November 19, 2013
Windows 8.1 and new computer purchases
An increasing number of staff are purchasing non enterprise class computers for their office. An example would be an HP laptop from Best Buy, Office Max, etc. Many of these computers have Windows 8 or 8.1 as the preinstalled operating system. There is a problem occurring when the staff member or Extension Information Technology tries to install the university licensed version of Windows 7. The hardware on the computer is not compatible with Windows 7 which forces us to install the university licensed version of Windows 8.1.
Currently we offer extremely limited support of Windows 8.1. Extension Information Technology, has not tested the OS with university systems. Only a couple people in the office are using it on their work computer. We have no training materials of any type available for staff. The Hotline student workers have no training or experience with Windows 8.1.
If possible, purchase preconfigured computers through EIT. (https://www.extension.iastate.edu/comp/orders/orderform/ )We know that the hardware on these enterprise class machines will be Windows 7 compatible. If these computers do not meet your needs, please contact me (Mike Mauton, firstname.lastname@example.org) and I can try to create a different configuration for you. If you still must purchase a non-enterprise computer please keep in mind that you may be forced to use Windows 8.1 and that EIT may not be able to help you when you encounter any issues.
EIT does plan on testing the operating system, writing documentation, providing training materials and eventually rolling out Windows 8.1 to all staff but there is no timetable for this to happen yet.