Posts Microsoft Application Compatibility Toolkit 4.0 - Mixed feelings...

Microsoft Application Compatibility Toolkit 4.0 - Mixed feelings...

After waiting for nearly two years for a new release of this product, I have to say I'm having some seriously mixed feelings. 

According to the Windows Application Compatibility page, it states:

The first questions that many customers ask once they decide to deploy Windows XP with Service Pack 2 (SP2) are whether their existing applications are compatible and how expensive it will be to determine if they are.  The Application Compatibility Toolkit (ACT) 4.0 was designed to help IT Professionals minimize the risks associated with changes to the operating system and to deploy Windows XP SP2 quickly so they can realize the value of the investments Microsoft has made in securing the desktop from threats such as viruses, worms, and spyware.

The following is what the release overview for the 3.0 version states:

The Windows Application Compatibility Toolkit (ACT) version 3.0 for Windows 2000 Service Pack 3 or later, Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 contains the tools and documentation you need to design, deploy, and support applications on these platforms.  Tools include the latest versions of the Microsoft Windows Application Compatibility Analyzer that simplifies application inventory and compatibility testing, the Windows Application Verifier that assists developers in locating common compatibility issues during the development cycle, and the Compatibility Administrator that provides access to the necessary compatibility fixes to support legacy applications in Windows.

(Note, underlines and bolding added by me to help bring attention to the three major pieces of the product.)

To me, when I see something that has a new major version, I expect that it's improving upon the previous version, usually in some seriously significant way.  I don't expect them to chop out 1/3rd of the product and not make a mention of it.  What am I talking about?  Well, the Windows Application Verifier is nowhere to be found in the toolkit.  The toolkit contains an updated version of the Analyzer and Administrator products (and appear to be written in .NET 1.1, which is really cool).  They've added two new tools to test applications for potential problems with the new firewall changes in XP SP2 and to validate web pages for potential problems with the changes introduced in the updated IE contained in XP SP2.

I found no mention of the verifier being axed; however, while watching a presentation on the product, there was a teeeeeeeeeny tiny mention that this should be coming sometime in the summer.  The tools included are pretty cool, but I'm a developer, and as such, the main portion of the toolkit that I'm interested in is nowhere to be found.  So I guess I'm back to waiting... again.

But, on the other hand... it's really cool that it's written in .NET! :-D 

If you aren't aware of what this product is, be sure to follow the links and check it out.

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