Altiris has announced software to help smooth migrations to Vista.

The Application Compatibility Suite offers tools to make sure Vista will not clash with other applications on user desktops. It checks if applications previously running on Windows XP are compatible with Vista, or if differences between XP and Vista will affect how well an application runs on the client machine.

For instance, the two operating systems have variations in authentication, access controls and file services that could cause compatibility issues on legacy packages or homegrown applications, Altiris says.

"The compatibility tests provide a preflight analysis to identify applications and expose conflicts in a simulated release," says Mark Magee, Altiris director of product marketing. "We want to minimise the time and cost it takes to migrate to Vista and reduce downtime caused by migrations."

The suite also includes a feature that would enable Altiris to virtualise specific applications on the user machine to avoid conflicts with Vista. "The application would run in the virtual environment and not conflict with Vista or other applications on that machine," Magee explains.

The Application Compatibility Suite also includes a component, dubbed Application Control Solution, which preserves the security of user account control while migrating to Vista. This tool will let IT managers give users administrative rights on specific applications, without having to provide such rights across all applications or the operating system.

Scheduled for the second quarter, Altiris' Application Compatibility Suite will cost $35 per node in the US.

Altiris also updated its suite of migration tools: Altiris Deployment Solution software 6.8 SPI with support for Windows Vista includes updated agent technology with Windows Vista User Account Control support. The software also includes integrated support for Microsoft Business Desktop Deployment tools, such as the ImageX utility and the Windows Imaging Format. The deployment software features new data and settings migration support for Microsoft Office 2007 and Microsoft Internet Explorer 7.

The Deployment Solution costs $47 per node in the US.