Upgrading your computers from Windows XP or Windows Vista to the latest Windows 7 operating system was not something Microsoft made very easy to accomplish.
Network World wrote an article about the Seven tips to migrate and manage Windows 7 and make the point that there will be software application issues and migrating to a virtual machine may be a better option.
5. Consider client virtualization.
The release of Windows 7 has companies considering another new technology: virtual desktops. The promise of ease of management and increased security that virtual desktop technology offers could drive customers to consider the technology when they have budget dollars for a PC refresh.
For its part, Microsoft offers two products that take advantage of virtualization and could be considered a means to managing a migration to or ongoing deployment of Windows 7. Microsoft Application Virtualization, the company says, helps reduce downtime for customers by turning Windows applications into “centrally managing virtual services that are delivered to any licensed Windows desktop or laptop.” And Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization allows desktop administrators to create, deliver and centrally manage a virtual Windows XP or 2000 environment (based on Microsoft Virtual PC 2007) and run legacy applications on Windows Vista desktops, the vendor says.
But Microsoft isn’t the only vendor touting virtualization as an option. VMware and Citrix also boast virtual desktop infrastructure and could provide viable alternatives to a full-blown Windows 7 migration, industry watchers say.
“IT managers would be able to go with a virtualization solution as well. If you are doing desktop virtualization, you can deploy your virtual container for the new desktop environment down to each one of the client endpoints. It would be as simple as setting one up and deploying it out to many,” Brasen says. “Microsoft, VMware and Citrix would all have options for customers here.”
Two of the more useful features are the ability to convert a Paragon image to the .vhd format (which you can mount or run under Windows 7 natively), and the boot manager (which allows you to boot to both your old operating system and Windows 7). Microsoft does provide a free downloadable utility–Disk2vhd–that can copy a partition to .vhd. If you install Window 7 to partition other than the one your current OS resides on, Disk2vhd creates a dual-boot menu for you automatically. Paragon’s versions, however, are a bit slicker.
Paragon Software also has a Virtual Migration software that can simplify the process of moving a server or desktop into a virtual drive on your Windows 7 PC.
From the feedback from our partners, this is the best option when having to migrate applications and data. The alternative of starting from scratch and reinstalling all of your applications.