Today, Microsoft released a set of updated tools and a new Web portal aimed at helping enterprise customers evaluate and deploy Windows XP Professional and Office XP. A Microsoft representative told me that the company understands that enterprise customers often take months evaluating and planning desktop deployments, so these updated tools and the new portal are designed to make this process as simple as possible. The company estimates that the tools will help enterprise customers reduce deployment time by up to 67 percent by streamlining key processes such as application compatibility testing and security updates.

 

These new tools include:

 

Windows XP Application Compatibility Toolkit 2.6 - Designed to prevent one of the top XP deployment blockers, the AppCompat Toolkit helps administrators inventory, evaluate and test applications for compatibility and automatically make adjustments so recalcitrant applications will run properly on XP.

 

Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer 1.1 - This tool scans individual systems looking for missing security updates and identifying and reporting common security misconfigurations.

 

Desktop Deployment Portal - This revamped Web site contains a variety of documentation, tools, and other resources aimed at helping enterprises roll out Windows XP and Office XP. Users can also order a version of the portal on CD-ROM.