Transitioning to Office 2016 (Mac and Windows) and Windows 10 by January, 2017

Posted March 24th, 2016 at 2:57 pm.

In the ever-changing world of technology, it is important to stay up to date both to protect against vulnerabilities in older software, and to ensure compatibility with new technologies.

Office 2016 has been released for both the Mac and Windows, and it provides a major improvement on both platforms as well as a more unified interface. Windows 10, Microsoft’s new operating system is also available and tested, and we will be moving to both beginning in June.

We have chosen June to align with the upcoming move to Microsoft’s Office 365 platform for email and other services.  As you may recall from our very first Weekly Feature for 365, Office will be available to you online and on mobile as well, with a very similar navigation and aesthetic.  Using your 365 account (also known as your College email and password) to sign in to Office on your computer will allow you to connect to your OneDrive storage, and take advantage of sharing and collaborative features directly from your desktop version of Office.  For Windows users, Windows 10 offers a whole new look and lots of new features in addition to modernization and stability under the hood. Moving to the new products along with 365 will allow you to get the most from all of these tools.

As we have done with past updates, we want to offer an opportunity to choose a time to upgrade.

  • Office 2016 will be available in Software Center on College Macs and Windows machines starting in June.  You can double-click to install it yourself, or place a request.
  • Windows 10 will be available by making an appointment starting in June as well.
  • Office will be available for personally owned computers and mobile devices from within 365 once we have moved over in May.

Contact the Help Desk (x7440, to request an appointment with a technician to discuss your upgrade.

Please note:  if you are already using Windows 10, or your computer is due for a replacement in the upcoming cycle, you do not need to act.  Many faculty/staff computers with “13-” or previous stickers will be offered a replacement this coming summer.  If you are unsure if your computer is due for replacement or what version of Windows you have, contact us (x7440, for assistance.

If you have additional computers in your lab or your department which are running Windows 7, it is time to start considering these; please plan a time to talk with a technician about whether these can be moved and how to go about it (and what to do if their functions are not compatible with Windows 10).  On occasion circumstances exist which cause some utility or research computers to use an older Operating System; these cases will need to be reviewed and appropriate accommodations made.

Is Windows 10 new to  campus?
Yes.  Windows 10 has been in use by a limited number of staff throughout this calendar year.  It will be used in  in campus labs, classrooms, and on new and re-purposed computers beginning this summer.

Why is this change necessary?

Keeping current means that computers will be able to receive new security updates, be compliant with new software, and conform with new network needs.  Several upcoming projects and service offerings will be able to take advantage of new operating system features, and the new versions are better suited to support common tools and Internet use.

Is my software compatible?

Most software used around campus is compatible with Windows 10, although if you have an older version, now is the time to plan an upgrade.  In general, most major software needs an upgrade about every two years to maintain compatibility (although new versions may be released more often).

There are over 300 pieces of software in use on campus with many version variants — we can’t claim to have tested everything.  If you are unsure is your software is compatible, check the manufacturer’s Web site, or talk to your technician about your software needs when you are planning your transition.

How about my scanner/camera/special keyboard/other specialty hardware?
Most USB peripherals will work fine, but there are occasional exceptions.  If you have older or highly specialized equipment, you should definitely check with the manufacturer, and talk to your technician.  If your equipment requires a special adapter of any kind, you definitely want to check.

What educational opportunities will be available for the new versions?
Quick reference cards for Windows 10 and Office 2016 will be available for those upgrading or receiving new college-owned machines.  The Help Desk also has quick reference cards available.  Keep an eye out for in-person demo sessions for both Office and Windows 10.

Additional Information/References

Filed under: Announcements by Amy Pearlman

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