Reacting to criticism from customers that upgrading from Windows XP was “impossible,” Microsoft [last week] announced it would give away a limited migration tool to help people move to a newer operating system.
The tool, PCmover Express for Windows XP, is one of several migration utilities from Laplink, a Bellevue, Wash. company whose offices are near those of Microsoft.
I ask this because Microsoft already has a limited migration tool to help people move to a newer operating system; it’s called Microsoft Easy Transfer, and the price is the same: zilch, if you can find the download page. I used it myself to move 130 GB or so of data off my old home box to my new home box, which runs Win7 Home Premium. Someone wanting to move from 7 to Win8, assuming there exists someone who wants to move from 7 to Win8, doesn’t even need the download: the tool is built into 7.
But maybe there’s something else at work here:
The free PCmover Express transfers files and users’ settings only from an XP PC to one running Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 8.1. It does not migrate any applications, just files and user settings, a ploy to prod people to pony up for PCmover Professional, which will transfer an unlimited number of applications from the old PC to the new machine, as well as migrate files and settings.
Several caveats apply: “Antivirus and Anti-Spyware programs will not be moved to your new PC,” noted Laplink as one.
Apparently people were scared stiff about reinstalling their applications — or perhaps those apps were obtained through, shall we say, non-standard provenance.
The Professional version of PCmover is $60; multiple license packs are available at a discount. Meanwhile, as I write this, Easy Transfer has finished up migrating my work box to the new work box (running Win7 Pro).