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Announcement: Mac and PC Operating System Upgrade

IT Services now offers options for upgrading all existing computers to the latest versions of the Snow Leopard and Windows 7 operating systems for Mac and Windows computers. More details, in the form of questions and answers, are below. Click on the questions to expand them and see the answers.

expand Why is IT Services upgrading these operating systems?
IT Services is continually updating and upgrading the broad set of technology infrastructure and systems in use across the institution. Upgrading the operating systems on individual computers is part of the overall strategy to provide all users with the most current versions of technology tools to support learning, teaching, research, and operations.
expand What do I need to do to get upgraded?
Simply send a request to the Help Desk at helpdesk@hws.edu for the upgrade. IT Services will schedule the upgrade at a convenient time. Please keep in mind that requesting the upgrade sooner will offer the most choices for scheduling the upgrade that works best with your schedule.
expand Is there any way that I can test software that I have with the new operating systems?
Yes, if you contact the Help Desk, a member of the IT Services team will work with you to provide a place to install and test any software application in question.
expand My department has a computer that requires an older operating system because of an instrument or specific piece of software that requires it. Will this be a problem?
IT Services will work individually on each situation that requires a computer to have an older operating system to evaluate all options. In some cases where an older operating system is the only option, IT Services will work with the individual or department to determine a mutually agreed upon path for support.
expand Can the Help Desk upgrade my personal machine?
The Windows 7 and Snow Leopard software is available for purchase at the Help Desk in the Rosensweig Learning Commons of the Library. The cost for each is $30 for the media. For an additional fee, the Help Desk can backup data and upgrade student computers. Contact the Help Desk for appointment availability and more information.
expand Are there any software programs used on campus that are not compatible with Windows 7 or Snow Leopard?
Through our testing, it has been identified that PowerFaids and Factoids are currently not compatible with these operating systems. IT Services has worked to test as many software applications as we are aware. For software that is currently not compatible with the new operating systems, IT Services will work with vendors/developers to find a workaround or solution.
expand Is there a minimum hardware specification required to be able to these new operating systems?
See the links below for information specific to each operating system.
For Windows 7: http://windows.microsoft.com/systemrequirements
For Snow Leopard: http://www.apple.com/macosx/specs.html
expand What if I have an older computer or it doesn’t meet the minimum hardware specification?
IT Services has planned in advance for this migration. Over the past several months many HWS-owned computers have been replaced or upgraded to meet the requirements for the new operating systems. If you have any questions about your computer, please feel free to contact the Help Desk where someone can help determine the best path forward.
expand What's changed with the new Windows operating system, Windows 7?
The following Web site contains a description of the new features and functions in Windows 7: http://www.microsoft.com/Windows/windows-7/what-is-windows-7.aspx
expand What's changed with the new Apple operating system, Snow Leopard?
The following Web site contains a description of the new features and functions in Snow Leopard: http://www.apple.com/macosx/refinements/
expand What training aids and tools are available to learn the new operating systems?
If you would like any assistance with either new operating system, feel free to contact the Help Desk and someone can assist you over the phone or schedule an appointment to walk you through the new operating system. For the most part, there are no major changes with the general look and feel of the operating systems.
expand Were there any costs associated with making the upgrade available?
Neither the Windows 7 or Snow Leopard upgrades incurred any additional cost to the institution. Per our campus licensing agreements, these software updates are included and it is in our best interest to deploy them to maintain support on these platforms. IT Services maintains software site licensing for both programs that allows all institutionally-owned computers to upgrade the operating system software as soon as upgrades are available.
expand What if my computer is not an HWS purchased computer. Can I still get the upgrade?
Yes. For faculty or staff machines that were purchased as part of a grant or with special funds and are not a standard Lenovo configuration, the IT Services staff will work with the requestor on the upgrade. There is no cost to upgrade these computers. For personal computers, the Windows 7 and Snow Leopard software can be purchased at the Help Desk, located in the Rosensweig Learning Commons of the Library. The cost for each is $30 for the media. For an additional fee, the Help Desk can backup data and upgrade student personal computers. Contact the Help Desk for appointment availability and more information.
expand Is IT Services upgrading the Microsoft Office Suite to Office 2010 for Windows machines?
The plan to deploy Office 2010 across campus will be developed this academic year in consultation with a variety of groups across campus. Individuals that want Office 2010 can contact the Help Desk. Personal copies of Office 2010 are available for sale, per our campus licensing agreement for faculty, staff and student personal computers.
expand Is IT Services upgrading the Microsoft Office Suite to Office 2011 for Apple machines?
Microsoft Office 2011 for the Macintosh platform will not be available until later this Fall. When it is released, IT Services will develop a deployment plan in consultation with a variety of groups across campus.