Initiative Aims to Fix Vista App Issues

On the verge of shipping Windows Vista, Microsoft is touting a new initiative aimed at using systems integrators to provide enterprise customers with application compatibility testing and remediation in advance of deploying the new system.

The initiative is meant to shorten the path to Vista deployment for enterprise customers. Historically, those customers wait from a year to 18 months after the release of a new Windows version before deploying it. Much of that time is consumed with testing existing mission critical applications for compatibility problems with the new version.

Under the initiative -- dubbed the Application Compatibility Factory or ACF -- the company is partnering with integrators Wipro Technologies, Satyam Computer Services, and Tata Consultancy Services to provide those services with minimal impact on daily operations.

"Our ACF partners help customers identify the application compatibility blockers, assess application inventory, determine the best course of action and conduct remediation services," Dave Wascha, director of Microsoft's Windows Client business group, said in a statement. "Customers simply hire an ACF partner and they do all the work."

All the ACF partners have received the latest training for Windows Vista, including deployment tasks, the companies said.

Thanks to cooperation among the ACF partners and Microsoft's participation with its "ACF Swat Team," the companies aim to provide complete turnkey testing and remediation services.

Typical steps in a consulting engagement will include drawing up an inventory of an organization's applications, assessing compatibility issues, defining an application roadmap, remediating apps with compatibility problems, and certifying that problems have been resolved.

ACF is designed for customers with both centralized and de-centralized IT infrastructures.

About the Author

Stuart J. Johnston has covered technology, especially Microsoft, since February 1988 for InfoWorld, Computerworld, Information Week, and PC World, as well as for Enterprise Developer, XML & Web Services, and .NET magazines.