Once all selections have been made, PCmover 3 builds a journal of the files it needs to copy. This took about a minute on our test system. If you're happy with this, it then copies the files themselves, which takes rather longer - 30 minutes in our case to compress and transfer just over 6GB to a ‘moving van' file. Unloading the moving van, once we'd transferred it to the destination PC via an external hard drive, took a further 50 minutes.
Once the files have been copied and unloaded, the destination PC contains everything it held before, plus all the applications and documents you selected from the source PC.
PCmover also offers a major-level undo function. All the details of the destination PC as it was before you migrated are saved in a separate moving van on its hard drive and if you choose, the program can return the PC to the state it was in before the migration.
When we first saw a copy of PCmover, the most obvious problem we could see was the fact that your £35.64 fee bought you just one use of the software. This runs against the paradigm for nearly all software sales, so we spoke to Laplink's VP for Marketing, Emir Aboulhosn.
Aboulhosn explained that Laplink views PCmover more as a service than a software application; think of it like physically moving a PC from one office to another. You're only going to do it occasionally, but it saves you a lot of time if you pay a removal company to make the move as a service. If PCmover saves you more than a couple of hours of your time, or your IT guy's time, in setting up your new operating system, installing all your applications and renewing the settings, then it has paid for itself.
Looking at it this way, and allowing for the fact that Laplink's multi-use licences attract good discounts (e.g. £110 for a 5-licence pack), this seems a reasonable revenue model for the company. If they were to leave the product open, you would only ever need one copy to migrate as many PCs as you had in your company.
This is a very clever piece of software that goes further than other migration tools. It handles not only documents, but also any applications you can legally move and the settings which you have made to make your life easier. £35.36 doesn't seem a lot for this, but for the individual user who might do this more regularly, the one-use license might not be as attractive.