Ceasing the Support for Windows Vista

by Joe Lee

The Computing Services Centre (CSC) announced on 25 May 2011 that the university will cease the support of Windows Vista (Win Vista, SP1 and SP2) upon the termination of support for Vista SP1 by Microsoft starting August 2011 (actually, Microsoft officially terminated the support of Win Vista SP1 on 12 July 2011.) As there were many deficiencies in Win Vista and Win Vista SP2 has not been tested on campus machines, users were recommended to switch to Windows 7 (Win 7) as soon as possible instead of wasting two hours to upgrade to Win Vista SP2.

After ceasing the support for Win Vista, the CSC will be able to streamline resources for better support of Microsoft’s latest operating system, Win 7 SP1. Following the announcement of the campus-wide support of Win 7 in April 2010, all public access student computers, PCs at LTs and classrooms, and more than 1,000 staff PCs have been installed with Win 7. Win 7 outperforms Win Vista in several ways, notably speed, user friendliness and security. In other words, PCs will run faster and safer with Win 7 than Win Vista. Therefore, Win Vista users should consider upgrading to Win 7 SP1 as soon as possible to gain such benefits.

An automatic process has been set up to facilitate direct Win 7 SP1 upgrade from Win Vista SP1 via the Work Desk menu. Users could simply click Upgrade to Windows 7 SP1 on the Software for Windows 7/Vista menu and follow the instructions there to perform the upgrade. The whole upgrade process would take about 1.5 hours, depending on the hardware and the applications installed. Users will be prompted to carry out a compatibility test before the start of the formal Win 7 upgrade process.

As a good practice, users were reminded to backup their useful data and stop all applications before they start the upgrade. Departments were provided assistance on submitting CSC Work Requests if they prefer the CSC to do the upgrade for their staff.

Users were noted that the default browser for Win 7 is Internet Explorer 8 (IE8). For features of IE8, please visit the FAQ for IE8.

Departments may consult the CSC Help Desk for further information or assistance or simply visit the FAQ for Windows 7.