Information and Technology

Windows 7 Campus Roll out Plan

Story posted March 23, 2010

On Oct 22, 2009, Microsoft released its new operating system, Windows 7. Information Technology has assembled a project team to begin testing compatibility between software and hardware at Bowdoin and Windows 7.

Windows 7 Task Bar


  1. To upgrade all Bowdoin Windows computers to Windows 7 from Windows XP which will provide a more current and secure computing experience.
  2. To provide support and training to Bowdoin Faculty, Staff and Students during the transition from Windows XP to Windows 7.

The Windows 7 Project

Phase 1: Software and hardware (scanners, printers, computers) will be tested for compatibility by the Windows project team. Help Desk and other IT front line staff will be preparing and going to certification classes to be ready to provide support for Windows 7 on campus.

Phase 2: Larger Bowdoin infrastructure will be tested and upgraded to be compatible with Windows 7. This includes the print server, the Windows security update server, the Sophos Antivirus server and many other systems that support the college network and services. A Campus wide training plan will be developed for Windows 7.

Phase 3: The Windows 7 team will develop guidelines and recommendations, based on testing, for upgrading and deploying Windows 7 to Bowdoin faculty, staff, loaner laptops, lab and classroom computers.

Phase 4: Upgrade lab, classroom and office computers to Windows 7.


March 26, 2010 – Coles Tower 2 West lab and 10 loaner laptops upgraded to Windows 7 for pilot testing.
June 1, 2010 – Pilot begins for Windows 7 early adopters.
July 1, 2010 – New computers delivered through the 4 year auto replacement and reallocation program (CAP) will have Windows 7 installed.
July - August, 2010 – Classroom and lab computers and loaner laptops will be upgraded to Windows 7.
October 2010 - January 2011 – Upgrade Faculty and Staff computers that were not in the 2010 CAP delivery.

Top 10 Reasons to change fom Windows XP to Windows 7

  1. Microsoft will eventually discontinue support for Windows XP, offering full support for Windows 7.
  2. New tools are included in Windows 7 (Math Input Tool, Snippit, Sticky Notes, and gadgets)
  3. Redesigned Windows start menu that makes finding things on your computer faster and easier!
  4. Redesigned Task bar at the bottom of your screen that is twice the height. You can also add “buttons” to the task bar for your frequently used programs.
  5. Easier and more Help resources.
  6. You can manage open windows easier by viewing them side by side and “snapping” them to the edges of your screen.
  7. Better presentation tools, making it easier to connect your laptop to a projector!
  8. Windows 7 can use more than 3GB of memory!
  9. More security features protecting you from Malware and Phishing.
  10. Windows 7 loads the desktop faster after you login.

What types of Training will be provided?

  • Quick Reference Sheets
  • Online tutorials for those who like to learn on their own time, at their own pace
  • Group training classes

When and where can I see Windows 7 in action?

Windows 7 will be installed in the Coles West lab located on the second floor  by March 26. This is a 24 hour lab so stop by anytime and try it out! The IT Help Desk is also nearby if you have any questions!

Microsoft also has some great videos about using Windows 7 right on their website.

Windows 7 at Home

You may request a copy of Windows 7 for your home computer.

Windows 7 Minimum System Requirements:

  • 1 GHz Processor
  • 1 Gb Ram
  • 15 Gb Free Hard Drive Space
  • 128 mb Video Memory with WDDM Drivers (for Aero functions)

Find out if your computer meets the requirements.

Also see Microsoft's Windows 7 Compatibility Center.

If you have a Dell computer at home, Dell also provides a Windows 7 resource center.

Upgrading your computer to Windows 7:

A computer that has Windows Vista  can be upgraded to Windows 7 provided it meets the minimum system requirements.

There is not a direct upgrade path for Windows XP computers to Windows 7.  A data back up and fresh install must be done.

Additionally, not all Windows XP systems can run Windows 7- your computer must meet the minimum requirements.

Instructions for XP upgrades.

It is recommended that if you install Windows 7, install the 64bit version. The main difference between 32 bit and 64 bit is the ability of 64 bit to utilize more than 4 gb of Ram.

Please note: Not all software is compatible with 64 bit so check your computer and software requirements before installing this.

Windows 7 will be installed in the Coles 2 West lab located on the second floor  by March 26. This is a 24 hour lab so stop by anytime and try it out! The IT Help Desk is also nearby if you have any questions!

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