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Versora Progression Desktop 2.0 Progresses
August 10, 2006
Versora's Progression Desktop migration tool gets better with every release. Now on version 2.0, the developers have expanded the capabilities of the software and qualified it with many more operating systems. It's never been easier to transfer your settings from Windows to GNU/Linux.
Versora specializes in migration software. You can migrate databases, Web servers, and other programs from Microsoft-centric platforms to GNU/Linux-based solutions, or from one version or installation of Windows to another. Progression Desktop is Versora's consumer-grade product. Basically it moves all of the interface settings and user data from a Windows system to a variety of desktop GNU/Linux distributions. This includes the desktop theme, wallpaper, desktop icons, screen saver, keyboard and mouse settings, sound scheme, email, contacts, Web bookmarks, default home page, fonts, and documents that you've created with various programs. It's usually priced at US $30, but commercial distributions like Xandros and Linspire offer discounts for members of Xandros Networks and Click N Run.
Progression Desktop is delivered as either a retail box with a pressed CD and basic documentation, or as a ~100MB ISO image that you download and write to a CD yourself. Also available are two bundle packages: one with Codeweavers' CrossOver Office, which enables many Windows programs to run in GNU/Linux; and the other with Win4Lin, a virtual machine specially designed to run a complete Windows instance on top of GNU/Linux.
The software installs from the CD in about two minutes; how long it takes to collect data after that depends on how much information you have and what you want to transfer. For most people it'll take anywhere from a few minutes to almost an hour to collect and consolidate the desktop settings and program data you want to save. When Progression Desktop is finished, you're given a single compressed package to take with you to your new OS.
After GNU/Linux is installed, you put the Progression Desktop CD back in to load the program--it runs from the CD--then give it the package you created in Windows. The settings and data that you elect to restore will be applied to the GNU/Linux programs that you choose. So your custom Microsoft Word spelling dictionary will be installed into OpenOffice.org, your email into your email client of choice, and your desktop settings into KDE or GNOME. Operationally and cosmetically, it'll be like you never left Windows.