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Numara Releases New Tool for Windows 7 Migrations

Numara Software released a new user state migration tool today that's designed to help IT pros with their Windows migration woes.

FootPrints Migration Manager is designed to take Windows desktop customizations, such as drive mappings, application settings, bookmarks and wallpaper, and move those preferences out to a new Windows desktop on a new machine. This user state migration product arrives even as many IT organizations consider moving from the near decade-old Windows XP operating system, which is still the most widely used OS on the planet.

One main reason compelling a switch to Windows 7 is that Windows XP will lose its free security update support in April 2014. Many IT orgs skipped Windows Vista.

Microsoft provides a free Windows User State Migration Tool that's designed to help with such migrations. However, that tool may require IT personnel to know scripting and XML, according to Sam Elliott, a Numara product manager. And while Microsoft's tool has some command-line elements to learn, FootPrints Migration Manager presents the user with a graphical user interface, Elliott explained, in a phone interview.

Elliott said that FootPrints Migration Manager is a more powerful tool because it supports more applications than Microsoft's Windows User State Migration Tool. Migration Manager even supports Office 2003 migrations.

"If you've got thousands of machines to migrate, we can do that for you," he said. "And if you're going from XP running Office 2003 and you want to migrate to Windows 7 and Office 2010 -- that's something we can support. Your signatures would come across. All of your Outlook PST files would come across. Your desktop backgrounds would be the same. If you set any custom formatting or toolbars in Microsoft Word, that would all be there."

Elliott claims that FootPrints Migration Manager can be used to "fully automate" user state migrations to thousands of PCs. The product does not require installing an agent on a client's machine, and Numara' marketing claims that IT pros can migrate a Windows user state without having to physically touch a PC.

A Numara brochure (PDF) describes the process this way: "Prior to imaging, FootPrints Migration Manager extracts the user state data from the source computers and stores the user information on a file share. After the imaging is complete, FootPrints Migration Manager injects the previously extracted user state into a freshly imaged machine."

Numara claims that its product also works with Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager, or any imaging software. Numara has its own FootPrints Deployment Manager tool for imaging. It's part of a FootPrints IT operations management suite, which has independent and integrated applications for patch management, inventory management, software license tracking and more.

Numara describes its FootPrints Migration Manager for Windows 7 here, but the pricing wasn't announced. Its overall integrated product line for IT pros is described at this Web page. The Tampa, Fla.-based company primarily provides its IT support solutions to midmarket-size organizations.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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