After many years of use at the University, the Windows 7 operating system will soon be reaching the end of its supported life by Microsoft - by January 2020, it will completely stop receiving security updates. Once the end of support has been reached, any new faults found won't be fixed by Microsoft. This means that it becomes a security risk for the University network, and we will have to limit what these PCs can do.
Since 2017 we have been moving computers to Windows 10 instead, either through replacing ageing PCs with newer hardware or where possible upgrading existing PCs. This has proven to be very successful, with over 5500 managed PCs now running Windows 10. This new operating system is faster and more secure, and also offers newer functionality such as:
- A Software Center “App Store” which will allow you to install a wide selection of applications yourself, when you want them, without having to request assistance from an IT Supporter
- Much better integration with Office365 and the great collaborative functionality that it brings
There are still a number of Windows 7 PCs around the University, and it would be good if we could work with you to move as many of these as possible to Windows 10 over the summer when the pressures of teaching are reduced, and to allow time to adjust to the new operating system and experience.
As time is running out, we will also be actively working through the lists of remaining Windows 7 PCs across the campus, and we will be making contact about upgrading PCs. We appreciate that it’s not always convenient to have your computer upgraded, but we hope that you will be able to work with us to find a good time when this can happen, rather than leaving it to the last minute.
If you choose not to upgrade to Windows 10, then after the end of the security patches in January we will start taking measures to protect the Windows 7 PCs and to protect the other campus computers from them. Initially, this will involve us blocking Windows 7 PCs from accessing the Internet, limiting their exposure to any exploits or malware that may be developed. It is likely only to be a relatively short time before there is something more serious that would require us to total block their network access, leaving them in a quarantined state to minimise the risk they would then pose to the rest of the University network.