Issue 51 - March 2007
On 29 January 2007, Microsoft launched Windows Vista, the latest major version of their operating system for PCs since the launch of Windows XP five years ago. A team of IT professionals from the Computing Services Centre (CSC) have been engaged to evaluate Vista and determine when and how it should be deployed. Initially Vista will be made available in all lecture theatres, classrooms and the CSC Terminal Area. Details and timeline of the CSC’s support plan will be outlined in this article.
Much has changed in this operating system. To prepare you for a few of these changes, here lists some of its new and improved features benefiting different user types.
For All Users:
For Mobile Users:
While it is certain that Windows Vista will run more effectively on a brand new PC (certified for Windows Vista), Microsoft claims that the minimum system requirements for running Vista are:
To be able to get a reasonable performance and get the best out of Vista, including the Windows Aero experience, additional hardware is required. The recommended hardware requirements are:
Therefore, in order to have a suitable environment to run Vista, most PCs on campus will have to be upgraded to match the requirements.
The Initial Plan
As Windows Vista is the most advanced PC operating system today, the CSC is working hard to design and implement a suitable working model for the campus environment and make it available for teaching and learning. Again, it may take some time for the CSC and some other service providers to solve the hardware and software compatibility issues before a campus-wide deployment.
As a pilot run, Windows Vista will be made available in the CSC Teaching Studios, Library’s Information Space, Lecture Theatres and Classrooms in late August 2007 before Semester A commences. Dual operating systems (Windows Vista and XP) will be provided on all PCs in the above-mentioned areas. While the Windows XP environment will be left intact, the Windows Vista environment will be launched together with some selected popular applications such as Microsoft Office 2007, Internet Explorer 7.0 as well as some updated Microsoft software/applications under the Campus Agreement. Software installations in the Vista environment for teaching and learning are welcome, but academic departments are expected to provide the software versions that are Vista compatible.
In order to help users get familiar with Windows Vista and Microsoft Office 2007, the CSC has already run two related Forums. Training courses will be offered to staff when the Windows Vista environment and Microsoft Office 2007 are ready. Invitation to training courses will be made through the normal staff development channel in AIMS and on the Staff e-Portal login page. As for staff PCs, we would have to make sure that all e-Learning, administrative systems are fully compatible with Vista before a large scale deployment of Vista will be made. We don’t have an accurate estimation of the time frame yet. If everything goes smoothly, it may happen as early as Semester B of 2007-08. However, we expect that some of the newly purchased PCs used for special purposes or those involved in research projects might choose Windows Vista earlier than the university-wide deployment.
Although academic institutions all over the world are hit by the Windows Vista wave, most of them are not ready to support it. For example, MIT currently does not recommend it, as many critical applications are not available yet. Also, Harvard provides limited support until Windows Vista passes their testing criteria and recommends users to wait until Service Pack 1 is available. Other similar recommendations can easily be found on the Internet. For the benefit of the CityU community, it is therefore recommended not be in any great rush to adopt Windows Vista. Windows Vista has not been thoroughly tested in terms of security and compatibility with the current campus applications, and it requires a computer newer or better equipped than what is currently available on campus.
And also some news about upgrading to Vista in various sites: