Using the Windows Easy Transfer Companion beta to transfer software from Windows XP to Vista

I was happy to get my hands on the new Windows Easy Transfer Companion (WETC) beta, which is a secondary software program that helps to transfer programs from one machine to another via the network or a Windows Easy Transfer cable.

WETC is designed to transfer installed programs from one computer to another computer; it does not transfer files, settings, or user profiles. The Windows Easy Transfer (WET) program (different than WETC) that is included with Windows Vista is designed to transfer files, settings, and user profiles.

KB 931696 lists the software packages that can be migrated using WETC. The instructions for using WETC seemed simple enough:

How to use Windows Easy Transfer Companion

  • Install WETC on both the Windows XP-based computer and the Windows Vista-based computer.
  • Connect the computers together by using an Easy Transfer Cable or by making a network connection.
  • Run the WETC program on the Windows XP-based computer.
  • Run the WETC program on the Windows Vista-based computer.
  • Follow the instructions in the WETC program to transfer the programs from the Windows XP-based computer to the Windows Vista-based computer.

I was excited to help a family member migrate her Office 2003 programs from her Windows XP machine to her new Windows Vista machine until I read one caveat in the system requirements listed in KB 931696 I had missed earlier:

The destination computer must be running an x86-based version of Windows Vista

Doh! She was running 64-bit Vista, so using WETC is not an option – or is it? The download page for WindowsEasyTransferCompanion.msi version 6.0 does not list the x86 requirement.

I’m going to give this a try and I’ll let you know if this is a viable migration method.

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