Thursday, March 15, 2007

Office 07 & Vista Deployment Plans

It's been in the news and we've received emails - Microsoft Office 2007 and Microsoft Vista operating system are available!! What's happening with these two different software packages in the College of Ag Sciences? Read on about each one…

The deployment of Office 07 will begin September 2007 - November 2007. (Enterprise computers shipped after October 2007 will be shipped with Office 2007).

There are several reasons why we feel this is the best time to deploy Office 2007:
  • Timing of the upgrade is important - if all staff do not upgrade to Office 2007 at the same time, those still using Office 2003 wouldn't be able to open any Office 2007 documents without downloading a file converter.
  • Breeze (Adobe Connect Pro) Web Conferencing is not able to convert PowerPoint 2007 presentations yet. We expect this to be corrected by September.
    Penn State technology classrooms and computer labs will have Office 2007 installed during the summer of 2007.
  • Training issues - training materials for Office 2007 are not yet completely developed. Office 2007 has a very different interface. Our goal is to minimize the impact on productivity by providing thorough training opportunities.
  • There will never be a "good" time to upgrade, but by doing this over a couple months you should be able to work around busy schedules. Also, by working in the fall we can avoid county fair season, the beginning of the semester, and before winter meetings and conferences.

Now, comes the fun part. If you would like to be part of the CoAS Office 2007 Pilot, please email us as the Project contacts. After reviewing the emails, we will select a sampling of different office environments, up to 25. If you are selected, we will send you an email with all the details. Vista operating system WILL NOT be part of this pilot.

The Vista operating system deployment will begin in September 2008 (not a typo this IS NEXT YEAR). By that date, we expect that some of the initial adjustments (new features, drivers, and compatibility issues) will have been worked out and the first service release packs will have been made available. This is consistent with the university's deployment approach for the computer labs and technology classrooms. Right now there is no "must have" reason to switch to the next generation Vista operating system. Enterprise computers will NOT be shipped with Vista operating system until September 2008. ICT will not be supporting Vista operating system machines on the Enterprise network until after Sept 2008. We will keep you up to date with our plans with both of these products via eNews, ICT Tech Alerts, and our ICT Web site.

If you have questions or would like to sign up for the CoAS Office 2007 Pilot, please email Jacki ( or Peg (