Microsoft has released a tool for testing PCs to see if they are compatible with Windows Vista.

Users can download the Windows Vista Hardware Assessment 2.0 Public Beta now. The tool helps business users see how much effort it will take to migrate desktops to Vista by testing hardware and device-drivers against the OS, and reporting on the results, according to Microsoft's Windows Vista blog.

The software also will check to see if a PC is compatible with Office 2007, according to Microsoft.

To download the beta, users need a Windows Live or Passport log-on so they can register for the beta program.

Since making Windows Vista available to business customers last November, Microsoft has offered a host of tools to help customers deploy the new OS, with two more coming earlier last week at its TechEd 2007 conference.

Released at the show, the Data Encryption Toolkit for Mobile PCs helps IT administrators set encryption policies for laptops in an enterprise using the encrypting file system and new BitLocker features of Windows Vista, while the Virtual Hard Drive (VHD) Test Drive allows enterprises to run a virtual version of Vista on PCs to see how it will interact with existing applications.