IT planning toolkit now supports Windows 7

Microsoft has followed up on the release of its Windows 7 Beta by rolling out another build of the Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) Toolkit.

Microsoft has followed up on the release of its Windows 7 Beta by rolling out another build of the Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) Toolkit. This build (2315) now supports the use of the MAP toolkit on PCs running the Windows 7 Beta, according to Microsoft's announcement.

MAP is a migration assessment tool for the Microsoft stack. It inventories computers in an IT shop and suggests hardware upgrades, if necessary. MAP will also check for supporting driver availability. MAP Build 2315 can be accessed here, although the product description wasn't updated at press time to say that it now works with the Windows 7 Beta.

For those currently using Windows Vista, Microsoft makes the claim that Windows 7 will be compatible with drivers that already work on Vista. Driver compatibility was a major problem when Vista was first released about two years ago.

Monday, Jan. 9, will be the last day for the general public to download the Windows 7 Beta for free, although TechNet Plus and MSDN subscribers can get it throughout the beta period, as described here. Microsoft has not publicly announced the release candidate date for Windows 7, but company officials have suggested that the final product will appear sometime in early 2010.

On Tuesday, the company announced the product lineup for Windows 7, which will be rolled out in at least six versions. Microsoft also signaled its partners by announcing an "Ecosystem Readiness Program" for Windows 7.

On Thursday, Microsoft announced some security improvements to the UAC feature in Windows 7 in response to user feedback. Those changes will be implemented in the future release candidate version of Windows 7, Microsoft officials said.

For IT professionals, Microsoft is emphasizing improved software and hardware compatibility in Windows 7 over Vista. Microsoft added some troubleshooting, migration and deployment tools in the new OS. In addition, Windows 7 will include a user state migration tool plus a caching technology to improve data sharing across company branches. The main features are described here.

Finally, for those still struggling with using their Windows 7-based laptop to manage Hyper-V remotely, it turns out that an extra step is necessary to get it to work. Users have to set the COM security via dcomcnfg to enable remote management, according to a Microsoft TechNet blog.

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