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February 27 launch for Windows Vista SP1?

February debut for assessment toolkit

Microsoft is planning a February 27 launch event in Los Angeles for the Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) Solution Accelerator. This comprises a set of tools aimed at easing migration to Windows Vista SP1 and Windows Server 2008. Microsoft is likely to release both Windows Server 2008 and Vista SP1 close to the MAP launch event.

Microsoft has previously said it plans to release the server and client software around the same time.

In February, Microsoft is planning to ship the Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) Solution Accelerator - tools for IT shops so they can get their networks in order and ease any planned migrations to Windows Vista SP1, and Windows Server 2008.

See also:

Windows Vista review

Windows Vista SP1 Release Candidate review

FAQ: Vista Service Pack 1 beta

The MAP Solution Accelerator is designed to help IT shops inventory their network, assess the readiness of their infrastructure for a migration and generate reports and recommendations.

The tool is for users planning migrations to Windows Server 2008, Windows Vista, Office 2007 and Microsoft Virtualization technologies (Virtual Server 2005 R2 and the forthcoming Hyper-V), and Microsoft Application Virtualization (formerly SoftGrid).

Baldwin Ng, of the Microsoft assessment and planning team wrote in a Jan. 26 posting on the MAP blog that the assessment tool would be released on the web in approximately four weeks. A beta program is already under way.

Vista SP1 typically is a milestone that many corporate users wait for before planning migrations. Vista and Windows Server 2008 work in tandem on a handful of new features, including Network Access Protection (NAP).

Vista SP1 will include a number of bug fixes and performance enhancements but no new features, Microsoft said.

Microsoft also is updating other Vista migration tools, including the Application Compatibility Toolkit (ACT) 5.0, and Microsoft User State Migration Tools (USMT) 3.0.

Uptake of Vista has been slow by corporate users, many of whom have standardized on XP and are reluctant to undertake another migration.
Over the past two years, Microsoft has launched five versions of its migration assessment platform starting with the Assessment and Planning Solution and concluding with the Windows Vista Hardware Assessment tool (WVHA).

Each one has built on the other and WVHA will be folded into MAP this time around.

MAP will allow IT executives to discover how many servers and desktops they have, which ones are ready to migrate to Windows Server 2008 with little modification, which desktops can move to Vista SP1 with minimal investment and which servers are candidates for consolidation via virtualisation.

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