 2003 projects which break in 2008. I'd rather that they add support for VS 2003 to Windows 7, but I'd try the P2V thing if that's my only option. I hate Vista, running 7 at home.
    litewerk