Windows 10 and PC migration

“Microsoft is doing a lot of good things right now and we believe the launch of Windows 10 later this year will not only have a significant impact on Microsoft’s share of the market, but on the industry as a whole,” said Jean Philippe Bouchard, Research Director, Tablets at IDC. – IDC, 2015

When Windows 10 releases later this month, it is to great expectations. Unlike Windows 8, it is anticipated that existing PC users will switch much more rapidly to Windows 10. Here are a number of reasons why:

  1. Windows 10 will be more user friendly than Windows 8, including a redesigned and optimized Start menu, virtual desktops, and resizable Windows Store apps that behave more like legacy apps.
  2. Analysts predict massive conversions from XP, Vista, 7, and even 8/8.1, supported by the fact that it will be free for Win 7 and Win 8/8.1 users.
  3. Windows 10 is the real successor for Windows 7 for enterprises, with a lot of emphasis on desktops and enhancements in security, manageability, etc.
  4. Many of the improvements will be especially important to businesses, allowing them to deploy and manage PC’s running Windows 10 easier and more cost-efficient than ever.
  5. Windows 10 will launch in the second half of 2015, and it’s expected that the new operating system will not only help Microsoft to bring more users back to its platform, but it will also contribute to better PC sales as the appeal of new computers will grow significantly for customers.

So while this is great news for existing PC customers, the other big questions is:

What about new PC Sales?

“Economic and product changes will create a headwind in the short term,” IDC states in a press release, “So in 2015, only 293.1 million PCs will be sold.” – IDC, 2015

It’s a mixed bag. Analyst firm IDC® is not all that optimistic and says that, despite the arrival of Windows 10, new PC sales are still expected to decline this year. In fact, IDC has recently lowered its forecast of this year’s new PC sales, claiming that this market is expected to fall by 4.9 percent in 2015, despite the initial estimate of a 3.3 percent decline.

Windows 10 to slightly increase sales.

New PC shipments will remain moderate throughout the year, but in late 2015, the arrival of Windows 10 is expected to lead to a small increase in PC sales.

“More significant product refreshes from the likes of Intel® and Microsoft (Windows 10) will be released later in the year, shifting OEM product updates and consumer interest to later in 2015,” IDC said.

Up until now, the PC market has posted a small increase, partially thanks to more companies replacing their Windows XP systems due to the end of support in 2014. It is also because of Windows 8.1 with Bing, an operating system that’s offered either free of charge or with a very low license cost to manufacturers, with the purpose of cutting down the final price of their devices.

IDC says that the only good news for PC makers is that demand for tablets and other portable devices has dropped recently and is expected to continue going down in the upcoming months.

What does this mean for PC Migration?

All other scenarios require a “clean install” of Windows, which can be done either by reformatting the hard drive or by “over-installing” the new operating system. Both cases result in the applications, data, and settings being moved to different directories. Applications will not be registered with the new OS, which provides opportunities for our valued resellers.Windows 10 is likely to increase demand for PCs, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that everything will be perfect. And while there are many ways to migrate to a new version of Windows, few “solutions” actually allow an in-place upgrade. In particular, any remaining Windows XP users, all Windows Vista users, any 32-bit Windows 7 users, and any users remaining on Windows 8 cannot easily upgrade. There are also limitations imposed for users upgrading from a 32-bit to 64-bit in Windows 10. While users of 64-bit Windows 7 and users of Windows 8.1 will have a comparatively easier time completing an in-place upgrade to the newest OS when it’s available, it still won’t be easy.

The ideal PC migration solution:

The versions of PCmover Suite ideal for consumer and small company migrations are PCmover Professional (download only) and PCmover Ultimate (physical box, including High-Speed Transfer Cable and SafeErase). This reselling opportunity is for those with tech savvy staff to drive migrations in-house or at-home users. By purchasing multi-packs in the partner portal of these versions, partners will profit on the margin when reselling to clients

A solution to the Windows upgrade dilemma

upgrade paths

PCmover supports 2 core migration scenarios:

  1. PC to PC Migration
  2. In-place Upgrade

1. The Standard PC to PC Migration

The easiest way to enjoy the latest Windows release is to buy a new PC loaded with the new OS, and to use PCmover to migrate all of the applications, data, and settings to the new PC using a Laplink Ethernet or USB Transfer cable, a network connection, or external media (e.g., external USB hard drive).

An alternative way is to either create an image on an external hard drive (PCmover provides the necessary functionality to do that) or to take the existing hard drive out of the old PC and to connect the old hard drive (or the image) to the new PC, load PCmover, and all applications, data, and settings will be transferred to the new PC.

