Changes to Back-End Services, Upgrades to Windows 7 and Office 2010
Several significant changes are taking place within Loyola’s computing environment. These include the upgrade of our operating system from Windows XP to Windows 7 (the 64-bit version) and the upgrade of our core software suite from Office 2003 and 2007 to Office 2010. We’re also moving from Novell to Microsoft for some back-end network solutions, including login, file sharing, and printing services.
Upgrades to campus lab computers were completed during the 2011 summer break, with additional modifications made in September. Faculty and staff computers are being upgraded now.
What Are the Benefits?
The migration of our back-end services from Novell to Microsoft will keep us well positioned for future growth as we integrate new technology solutions and build our capacity to share data seamlessly.
The move to Windows 7 will bring faster processing, an improved desktop, better security, and enhanced media options. And since many applications are now being developed specifically for the Windows 7 environment, upgrading will allow us to remain current with the other software products we use. See the About Windows 7 page for more information.
The move to Office 2010 will provide similar benefits. The list of new and enhanced features is long, including further improvements to the Microsoft “ribbon,” stronger formatting features, built-in PDF support, new audio and visual tools in some programs, and a real-time co-authoring tool for document collaboration. See the About Office 2010 page for more information.
Will Anything Else Affect Me?
Although the migration project will involve a brief break in service when your machine is being upgraded, the new features and functionality will make the effort worthwhile.
In addition, as with any upgrade, the move to Windows 7 may render some older peripherals or applications obsolete. All programs delivered through Loyola's standard image will function normally, but some hardware and software will not work once the upgrades are complete. ITS has tested the majority of products for compatibility with Windows 7; for more information, see the testing results for Hardware and Software.
Further, the move to Office 2010 could affect your normal pace of work as you grow familiar with new features and improvements. This learning curve will be particularly noticeable for those who are now using Office 2003. For this reason, we strongly recommend that any Loyola staff or faculty still using Office 2003, or Office 2007 users who want extra time to get familiar with the new version, move now to Office 2010. To learn more, please visit the How to Prepare page.
Why Are We Changing?
Many of the University's basic computer services such as email (GroupWise), network login, file sharing and printing services are provided through products from Novell. These products have served Loyola's needs very well for many years. However, there is growing uncertainty of how well we are positioned to grow and manage new technology using Novell solutions due to market-share changes, compatibility issues with new technology, and the recent acquisition of Novell by Attachmate. As a result, Loyola will begin migrating some of our core Novell services to alternative platforms. The first step will be moving our desktop login, file, and print structure to Microsoft platforms.
Much of the work for this Novell-to-Microsoft migration will be behind the scenes, but the change requires us to touch every computer on campus – about 3,500 machines in all. To maximize the return on this effort, we’ll be tackling the Windows and Office software upgrades, too.
For More Information
For more details about this project, see the menu at the right.