Upgrading to a new operating system is a notorious mess — you need to find all of your data and user settings (often spending hours doing so), burn them to a DVD or other support and then copy them all to the new OS. Belkin's "Easy Transfer Cable" for Windows 7, a USB 2.0 cable with accompanying software aims to make the whole process much easier by guiding you through the transfer process, automatically finding your data and settings and streamlining the transition from XP or Vista to the upcoming Windows 7.

Belkin's Easy Transfer Cable is designed to work with the Windows Easy Transfer utility from Microsoft. The cable must be connected between two computers, an "old" one running either Windows XP or Vista on one end and another running Windows 7 on the other end. As soon as the cable is connected, its software will prompt the user and walk them through the transferring process.

After a few minutes of configuration, the system will go ahead and transfer data, settings and user accounts (programs are not included) selected by the user at 480 Mbit/s from the old to the new PC making sure you don't lose important files in the process (as too often happens). A small LED placed on the cable also provides status updates on the transferring process.

Interestingly, Bravura Software has built on the previous version of this product (Easy Transfer Cable for Vista, for XP-to-Vista upgrades) to create a system for user-friendly data synchronization through the use of its own additional software, and will likely do the same for the Windows 7 version once it comes out.

The Easy Transfer Cable for Windows 7 will hit the North American market on October 23rd and is scheduled for Q1 2010 in Europe and Asia, but can already be pre-ordered from Amazon for about US$33.