Ohio University

Software updates for spring semester: Windows, Office, and more

During spring 2020, OIT will be upgrading software on many University-owned computers. If your computer is affected, you can expect to hear from OIT or your departmental IT technician in the coming weeks. Titles being upgraded include Windows 7, older versions of Windows 10, and older versions of Microsoft Office for Mac and PC. Mac users also will receive a new application called Self Service that provides automatic security updates and one-click install icons for University-licensed software. These upgrades are part of a regular schedule to keep University devices secure, current, and in compliance with vendor license terms.

PCs: Windows 7 and older versions of Windows 10

Windows 7: Microsoft has announced that they will stop providing security updates for Windows 7 on January 14, 2020. Any PC still using Windows 7 after that date will face increased risk of virus infections, malware, and cyberattacks.

Older builds of Windows 10: Microsoft handles security and feature updates differently for Windows 10 than it did for previous versions of Windows. Instead of releasing minor updates on a constant basis, Microsoft now releases a major update, called a "build," twice a year. Each build receives security updates for approximately a year and a half. Once a build stops receiving updates, it faces the same infection risks as Windows 7.

If you have Windows 7 or an obsolete build of Windows 10 on your University PC, a pop-up upgrade reminder will appear at login to let you know. OIT also will send targeted email messages to individuals who have recently logged into affected PCs. If you have used a shared or lab computer recently, you could receive such an email, even though your personal device is not affected.

PCs and Macs: Office 2013 and older

As with Windows, Microsoft only provides feature and security updates for Office for a set length of time. Once they stop supporting a particular version of Office, that version becomes vulnerable to security threats, and our license terms no longer allow us to install that version.

If your University-owned PC or Mac has a copy of Office 2013, 2010, or 2007 on it, you can expect to hear from OIT or your departmental technician about upgrading to the latest version of Office 365. If your computer also is running Windows 7 or an older version of Windows 10, then you might receive multiple reminder emails from OIT.

Macs: Self Service application

During fall semester, OIT began rolling out a new Mac Management application called Self Service that offers one-click installers for University-licensed software and automatically takes care of required security updates. If your university-owned Mac doesn't already have the Self Service application, you can expect to hear from OIT or your departmental IT technician this semester. Setup takes just a few minutes and does not change the look or feel of your Mac.

If you have any questions about these software upgrades, please contact the IT Service Desk.