For businesses still trying to determine whether Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 will be an ideal upgrade this October 22, Microsoft has refitted its Assessment and Planning Toolkit 4.0 (v4.0.2842.0) with the ability to analyze a PC with Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, Hyper-V for Windows Server 2008 R2 and other Microsoft products in mind (even Office 2007). According to Microsoft, this new beta's key functions will include hardware and device inventory, hardware compatibility analysis, and then generate an "environment-specific IT proposal for migration to most Microsoft technologies."
"For most IT consultants and Microsoft Partners, a detailed network inventory and assessment of servers and desktops often takes days of manual labor," said Baldwin Ng, senior product manager of Microsoft's Assessment and Planning. "With Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit, you can now conduct an environment inventory of up to 100,000 computers in a matter of hours instead of days, giving you extra time to focus on critical planning or pre-sales tasks. For IT professionals, this toolkit can significantly reduce the time it takes to gather the information necessary to make the business case for client, server, and virtualization projects."
To download the tool, end-users will need a valid Windows Live ID in order to sign into Microsoft Connect. The initial download weighs in just under 13 MB; there's also an additional Getting Started Guide and Read Me notes in HTML format that can be downloaded as well. Although geared towards IT professionals and consultants, the beta may also be suitable for consumers, and an ideal evaluation tool to use before (possibly) downloading and installing the recently-released Windows 7 RC that is available for free download.