Here are some new Features in ACT 5.5:
- Updated issue detection and supported operating systems
- Integration of data from the Windows Vista® Compatibility Center
- Ability to audit your application data and to selectively synchronize your applications with Microsoft.
- Updated documentation for the Windows compatibility fixes
- Ability to customize your Quick Reports view
- Ability to label your individual data-collection packages
- Removal of the Internet Explorer® Compatibility Evaluator (IECE)
- Ability to participate in the Customer Experience Program
Updated Issue Detection
ACT 5.5 has been updated to include issue detection for Windows 7 RC and Windows Server 2008 R2 RC. This includes updates to the following:
- Updates to the detection of deprecation issues. In addition to the deprecation issues that were addressed for Windows Vista®, the Windows Compatibility Evaluator (WCE) has also been updated to detect the use of Winmail.exe, which has been deprecated in Windows 7 RC.
- Updates to the Application Compatibility Manager. Windows 7 RC has been added to the operating systems that are available for reports in the Application Compatibility Manager.
- Update Compatibility Evaluator. The Update Compatibility Evaluator (UCE) reports can now provide compatibility manifests and security update information for Windows 7 RC and Windows Vista with Service Pack 2 (SP2).
- Standard User Analyzer. The updated version of the Standard User Analyzer tool works with Application Verifier version 4.0, and has the ability to support Windows 7 RC.
Integration of Data from the Windows Vista Compatibility Center
ACT 5.5 has enhanced its compatibility issue reporting by integrating the compatibility information provided by the Windows Vista Compatibility Center into the Vendor Assessment column of the Application Compatibility Manager, Analyze screen. The Windows Vista Compatibility Center currently has over 12,000 applications, and a similar number of devices, for which Microsoft has manually collected data. The integration of this data will be ongoing as the Compatibility Center continues to update its information.
Application Audit and Selective Synchronization
In the ACT 5.5, you can perform an audit of all your application data, and you can choose which specific applications to send to Microsoft.
After clicking Send and Receive, you are presented with the option to review your data before sending. By clicking the Review all data link, you can see all of the applications you are sending and you can view and save the specific XML data that is being sent. In addition, you now have the option to select which applications to send to Microsoft, enabling you to keep specific applications private.
Customizing Your Quick Reports View
In this latest version of ACT, you can modify your Quick Reports view to show only the operating systems that are available in your organization. You can also select to filter your Update Impact information by your in-use operating systems.
Adding Unique Labels to Applications
You can add specific identifiers, or labels, to your inventoried applications directly from your data-collection packages, enabling you to more easily filter your reports. For example, if you create a data-collection package for deployment to your Sales department, you can include a "Sales" label that is automatically applied to all of the collected data, and that appears in the <Application_Name> dialog box. From there, you can filter all of your applications so that only the Sales-related software appears.
Removal of the Internet Explorer Compatibility Evaluator (IECE)
The Internet Explorer Compatibility Evaluator (IECE) agent has been removed from ACT 5.5. You can continue to detect compatibility issues with Windows Internet Explorer 7 and Windows Internet Explorer 8 Beta, by using the Internet Explorer Compatibility Test Tool (IECTT), which is installed with the ACT and can be found in the Developer and Tester Tools folder.
Microsoft decided to remove the IECE due to a discrepancy between the requirements of the compatibility evaluator and the way organizations wanted to test their Web content. Because IECE required you to use the updated Web browser to test your Web-related functionality, and the nature of the evaluator was such that you had to deploy it to your organization by using a data-collection package, the ability to test whether you wanted to upgrade became a difficult proposition. Having to widely deploy a new browser into your organization to determine whether you wanted to upgrade your Web browser was of limited value. Microsoft determined that organizations would have a better experience by using the IECTT, which can be deployed outside of data-collection packages, into a small test environment, to collect live Web data and to help you to determine whether you want to upgrade.
Joining the Customer Experience Program
With the ACT 5.5, you now have the ability to join the Customer Experience Program. Joining this program enables Microsoft to collect ACT usage data to help identify the shifting trends in operating system and hardware use, and to tailor future versions of the toolkit to best suit your application compatibility needs. The collected information is not used to identify or to contact you.