Campus-wide Support for Microsoft Windows 10 on Staff LAN

by Joe Chow
In the previous two articles (Ref: September 2015 and March 2016), we have introduced Windows 10 and its deployment plan on both Student LAN and Staff LAN. Subsequently, the Computing Services Centre (CSC) deployed Windows 10 for teaching and learning in the CSC teaching studios, lecture theatres and classrooms in August 2016.  In the meantime, Windows 10 was also deployed in several departments as a pilot. Since the pilot run of Windows 10 has been successful, campus-wide support for Windows 10 on Staff LAN is now ready. 
Hardware Requirements for Windows 10
The hardware requirements for Windows 10 are less demanding than Windows 7. According to Microsoft, your PC should have at least the following configuration:
  • Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster processor
  • RAM: 2 GB for 64-bit Windows
  • Hard disk space: 20 GB for 64-bit Windows
  • Graphics card: DirectX 9 or later with WDDM 1.0 driver
  • Display: 800x600
Most existing staff LAN PCs should meet these requirements, however, the upgradeability of a PC depends on factors such as the driver and firmware support, and application compatibility regardless of whether or not it meets the minimum configuration.
Software on Windows 10
If PCs are installed by the CSC, default software such as Microsoft Office 2016, Adobe Reader, and McAfee Endpoint Security agent will be installed together with the Windows 10 system. Similar to Windows 7, the Work Desk menu is available to provide access to software as well as common tools and utilities.
One important new software running on Windows 10 is its built-in and default new browser called Microsoft Edge. This browser works quite similarly to Internet Explorer (IE) but with some added features and more protection. Even though IE is still available on Windows 10, according to Microsoft, IE will become obsolete and totally replaced by Microsoft Edge in the future.
If there is a need to install other softwares, staff can request for the CSC’s software installation service. Besides the software license, staff are required to check the software compatibility with Windows 10 environment prior to sending in the request. You may find useful information on software compatibility at the Microsoft’s Ready-for-Windows website or check with vendors for more information.
Preparation for Upgrading to Windows 10
In order to provide a reliable and stable upgrade, an in-place upgrade from Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 on Staff LAN is not supported. For a clean installation, staff are reminded to prepare the followings:
  • Back up data files - a backup media such as a removable hard disk or cloud storage can be used to store backup files. The backup process usually takes a long time to complete, so it is better to do it a day before the installation.
  • Get software media and hardware driver disk ready for reinstallation later - as mentioned earlier, staff LAN PCs should have installed with some default software. For any other software or hardware drivers, staff should get the installation disks and have them ready for reinstallation after the upgrade.
Upgrade to Windows 10
Staff who are currently using Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 are encouraged to switch to Windows 10, though there is no immediate need.  The reason being that Microsoft will cease support for Windows 7 in January 2020 and Window 8 in January 2023. However, moving to Window 10 sooner, e.g. taking the opportunity during the PC upgrade or reinstallation, can avoid the rush.
Staff/department who wish to reinstall existing computers with Windows 10 can raise a CSC Work Request.
The CSC will install Windows 10 Enterprise (64-bit) on all newly acquired Windows computers by default, unless an explicit and substantive request from staff is received, such as a software in use can only be run on earlier Windows versions.
Security and Privacy Settings in Windows 10
One of the controversies concerning Windows 10 is whether Windows 10 is safer or more vulnerable than its predecessors such as Windows 7. It is believed that there is no definite answer since it depends on how we control the system. As discussed in the article on “Windows 10 Security and Privacy Policy” (Ref: December 2016), Windows 10 provides more options to control under the security and privacy policy settings. Therefore, it is important to consider these settings during the implementation of Windows 10. Around 200 policies have been applied to the Staff LAN which deny the access rights to the privacy data. In some circumstances, these policies may restrict some applications from running properly. If this is the case, users may need to turn them off but users must know the risk of making changes to these policies.
Where to Get Help
There are many reasons why you should choose to upgrade to Windows 10, e.g. live tiles on the Start Menu can display dynamically updated information such as a weather app showing the latest forecast. However, you may also find Windows 10 difficult to use. The following websites contain useful information about the features and uses of Windows 10.
  1. Upgrade to Windows 10: FAQ
  2. Windows Update: FAQ
  3. Tips to improve PC performance in Windows 10
  4. Microsoft Edge help
  5. Change notification settings in action center
  6. Recovery options in Windows 10
  7. Backup and Restore in Windows 10
Last but not least, staff can always seek assistance and technical support by contacting the CSC Help Desk at x7658 or visit the "FAQ for Windows 10" at for further information.