Office of Information Technology Newsletter

Don't Rush to Upgrade to Windows 8

Windows 8 Screen

Have the television commercials for Windows 8 got you eager to upgrade, since Microsoft released it to consumers on October 26, 2012? We know that many people like to run out and get the latest and greatest technology for themselves, but the Office of Information Technology would like to caution against immediately upgrading your personal computer, as there will inevitably be compatibility issues with some applications and support will be limited as OIT staff become more familiar with the product.

Since the summer when Microsoft released developer previews, OIT staff have been testing this version of the Windows operating system. Our testing continues, as there are usually major changes in the Operating System (OS) programming and software vendors must either update or patch their existing software releases to be stable and compatible with the new OS.

Software versions and patch levels are constantly changing; but, there are several known compatibility issues between Windows 8 and applications commonly used at AU, shown below.

OIT will be using and testing Microsoft Windows 8 for software compatibility, usability, stability, and security issues. We will develop a future plan to remediate discovered issues and address users with a demonstrable need to upgrade. The university will thoughtfully consider when to adopt Windows 8 for AU-owned workstations, as not all OS versions offer significant enough advantages to be automatically adopted for our environment.

Training on the Windows 8 operating system is available free of charge to all AU students, faculty, and staff through www.american.edu/lynda/.


Known Issues

Wireless Campus Network Users: The software, known as XpressConnect, that configures new wireless devices to access the eaglesecure wireless network on campus does not support Windows 8 OS Systems. As of November 2012, there is no ETA when the software will include Windows 8 Support.

AU VPN Users: The AU Juniper VPN client will install on Windows 8 Sytems, however as of November 2012, there have been multiple reports of comptability and stability issues with University VPN connections running on Windows 8 Systems.

PGP Encryption Software Users: As of November 2012, testing for compatiblity between Windows 8 and Symantec PGP is continuing. It is recommended that encrypted systems are not upgraded to Windows 8 and that IT Services or a Departmental LAN Admin is consulted before a Windows 8 Systems is encrypted using PGP.? 

Office and Adobe Software Users: There are no known compatability issues between Windows 8 and Office 2010 Applications and compatiblity testing for Adobe Products (CS5+) is continuing as of November 2012. It is strongly recommended that current Windows 7 users that rely on Adobe Creative Suite Software do not upgrade existing systems to Windows 8 until further testing and Adobe updates for Windows 8 are released.

Symantec Endpoint Protection Users: There are known issues with any version of Symantec prior to 12.1.2, which has not yet been made available.

For additional information or to report a compatibility issue, please contact the IT Help Desk at 202-885-2550, e-mail helpdesk@american.edu, or instant messenger at AskAmericanUHelp.


>> Back to Newsletter