Windows 7 Migration
Microsoft Windows 7 for Middlebury College
Middlebury College has implemented a long-term plan to upgrade the Windows operating system from XP to 7 on all end user machines. Starting with the Spring 2011 upgrade cycle all new Windows machines will have Windows 7 Professional installed. Significant testing has shown that all College services can be extended to Windows 7 computers & users. To see when your hardware is scheduled to be upgraded, check go/upgradecycle.
Benefits of Windows 7
Windows 7's major advantages are behind-the-scenes. There are a few cosmetic changes that users will notice right away, and a few nuances that will take some time to learn/unlearn from XP. The larger benefits of Windows 7 are what you don't see. Windows 7 allows LIS to centrally manage more services, which makes managing hundreds of machines more efficient.
What's new for you
While the benefits of Windows 7 are large for the College, there are new things that you can take direct advantage of in Windows 7 as well. There is a new Windows Explorer, Libraries (shortcut organizer), Gadgets and upgrade Microsoft built-in applications. Find out more about the new user interface and other changes by visiting the Windows 7 Instructional Videos wiki page (go/win7).
What do you need to do BEFORE you get Windows 7?
There are three things you should do before getting your Windows 7 machine.
The majority of users do not need non-standard software, however if you have requested unique software for your XP machine you need to write down those applicaitons and notify the help desk that you indeed use those applications still and need them on the new OS. This is a good time to take stock of the applications you have that you may or may not need anymore. Think of it as spring cleaning for your computer! Also take notes on any special configurations you have, as you will most likely need to change them again in Windows 7.
A list of applications that will come pre-installed on all Windows 7 machines is available on the wiki under Windows 7 Imaging.
Learn about Windows 7. (go/win7)
Take some time to learn about Windows 7 before you get it. LIS has a wiki page with lots of good references at https://mediawiki.middlebury.edu/wiki/LIS/Windows_7_-_Instructional_Videos (go/win7). If you have specific inquires into Windows 7 you can ask the helpdesk and we will do our best to answer or find you an answer.
Back-up your files.
This is something that you do already, right? If you're not, now is the right time to start. When you receive your Windows 7 machine, the distribution worker will also be picking up your old XP machine. This means that you will not have both machines to reference back and forth so a proper backup is essential. Middlebury College provides server storage for you under the U: drive under My Computer.
To learn more about what files to backup see the Wiki article Selective Backup.
To learn more about backing up to the file server (Middfiles), see Wiki article Backing-up My Files.
How to be an early adopter to Windows 7
As part of the upgrade process, new machines will receive Windows 7 when they are deployed to the end users. LIS will consider early adopters to Windows 7, but they must be made through .... and won't be addressed until after the standard upgrade cycle is complete (August). An OS upgrade request will not be a full hardware upgrade, only the Operating System (Windows 7). An upgrade to the Operating System will not modify your hardware replacement cycle.
If you are up for a hardware replacement in the next year we ask you do NOT request an OS upgrade, as your machine will be upgraded in the near future. -- comments? should we take this out?
The exception to the OS upgrades is with infected machines. If a machine is severely infected with a virus (one that LIS can not easily remove), the machine will be wiped clean and Windows 7 will be installed (if the machine can handle it). All early OS upgrades are at the discretion and ability of LIS.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will my software and hardware work with Windows 7?
Microsoft has a list of Windows 7-compatible software and hardware: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/compatibility/windows-7/en-us/default.aspx