ITS Deployment Plan for Windows 7 and Office 2010
April 27, 2011
For the past several months, members of the ITS information technology support teams have been working to develop a Windows 7 configuration that would be available for distribution on campus PCs for the fall semester of the 2011-2012 academic year.
Led by Chad Zinn, this group has been communicating with members of academic departments, administrative units, academic support, and the ITS Campus Information Services Team to identify software incompatibilities and other issues that would impact or could delay the distribution of Windows 7 on campus.
A small but expanding group of PC users has been testing Windows 7 and Office 2010 on campus since early this year. As of late April, 2011, the ITS information technology support teams expect to have the 64-bit edition of Windows 7 available for wider distribution on campus before the fall semester in a number of areas. Specifically, we plan to have Windows 7 and Office 2010 installed on all PCs in the general-purpose computer labs, classrooms, the laptop carts, and the classroom A-V carts, including the Windows partitions of dual-boot computers. Office 2010 will also be deployed to these computers.
Distribution to computers used by individuals will be more gradual, especially in offices where specialized software or software version restrictions preclude the use of 64-bit Windows 7. As computers are scheduled for replacement over the next year or two, members of the support teams will work with recipients to determine the suitability of Windows 7 to the work needs of the user. Although it is hoped that Windows 7 will replace Windows XP on all campus computers delivered within the next year or so, we realize that delivery to some users, especially some administrative offices, will be delayed indefinitely pending resolution of software version compatibility issues.
At this time ITS has no plan to deploy Windows 7 widely to computers already in service on campus, except to labs and classrooms as mentioned above. We have no immediate plans to replace all installations of Office 2007 with Office 2010. Unlike the compatibility issues experienced with the transition from earlier versions of Microsoft Office to Office 2007, there are no document format issues moving between Office 2007 and Office 2010. However, if you need specific functionality available in Office 2010 that does not exist in Office 2007, you should contact a member of information technology support to determine the suitability of an Office upgrade.
The process to determine the specific application content of the Windows 7 distribution to be available on computers for the fall is still underway. This process will continue into the summer. However, if you wish to monitor the applications and versions that are planned to be on lab and classroom computers for the fall, you should periodically review the software listing at http://www.grinnell.edu/offices/its/labsoft.
We will be offering Windows 7 overview and orientation training sessions throughout the summer. Watch for future announcements of dates and times. If you have questions about ITS' plans for Windows 7 deployment and how they impact you, please contact a member of the support team. Mark Miller Deputy Director Information Technology Services