Odds are you’ve heard something about the campus-wide upgrade to Windows 7.  If not, here’s the short version: By the end of the calendar year, all labs, classrooms, and faculty and staff computers will be running Microsoft’s latest.

But other things are also happening. With the Windows upgrade, we’ll also be moving to the 2010 version of Microsoft’s Office suite. If you are currently using Office 2007, the visual and functional changes coming with Office 2010 should be relatively easy to navigate. For those who are currently using Office 2003, however, the upgrade represents a big jump.

Is there anything I should do to prepare?

We’re glad you asked. If you’re using Office 2003 or 2007, you can sit tight until your department is scheduled for its upgrade to begin using Office 2010. But why wait? Why not upgrade now, on your own, and give yourself a little extra time to learn all the new features?

What’s so different in Office 2010?

The move to Office 2010 will provide many benefits, including stronger formatting features, built-in PDF support, new audio and visual tools in some programs, and a real-time co-authoring tool for document collaboration. The most notable difference for those coming from the 2003 programs is the Microsoft “ribbon,” a visual panel of features that continually displays options previously found through menus and toolbars. This ribbon interface was introduced with the Office 2007 suite, and further enhancements have been made with the Office 2010 programs.

OK, I’ll upgrade now. How do I do it?

It’s easy. Select Loyola Software, Useful Tools, Microsoft Office, Office 2010, and the installation will begin.

There are a few requirements. For instance, you’ll need Windows XP SP3 and 200 MB free space on your C: drive to upgrade. (If the Office 2010 option doesn’t show up when you go to Loyola Software, you may not meet these technical requirements. If that’s the case, please email windows7@luc.edu for information on how to proceed.)

How long does it take?

Installation time varies depending on the speed of your machine, and could take 25-45 minutes. You’ll see a progress bar on screen during the installation, though it may not always look like it’s moving. You’ll be asked to reboot your computer when the process is complete.

What if I need help with the new programs?

Workshops featuring the Office 2010 programs will be available through ITS starting in January. In the meantime, Microsoft offers a bunch of great resources on their support site.  For a few suggestions, visit the About Office 2010 section of our Microsoft Migration Project web pages. (While you’re there you can check out more about the project, including other ways to prepare.)

If you have any questions or problems, please contact the ITS project team at windows7@luc.edu.