Free Windows XP Migration Tool Now Available
A free tool for organizations looking to move away from Windows XP was released this week by CA Technologies.
CA Desktop Migration Manager includes support for moving user profiles, drives, files, folders and application settings from a Windows XP machine to a target machine. It's capable of "migrating from NT domains to Active Directory," too, according to CA's announcement.
Microsoft ended support for Windows XP in April, but many organizations and individuals have continued to use it. Per April measurements, StatCounter reported a 15.83 percent Windows XP use rate, while Net Applications pegged it at 26.29 percent. Both organizations sample Web traffic for their estimates, although they use different analytic methods.
CA Desktop Migration Manager features two migration methods. The "real-time migration" method delivers a machine's settings and data during the move, while the "deferred migration" approach creates a file that reflects the settings and data on the old machine. This file can be applied to a target machine later, or at IT's convenience.
While the free price is nice, the CA Desktop Migration Manager doesn't provide for a "zero-touch" migration operation, according to CA's press release. This tool is bundled with CA Client Automation, which does offer that kind of automated client management support. CA Client Automation also provides support for client device maintenance, virtual client management and desktop power management capabilities.
A zero-touch migration should be carried out by organizations with "more than 500 client computers and at least one location with more than 24 users" to avoid migration drudgery, according to Microsoft's definition. The company recommends using its Microsoft Deployment Toolkit in combination with System Center Configuration Manager to carry out such zero-touch migrations. However, there are plenty of alternative migration tools out there. Using Microsoft's tools to move from Windows XP to Windows 8.1, though, is tricky and involves applying a workaround.
It isn't clear how much manual work may be involved when using the CA Desktop Migration Manager tool alone, without CA Client Automation. CA is offering a Webinar on its client management solutions more broadly that may provide the details. The Webinar is scheduled for May 29 at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time (8:00 a.m. Pacific Time). Signup details are listed here.
For consumers, there's also a free Windows XP migration tool. It's offered by Laplink, and sponsored by Microsoft.
Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.