Windows 8 has reached Release Preview milestone recently, you can download and try Windows 8 Release Preview in your environment from http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-8/download. In this post, I will be discussing about Windows 8 Readiness assessment capability in MAP Toolkit 7.0 Beta that enables customers and partners to plan, prepare, assess and get ready to adopt Windows 8 in their environment.

Desktop operating system readiness assessment is one of key scenarios in MAP Toolkit for the past several releases. As you may be aware of, MAP Toolkit has desktop assessments for Windows 7, Office 2010 and Internet Explorer; we have added a new assessment specific to Windows 8 in MAP Toolkit 7.0, which is currently in Beta and available for download from http://connect.microsoft.com/site297.

The overall workflow for performing a Windows 8 Readiness Assessment in your environment is very similar to Windows 7 assessment or other desktop assessments in prior versions of the MAP Toolkit. So, if you have used the MAP Toolkit before, you should be able to get started and run Windows 8 readiness assessment in your environment very quickly.

Windows 8 Readiness Assessment option is available under “Desktop” node in “Inventory and Assessment” pane.

Windows 8 Readiness in MAP Toolkit 7.0 Beta

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Windows 8 Readiness assessment provides the following information required to plan and prepare your environment for Windows 8:

1. Comprehensive Inventory of desktops (servers and laptops as well) deployed with detailed hardware configuration information.

2. Provides recommendation about readiness for each desktop that is successfully inventoried to deploy Windows 8.

3. Details about any hardware upgrades required on a desktop by desktop basis, this detailed information is available in Windows 8 Readiness Report, which is a Excel workbook that is generated Windows 8 readiness assessment.

4. Details about hardware devices that are deployed on the desktops inventoried.

5. Commonly deployed applications in your environment, which will help to identify applications that should be considered for migration or further compatibility verification. Note: The MAP Toolkit provides only a list of installed applications, for application compatibility refer to Compatibility Center for Windows 8 Release Preview in http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/compatibility/en-US/CompatCenter/Home.

Run Desktop Inventory

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First setup in running Windows 8 Readiness assessment is to use the MAP Toolkit to inventory desktops deployed in your environment. The MAP Toolkit inventories through WMI, which enables to easily perform an inventory run without the need of installing agents or complex configuration requirements. You can use the inventory and assessment Wizard to run the inventory, which provides several options to customize and fine tune what desktops should be inventoried. You can use Active Directory, IP Address range or manually specify/import desktops to be inventoried. Getting Started Guide, which is included in MAP download, provides details about how to prepare your environment.

Review Windows 8 Readiness Assessment report and proposal

After the inventory is done, you can run Windows 8 Readiness Assessment and generate Windows 8 Readiness Assessment Report and Windows 8 Readiness Proposal, which are Microsoft Excel workbook and Microsoft Word respectively, for detailed analysis and planning purposes. The summary worksheet provides a snapshot of the assessment and subsequent worksheets provide further drill down of the assessment about each desktop inventoried.

Next Steps

Windows 8 Readiness Assessment capability is available in MAP 7.0 Beta, which runs through beginning of July. You can download and try MAP 7.0 Beta by joining the Beta program through http://connect.microsoft.com/site297