Steve MillsBy Steve Mills, Systems Administrator

As you may have heard Microsoft released their latest operating system Windows 7 late last year. It has been called a success in the consumer market as it offers many of the features of Windows Vista but uses fewer resources. It also allows for a jump into 64 bit computing which allows the computer to access larger amounts of memory and process information at a much faster rate. 

A few people have started asking about if and when South Central College will be upgrading the workstations in offices and labs.  We have been testing the OS in both 32 and 64 bit flavors since the beta was released last year. While many features work we have some issues to work out both on the driver and software support and on the network printer and drive mapping support. Currently we do not plan to push a mass upgrade of the college but we are pushing it out on a case by case basis. If you would like to test drive the operating system you can check it out in the E-Studio / CTL areas. Evan Peterson has been working with Mike Hertel on setting up some workstations in those areas to test software and give instructors a chance to see the difference. 

Microsoft has also updated the Office Suite with the coming release of Office 2010 later this year.  Like Windows 7 it takes advantage of better programming to use fewer resources and run better on slower equipment. It also has many enhancements to the software including a 64 bit version to take advantage of Windows 7 64bit operating system.  The look is very similar to Office 2007 but some things will have changed.  We are currently testing a beta copy and will continue to test the software when the official release version is out. We do not plan to push it out to the labs for this next year. We will consult with staff and faculty for the fall of 2011 before making any plans on a rollout. However if you would like to test the software yourself let us know and we’ll work with you once it is released.