Mossberg’s Mailbox

Transferring Files to Windows 7, iPad Multitasking and Tablet Alternatives

Published on September 29, 2010
by Walt Mossberg


How do I migrate all the contents of my old IBM computer running Windows XP to my new Acer computer running Windows 7?


If you mean to include everything, including your programs and not just your data files, I’d suggest using a utility program designed to automate and simplify the process using a cable that connects the two machines.

Two of these are PCmover by Laplink, which starts at $30, and Parallels Desktop For Upgrading to Windows 7, by Parallels, which starts at $40. More information is at and


Will the forthcoming multi-tasking feature you mentioned for the iPad be a software upgrade or will it require a new device?


It will be a software upgrade, a new version of the operating system—due in November—that is similar to the ones periodically introduced for the iPhone and iPod Touch. It will include other features, including wireless printing. Sometimes such upgrades don’t work on older versions of a hardware product, but as the iPad is in its first generation, it should work on any iPad.


I want to buy a tablet but how do I find one that looks as good as the iPad but offers the out-of-home coverage of my BlackBerry? My community is a dead zone for AT&T wireless, which is the only carrier for the iPad.


BlackBerry PlayBook: One of a wave of iPad alternatives on the way.


I suggest you watch and wait over the next six months. A number of iPad competitors are on the way.

Many will use Google’s Android operating system and some will be sold with cellular data connectivity from carriers other than AT&T.

In addition, Research in Motion, which makes your BlackBerry, has just announced a forthcoming tablet called the BlackBerry PlayBook. The device will use the cellular connectivity in BlackBerry phones.

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