It sounds like there's a bunch of bored programmers at Acronis adding features just because they can. Is any of that new stuff seriously necessary?
Probably not but that never stopped developers developing. Was anything really 'necessary' after the CP/M operating system or MSDOS? Probably not but computers are a lot cooler for the development work!
Converting a backup into a VM? Consider: even if "conversion" takes zero time, it would destroy the backup image in the process. Which means you probably need to make a copy of your image before conversion, so I'm still gonna sit around and watch 40 gigabytes spool back and forth. Where's the convenience in that? Much simpler to just load the backup into the VM.
Why should it destroy the backup? It just copies from backup format to VMWare hard disc format - so it effectively does a bare metal restore to your chose VM software format. Sounds kind of neat to me. I keep old system backups long past their sell by date - but if I wanted to check something out from an old Windows 98 backup I could simply restore it to VMWare and run the apps as before without affecting my old system - which would be a hell of a lot quicker than installing Win98 in VMWare and then installing all my old crap and copying data.
It also gives me a method for converting VM hard discs between VMWare, VirtualPC and Parallel's - just use TI to backup on one format and then convert the archive to another format. I have tried all three Virtual environments and it is a pain having to reinstall everything from scratch each time.
Consolidating archives? Why? Disk savings? But incrementals don't take much at all. But I figured out how to consolidate my incrementals a long time ago: it's called making a new full backup.
True - but suppose you do one main backup and then differential backups (which are more convenient than incremental but tend to grow over time). Consolidating archives before burning them to DVD if you want to transfer stuff to another system would save a lot of DVD space - or band width/time if you restore over a network.
What happens if you want to consolidate a backup from an earlier set of backups for archiving? You can't simply do that by doing a new backup.
Browsing without mounting? Now THAT's kind of cool... except then they don't give me access to explorer. So I might as well mount the thing to use it, especially if I'm going to go tear-assing around looking for a specific file.
That has always been the case though - previously you could browse without mounting but it was via a crappy tree interface. Persoanlly I never saw the point as it was quick and easy to mount an image.
They need to stop tweaking True Image before they wreck something important, like... I don't know, its ability to reliably make backups and restore them.
That is my main worry - because it happens all the time with the home version. I am guessing (though I have no evidence) that they are a bit more serious about the corporate version otherwise they would lose a lot of major revenue if they screw up!