A couple of weeks ago Microsoft launched the public beta of a new physical to virtual (P2V) migration tool for client operating systmes called P2V Migration for Software Assurance.
The product leverages the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit and Sysinternals Disk2VHD to convert a user’s existing Windows XP SP3, Vista or 7 environment to a virtual hard disk. When the process is complete, this tools automatically formats the physical hard drive, installs a fresh copy of Windows 7, which includes a version of Virtual PC, and deploys the previously saved virtual hard drive.
The applications installed in the old, virtualized operating system are mapped on the new Windows 7 environment. The applications of both OSes appear side by side thanks to the seamless window technology that Microsoft call RemoteApp.
As the name suggests, the product is only available for Software Assurance customers, and it requires a valid license for both the old and the new operating systems. So, for example, all OEM copies of Windows (the ones shipped with branded computers) cannot be used with this tool.