2. The In-Place Upgrade: Custom Install without Drive Formatting

All Windows XP, Vista, and 32-bit Windows 7/8/8.1 users who upgrade to Windows 10 will be required to perform a clean (custom) install. The user will likely be able to choose between re-formatting their hard drive and installing Windows 10 without a re-format.

For users who have no external device or do not want to take the extra step, and still want to upgrade their PC to Windows 10 without losing all of their data and settings (without having to re-install all their applications), PCmover offers an easy solution.

Simply install Windows 10 without re-formatting the hard drive (customer install), subsequently install and run PCmover which will automatically restore all the applications, data and settings from the Windows.old directory. This is the only method to perform an in-place upgrade from Windows XP, Vista, and 32-bit Windows 7 to Windows 10 without having to re-install all your applications and without having to back up all your data in advance.

Users might insist on a clean install or need to have a pre-defined image of Windows 10 installed. In this case PCmover (Business Edition only) can run PCmover on the source PC and move all applications, data and settings to external storage.  After the PC is reformatted and Windows 10 is installed, the user can then re-install PCmover, which will automatically restore the applications, data, and settings to the PC.

Depending on the size of the installed data, it is recommended to use an external or network hard drive rather than online storage, as bandwidth and speed limitations can throttle performance dramatically.

Upgrade Paths to Windows 10

Upgrading to a new version of Windows, soon to be Windows 10, usually sounds like a straightforward process:

  • Download the software (or install via a DVD/CD);
  • Run the installer, upgrade the OS;
  • Voila! Everything should be in place.

in place upgradesFor all scenarios which are not “green” it’s a different story. In particular, any remaining Windows XP users and all Windows Vista users cannot easily upgrade, and users running the 32-bit version of Windows 7/8/8.1 don’t have an easy (in-place) upgrade to the 64-bit Version of Windows 10, either.Unfortunately, it’s different. While there are many ways to migrate or upgrade to a new version of Windows, only a few options actually allow an in-place upgrade. The chart below depicts the different options available with the green boxes indicating upgrades “out of the box”.

These scenarios require a “clean” or “custom” install of Windows, which can be done either by reformatting the hard drive or by “over-installing” the new operating system. Both cases result in the applications, data, and settings being moved to different directories, and the existing applications will not work as they are not registered with the new OS.

Laplink® has created a solution with PCmover® that allows in-place upgrades. The table below indicates that all upgrade scenarios which are not supported “out of the box” are supported by PCmover.

upgrade paths

In the next blog post, we will dive deeper into the two core migration scenarios PCmover supports.

Move to Windows 10 Technical Preview Free

Are you testing out Windows 10 Technical Preview? Good news! Laplink is offering PCmover Express for free!

windows 10 technical preview

Just like in Windows 8.1, Windows 10 Technical Preview doesn’t support a variety of migration scenarios. As a partner with and supporter of Microsoft, Laplink is cooperating with Microsoft to make using Windows 10 Technical Preview as easy and productive as possible.

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New Internet Explorer Bug Exposed – Laplink Helps Vulnerable XP Users

IEBug

A new vulnerability affecting Internet Explorer 6 through 11 users was discovered just this past weekend. The bug can grant hackers access to a PC, likely allowing them to install programs, create accounts, and view, change, or delete user data. It has already been exploited against U.S. financial and defense companies, resulting in the U.S. government issuing a strong warning about the risks of using these versions of Internet Explorer.

Microsoft is aware of the problem and is working on a patch. However, since support for Windows XP ended earlier this month, those who still using Windows XP are out of luck.

This bug is just the first in what could be a long list of vulnerabilities that will remain open for hackers, viruses, and malware to target XP users. It’s also a clear indication that the end of support doesn’t only affect the operating system, but other applications like browsers, too. Continue reading

The End of Windows XP is Here!

Starting today, Windows XP users will no longer receive technical assistance, security updates, or hot-fixes to their PCs. This leaves Windows XP users vulnerable to hackers, viruses, and other malware until they upgrade or migrate quickly to a different version of Windows.

windowsXP_end-of-life

While Windows has been an extremely successful and popular operating system since its release in 2001, it’s time for XP users to move to a newer, more reliable, and more secure operating system. Laplink offers several affordable tools to make that process easy, while allowing a high degree of customization.

Laplink’s PCmover is the only software that automatically moves all selected programs, files, and settings from an old PC to a new one, or from an old operating system to a new one. PCmover is easy to use, regardless of technical skill, thanks to a step-by-step wizard that helps users customize their migration experience by keeping everything or selecting exactly what they want to transfer. With PCmover, there is no need to transfer data to external storage and no need to reinstall applications. PCmover does it all automatically!

