Following our announcement in August 2012 of the MAP Toolkit 7.0, our friends on the Microsoft Solutions Accelerator team have just released the beta version of the Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) Toolkit 8.0 and we welcome you to join in in the beta.

If you are not familiar with the Microsoft MAP Toolkits, they are essentially agentless inventory, assessment and reporting tools that help assess an IT environment for platform migrations. MAP automatically generates detailed reports on hardware, device, and application compatibility in just a few hours—information you can immediately put to work in your migration plans.

MAP Toolkit 8.0 helps you:

  • Determine your Windows Server 2012 readiness: MAP Toolkit 8.0 provides detailed and actionable recommendations indicating which machines meet Windows Server 2012 system requirements and which may need hardware updates.
  • Get Ready for Windows 8: Evaluate your existing hardware against the recommended system requirements for Windows 8.  This includes an assessment report and summary proposal to help you understand the scope and benefits of a Windows 8 deployment.
  • Assess your environment for Office 2013 and Office 365: MAP Toolkit 8.0 provides an in-depth assessment of client desktops for upgrading or migration. This feature also offers support Office 365 features such as web apps, Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, or full Office 365 client support.
  • Migrate to Windows Azure Virtual Machines: MAP Toolkit 8.0 performs a comprehensive assessment of Windows Server and Linux machines to determine feasibility of a migration to Windows Azure Virtual Machines. MAP then provides suggested changes to prepare targeted machines.

For more details on MAP Toolkit 8.0, check the MAP Team Blog for details. Join the beta and send your comments to [mapfdbk @ Microsoft . com]

Curious about adding services such as Office 365 to your Enterprise Agreement? After utilizing the MAP Toolkit 8.0 to assess your environment, check out or blog post, So You Signed an Enterprise Agreement…Now What? for details on how to migrate to Office 365 within your current agreement.

We’d also love to hear what you think about the MAP Toolkit here at Microsoft Volume Licensing.  Include your thoughts in the comments below or send us a tweet at @msft_VL.