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Microsoft To Host Q&As for Windows 10 Upgrade Tool

Microsoft is opening up its technical team to questions from users of its new Upgrade Analytics solution, currently in preview.

Starting on Sept. 15 and ending on Oct. 13, Microsoft's Upgrade Analytics team has set up a series of Q&A sessions that are open to the public. During the sessions, the team members will "answer questions, troubleshoot issues, or take any feedback/feature requests you may have," Microsoft announced this week, in an Upgrade Analytics blog post.

There's no sign-up involved to join the sessions. Details can be found in the blog post.

Microsoft also has started publishing TechNet documentation on the Upgrade Analytics service, which is a free addition to Microsoft's subscription-based Operations Management Suite (OMS). Upgrade Analytics is mostly designed to facilitate in-place upgrades to Windows 10 from Windows 7 Service Pack 1 and Windows 8.1 clients. It's not designed for upgrading Windows XP or Vista clients. It also doesn't support "migrations from BIOS to UEFI or from 32-bit to 64-bit architecture," according to a TechNet "Requirements" document.

Possibly, there are geographic limitations to the Update Analytics service, as well.

"At the time this topic is being published, only OMS workspaces created in the East US and West Europe are supported," the Requirements document explained. "We're adding support for additional regions and we'll update this information when new international regions are supported."

The use of Upgrade Analytics also requires enlisting workstations to provide Microsoft with telemetry data. After that's set up, it can take about one to two weeks for the telemetry data to be available to organizations, according to a TechNet "Getting Started" document.

The Upgrade Analytics service, which runs from Microsoft's datacenters, is designed to help organizations migrate to Windows 10 and ensure application and driver compatibility in the process. It was launched as a preview in July and works as part of OMS.

It might seem odd that Upgrade Analytics isn't bundled with System Center Configuration Manager, but that's part of Microsoft's more distant plans, a Microsoft spokesperson said, in a July e-mail. Upgrade Analytics is offered as an add-on to OMS because it taps the Log Analytics component of OMS, the spokesperson explained.

Upgrade Analytics seems to be Microsoft's newest foray into addressing application compatibility issues associated with Windows client upgrades. Microsoft's older free tools include the Application Compatibility Toolkit and the Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit.

Microsoft contends that "for the most part, applications that work on Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 [will] work on Windows 10," according to this Microsoft blog post, which lists some resources for IT pros.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.