PCmover also comes with Free Transfer Assistance available 24/7. Simply call the toll-free number, and one of Laplink’s certified PC migration experts will guide the user through the entire migration process at no additional cost. Continue reading

How to Move Off of Windows XP

The end of support for Windows XP is now less than a week away! If you’re still running Windows XP on April 8th, you’ll see an end to technical support, hot-fixes, and security updates for your PC, leaving your data vulnerable to hackers and malware. No matter how you want to move off of Windows XP, Laplink can help you move quickly without losing your programs, files, and settings.

Windows XP EOS

The Problem

Windows Easy Transfer – Severely Deprecated
Windows Easy Transfer was a free, go-to tool for many Microsoft users looking to upgrade. However, support for Windows Easy Transfer has been deprecated significantly in favor of cloud solutions. Windows Easy Transfer doesn’t support upgrades from 32-bit systems to 64-bit systems, which is a problem since most XP machines run on 32-bit and newer PCs are 64-bit.

Windows 7 – No Direct Upgrades
There is no direct upgrade solution from Microsoft to go from Windows XP to Windows 7. You can manually move using external media but requires extensive time and effort to transfer only your files and settings to an external storage device, then transfer that data again to your new PC.

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Laplink Partners with Microsoft to Provide Free Windows XP Data Transfer Tool

With end of Windows® XP support just around the corner, an exciting announcement was revealed on Microsoft’s blog today—Laplink® Software will be partnering with Microsoft to provide Windows XP users with a free tool, PCmover® Express for Windows XP, to help users move off of Windows XP quickly and easily.

XPPCmover

“As the end of support for Windows XP on April 8 nears we’re continuing to focus on ensuring customers are aware of the deadline and helping them to migrate to a modern operating system such as Windows 8.1,” said Brandon LeBlanc, a Microsoft marketing communications manager, in the blog post today.

PCmover Express for Windows XP will copy files and settings from your Windows XP PC to a new PC running Windows 7, 8, or 8.1. Now, XP users won’t have to say goodbye to their music, family photos, videos, email, and even user profiles and personalized settings. PCmover Express transfers data across your home or work network, and allows XP users to customize exactly what to bring to the new PC and what to leave behind.

Windows XP users can download PCmover Express for free in English later this week from http://www.WindowsXP.com/. French, Italian, German, Spanish, and Japanese will be available later in March, with Korean, Chinese, Brazilian Portuguese, and Russian coming soon after that.

More updates will be coming soon! We’ll keep you posted.

Confused About Windows XP End-of-Life?

Windows XP end-of-life is just around the corner, and recent extensions for Microsoft’s antimalware software has users confused. However, extended virus warning doesn’t mean that Windows XP will be safe after the April 8th deadline.

We at Laplink are encouraging all users to move from Windows XP as soon as is practical. For many business users, that means upgrading existing PCs from XP to Windows 7. Luckily, our PCmover Windows 7 Upgrade Assistant is the perfect tool to do this, and Laplink will be offering is for free for one day only on February 4.

PCmover Blank Right

According to a recent study by Trustworthy Computing, Windows XP systems have a malware infection rate six times higher than Windows 8. And AV-Test, who is in the business of testing security solutions, warns that continuing to use Windows XP after April 8 is a major security risk, especially as time goes on.

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Why Are PC Sales Slow? Laplink Has the Answer!

There’s no denying end-user demand for PCs has fallen in recent years. Laplink has continued to research and identify the top issues that result in delaying purchases of PCS. While analysts claim “the PC is dead,” hundreds of millions of PCs are still being sold each year. So why is demand down?

IDC estimates that just over 300 million PC will be shipped by the end of 2013, a 10.1% drop in total computer sales from 2012. However, IDC and other analysts expect the decline in PC sales has nearly run its course, with a very slight decline predicted in 2014. When discussing its most recent quarterly financial report, Intel’s CFO Stacy Smith said that the market for personal computers may be close to bottoming out. Several other PC manufacturers and suppliers have made similar statements recently. And just this week, Deutsche Bank added Intel to its short-term buy list, noting improving PC demand. IDC has also reported that PC usage is higher than tablets or phones, relied upon most for productivity.

Over the past 10 years, Laplink has surveyed PC buyers to identify what would accelerate their purchase, while reviewing similar data from other industry leaders. All conclusions have been the same: in 2013, given a specific level of demand, potential PC buyers have deferred purchase due to the cost of a new PC and due to concerns about migrating their new PC—the same concerns seen in every similar survey performed over the past 10 years.

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