Office of Information Technology

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New Version of Microsoft Windows

Oct. 22 was the consumer release date for Microsoft Windows 7. The new operating system offers exciting improvements, such as refinements to the look and feel, plus many security enhancements. 

The Office of Information Technology (OIT) is performing compatibility testing to ensure that current campus systems will work with Windows 7. All of our enterprise, network, security, and productivity applications will need to be verified as compatible and supportable to enable OIT to consider setting a new standard operating system. Testing must be completed before we can plan to deploy Windows 7 on the university’s new computers.

Some issues to be aware of:

  • There are known conflicts with Windows 7 using our VPN service to connect remotely, our Novell network clients, and Symantec Endpoint Protection. We are working with the vendors to obtain compatible software updates.
  • Windows 7 goes to sleep mode after 30 minutes of inactivity, by default. When this happens, the network connection is shut off and Cisco Clean Access and some other programs will require you to log in again.
  • There will be support challenges as new issues arise, and we come up to speed on changes and how AU’s applications work in this new operating system.

New Windows 7 features:

  • Jump lists: right-click on a program like Word to view a list of recently opened document created with that application.
  • Aero Snap: drag windows to the edge of your screen to be automatically resized and positioned for easy comparison.
  • Aero Shake: shake a selected window with your mouse, by quickly dragging it back and forth, to minimize all other open windows. Shake the window again to restore all windows to their previous position.
  • Windows Live: provides access to a suite of enhancements Windows 7 users can download from the Microsoft Web site, including an image gallery, a file- synching tool, and SkyDrive, free online storage for your personal files.
  • Icon-based taskbar: hover your mouse pointer over an icon to launch a preview of open window(s) for that program.
  • Updated operating system: offers better stability, networking, and security.
  • Improved Device Manager: provides one location to manage all plug-in devices, e.g., printers, cameras, and scanners.
  • Desktop Slideshow: change your desktop background automatically by specifying a folder of images or a stream of images from an Internet RSS feed.
  • Libraries: allows you to use virtual folders to organize and view files from folders on your computer and the network.

Contact the IT Help Desk at 885-2550, e-mail helpdesk@american.edu, or instant messenger at AskAmericanUHelp for assistance.

The Fall 2009 OIT Newsletter is available.