WKU moving to Windows 7

Katherine Wade

John Bowers, director of Academic Technology, said his department plans to begin upgrading lab, classroom and faculty/staff computers to Windows 7 this summer. The computers have been using Windows XP for almost 10 years.

Bowers said as soon as IT started testing Windows 7, they decided it was superior to Windows XP.

“Windows 7 is faster,” he said. “It supports better graphics and newer processors. It is a more secure operating system, so it will protect the campus against malware better.”

Lori Douglas, director of Technical Support Services, said another reason WKU chose to upgrade is simply to stay current in the technology world.

“We’ve had requests for a while to switch to Windows 7, and we are meeting those needs now,” she said.

Bowers said the newest versions of all their supported software will be optimized for Windows 7, including installing Microsoft Office 2010. He said the migration does not cost the university any additional charges because of its Microsoft Campus Agreement.

Bowling Green junior Kyle Sunderlin said he thinks having the campus labs upgraded to Windows 7 will be an improvement over Windows XP.

“It’s newer, and some things work better on it,” he said. “The user interface is nice. I really like it.”

Sunderlin said he has Windows 7 on his laptop, but he uses the campus labs often too. He said students who haven’t used the operating system might be surprised by the change at first.

“It looks different, but it’s really easy to get used to,” he said.

Bowers said the sociology department lab in Grise Hall Room 135 and the lobby computers in Mass Media and Technology Hall have already been upgraded with Windows 7 for students who would like to test the new operating system.

Douglas said she didn’t expect students to have any problems with Windows 7, especially since many of them have already been using it for more than a year. She said the biggest challenges they anticipate will be with the computers themselves.

“We may have to upgrade software in order for it to run or purchase new hardware because they don’t make drivers for it on the new (operating system),” she said.

Douglas said she expects students, faculty and staff to respond positively to the upgrade.

“It’s a very stable operating system,” she said. “We’ve been testing it for a long time, and we like it.”

Douglas said if students should have problems with the upgrade, they can call the Information Technology Help Desk at 745-7000 or stop by the desk on the third floor of Mass Media.