13 December 2010
By Steve Mills, Systems Administrator
Windows 7 was launched about a year ago and has been well received by both home and business users. While we like to stay current on our technology use at South Central College we don’t like to be on the bleeding edge of new technology all the time. After seeing the mess that Windows Vista was to those that adopted it early we decided to let others test Windows 7 before moving ahead with a full deployment at the college. It’s been a year now and things look good with most people saying that Microsoft finally got one right and listened to what users want.
We can no longer sit back and dip our toe into the pool to see if the water is too cold. Windows XP is slowly being phased out from support in drivers to security updates from Microsoft. It’s time for us to jump in. We have already been deploying Windows 7 on new machines that come in as long as the user has been okay with testing some things out. We have been working through some bugs from network mappings to program incompatibilities. Over the winter break and into spring semester we will be doing some server updates that will bring in more Windows 7 support to our systems.
What this means for you is if you are currently running Windows XP on your desktop or laptop you’ll need to say your final respects to it by this summer as we’ll be making the upgrade push starting late spring semester with individual workstations and moving to the labs throughout the summer break. We’ll be looking at individual machines to make sure they can support Windows 7. If not we’ll be working with you on either small hardware upgrades or looking at rotation machines if it’s a really old machine. Now is the time to get your rotation requests in. If you’re using a beige machine that might say Reason Computers on it you’re overdue for a new machine and should get a request in right away. Don’t worry, we’ll be nice to them. We have a nice farm they can go to live out their life in a happy way.
We understand there are some programs that will not work with Windows 7 and we’ll need to keep a few machines running Windows XP. If you have concerns about an older program please contact us early on in the semester so we can work with you on if we need to look at upgrades to the software or what will be the best hardware to continue running Windows XP with it on. We’ll want to do this in time for you to get any requests into the budget planning process for next year so please don’t wait till midsummer to check on this.