Campus computers to update to latest OS

Monica Kast

Microsoft’s Windows 10 will become the standard operating system for eligible WKU faculty and staff computers using Windows, according to information technology staff.

Beginning May 1, Windows 10 will become the standard operating system for eligible computers. Lori Douglas, director of technical support services, said the move was happening because Windows 7 will stop being supported in December 2019.

“Essentially, we’re going by what Microsoft is dictating to us,” Douglas said. “End of life for Windows 7 is…December of 2019.”

Douglas said in December 2019, Microsoft will stop making software and devices that function with Windows 7, and “it just won’t work.”

Douglas added Windows 10 has been out for several years, and has been tested by the IT department to make sure it will run smoothly. Douglas said Windows 10 had been tested on their enterprise level systems.

“We are not ones to do things right out of the gate,” Douglas said. “That’s never smart in IT, so we want to make sure that it’s been around for awhile and that it’s solid and that it will run well and everything.”

Steve Lancaster, desktop support manager for WKU IT, said the department had been testing Windows 10 “for a long time,” but they were “not behind the curve” of implementing the new system.

“We’re about right where we should be for rolling it out,” Lancaster said.

According to Douglas, new computers using Windows, existing computers requiring an operating system update, and any user who meets requirements and would like to upgrade will be changed over to Windows 10. Users can check if their computer is eligible for an upgrade on the WKU IT Software Support Standards webpage.

John Bowers, director of academic technology at WKU, said in an email that the academic technology department was “currently testing lab/classroom computers and software with Windows 10.”

“By the end of 2017, we plan that there will be at least one lab location running Windows 10 on a test basis,” Bowers said. “We are on schedule for all lab and classroom computers to use Windows 10 by the Fall semester of 2019.”

Bowers added there would be “no lab or classroom computers still running Windows 7” by January 2020.

Douglas said those currently using Windows 7 would not notice a major difference if they switch to Windows 10, and Windows 10 still uses a “classic desktop look and feel.”

“The look and the feel of Windows 10 may be a little different, but it’s not so drastic that they wouldn’t be able to manage it like Windows 7,” Douglas said.

Lancaster added they were “not forcing” any user to change operating systems.

“It’s more of ‘it’s available,’ rather than ‘you have to do it,’” Lancaster said.

Lancaster said WKU IT will continue to support both Windows 7 and Windows 10 “for the foreseeable future,” but switching to Windows 10 was “nothing anyone has to do” while Windows 7 is still being supported by Microsoft.

Douglas said that if a user has any “questions, concerns or problems” they can visit the WKU IT help desk or help desk web page. 

Reporter Monica Kast can be reached at 270-745-0655 or [email protected]