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Versora Progression Desktop 2.0 Progresses - page 4

Versora Overview

  • August 10, 2006
  • By Jem Matzan

Small details can turn into significant migration hurdles for the everyday office worker or home user. Transferring documents, music files, and pictures is easy enough that anyone can backup and restore them on his own. But when it comes to things like sound schemes, browser bookmarks, email account settings, and fonts, many people are hardly aware that such things can be transferred to GNU/Linux, let alone figure out how to do it. Then when they get to their new GNU/Linux desktop, they discover that while the software may be usable, too much of the customization and personalization they had done over the years in Windows is absent. Progression Desktop 2.0 takes all of the invisible details into account--moreso than in previous versions--and thus is by far the best tool available for Windows to GNU/Linux migration. There's still room for improvement, though. Here's what I'd like to see in the next version:

  • Update the documentation. As of this writing, Progression Desktop 2.0 is installing old, outdated documentation into Windows. That needs to change as soon as possible--don't wait for the next version to correct this problem, Versora developers.
  • The ability to break up the backup package into pieces. Some people have eons worth of email and attachments, gigabytes of pictures, and other data that needs to be backed up and transferred. The resulting package file could be too big for a CD, and potentially too big to fit onto a DVD as well. It would be helpful to have the option of breaking up the larger file into 600MB segments to accommodate people who only have a CD writer to backup to. I read in a Versora press release that "file spanning" was a new feature in Progression Desktop 2.0, but there was no further mention of it in the documentation or on the Versora Web site, and the program itself doesn't have an obvious option for breaking up the PNP file, so I'm not sure how I am supposed to do it.
  • Better consolidation options. Lots of people have multiple Web browsers, word processors, and email programs set up on their computers. When consolidating the data and/or settings from these programs, there should be an option to selectively merge the data. For instance if I want to keep only my IE bookmarks but I want to transfer my Firefox homepage, or if I want to keep my Microsoft Word dictionary but I want to transfer my custom OpenOffice.org toolbar, I should be able to appropriately merge these settings through the Progression Desktop interface.
  • The ability to transfer Opera, Firefox, and Thunderbird themes and extensions. If Firefox and/or Thunderbird are installed on Windows, wouldn't it be nice to take the themes and extensions with you to GNU/Linux? I'm not sure that this is even possible, but if it is, I think this would be a valuable feature for Progression Desktop.
  • Expanded application support. Corel WordPerfect is totally ignored by Progression Desktop 2.0, as is a Windows installation of The GIMP. Both should be detected and supported by this product. Also, I know that such a suggestion will seem entirely too silly to some people, but here it is: game settings could also stand to be transferred to GNU/Linux--Unreal Tournament 2003 and 2004, Quake 3, Doom 3, and Return to Castle Wolfenstein come to mind, but there are a few more that will work on both Windows and GNU/Linux. Since CrossOver Office is now supported and bundled with Progression Desktop, perhaps there can be a Cedega bundle option as well for Windows gamers moving to GNU/Linux.
  • Music player settings. If it's at all possible to transfer Internet radio stations and playlists from Windows Media Player to AmaroK or Rhythmbox, it would be helpful to have the ability to do it. Oddly, I saw an option for this in the outdated product manual, but in Progression Desktop 2.0 I didn't have any music player migration options at all.
Purpose Migration tool
Manufacturer Versora Inc.
Architectures x86
License Proprietary, restrictive in all the usual ways. There is an "enterprise source code license" for the product as well, which enables customers to request the full source code of Progression Desktop for use in limited ways.
Market Desktop users migrating from Windows to GNU/Linux; sysadmins performing corporate desktop Windows to GNU/Linux migrations.
Price (retail) U.S. $30
Previous version Progression Desktop 1.2.2
Product Web site Click here

Jem Matzan is an experienced electronics technician, freelance technology journalist, and the editor-in-chief of The Jem Report, Hardware in Review, and Software in Review.

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