cloudWe got a pitch to try out a new program from Acronis for moving all your computer’s content to a place in the cloud. Sounds so romantic.

Well, in essence, moving stuff to the cloud is no different than moving stuff to another computer — ’cause that’s what’s happening. The so-called cloud, no matter who’s offering it, is a big room with lots and lots of computers with lots and lots of hard drives attached. It is a cloud only in a public relations person’s metaphorical imagination.

There are several movers in this line of work and we got a pitch to try out a new one from Acronis, a well-established firm. The object was to move the contents of Bob’s old Windows XP desktop computer to the Acronis cloud in the heavens.

We pause here for an aside: There are lots of Windows XP computers still working out there, even though Microsoft no longer updates or supports them. In fact the percentage is about the same as the number of computers using the latest Windows 8 system. And further research garnered from the web revealed that many people using the old XP systems have no plans to junk them. And now … back to our live programming:

After about several hours waiting for Acronis 2015 to install, a message came on the screen: “Acronis True Image 2015 for PC installation failed.”  We started over, got the same result. So we dumped it and switched to a three-year old copy of PC Mover, which you can get in several versions by going to We used PC Mover Ultimate, which sells for $60 on their web site. If you do a web search on  PCMover Free you can get a copy of their basic program for, well, free.

Which brings us to one of our primary tests for any program or piece of hardware we try. Namely, does it work right out of the box. A lot stuff doesn’t and even more works only after you consult with someone from technical support. This is not acceptable. If you need a technician to get it going, this product is not ready for prime time.

PCMover Ultimate took three and a half hours to transfer our programs and data to a three year-old Windows 7 laptop. It worked great on data, not so well on programs. But this is normal for transfer programs. Bob’s favorite version of Microsoft Word (from 2003) didn’t make it, neither did a program called “Revo Uninstaller,” which is good at getting rid of so-called “Nazi” programs that Windows can’t uninstall. Our favorite screen capture program, CaptureWiz Pro, made the transfer, and a couple more, as well as all our documents, pictures, music and settings. It was great to see them on the newer laptop, but these last were just files and we could have moved them on our own by dragging folders onto a flash drive and then dragging them into a new machine.

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