Information Technology Services (ITS) at the College of Medicine – Tucson has started a project to upgrade the remaining university-owned computers that are currently running Windows 7. Microsoft will be ending support for this operating system on January 14, 2020, and it is our goal to be operating completely on Windows 10 by this date.
Windows 10 was released in July 2015, and has been available at the College of Medicine – Tucson since 2017. When Microsoft ends support, they will no longer release security updates for Windows 7. Because any new vulnerabilities will not be patched by Microsoft, these workstations must be removed from the university network due to non-compliance with University of Arizona Information Security Policies.
ITS does recognize that certain departments may have old software or hardware that is not compatible with Windows 10. We encourage you to contact us to discuss upgrade options as soon as possible. If there is a business case for a particular computer to remain on an earlier version of Windows after Microsoft ends support for the operating system, we will need to get an exception approval from the UA - Information Security Office and the computer will need to be removed from the general campus network for security reasons.
There will be a lot to do over the next few months to ensure a successful transition, and we are grateful for your patience and support.
Here are some of the benefits you can expect once your computer is upgraded:
- Improved security
- Multiple desktops
- Improved performance, including a quicker boot up time
- Enhanced integration with Microsot products and services
- Better collaboration with BOX, OneDrive and ZOOM integration
When we upgrade your computer, we will be able to restore your desktop and settings. Everything should be exactly where you left in Windows 7.
Windows 10 Upgrade Timeline
Through October 1, 2019:
- Communication to departments and users
- Prepare inventory
- Purchasing process to replace those machines that we are unable to upgrade
- Testing Windows 10 for compatibility and to to ensure we have a smooth upgrade process
- Piloting Windows 10 with several departments
October - December 2019:
- Continue the purchasing, imaging, and deployment of new machines to replace those that do not support the upgrade
- Upgrade computers from Windows 7 to Windows 10. These upgrades will take place over time. We will coordinate with departments to schedule upgrades
December- January 2019:
- Upgrade laptops from Windows 7 to Windows 10
Target Completion Date: January 10, 2020
Purchasing new computers
If your current computer is not compatible with the Windows 10 upgrade, we want to be sure your new equipment is capable of running the current environment for years to come. We highly recommend that you go through COM-ITS for your purchasing needs. This will guarantee that your new equipment follows COM-ITS's standards and you get COM-T's discounts.
Exception Process for Windows 7 End of Life
Are you still using Windows 7? If yes, please contact COM-ITS Service Desk as soon as possible!
Exceptions are allowed only if the system cannot be upgraded. Submit your security exception request by January 10, 2020, in order to implement mitigations needed before January 14th. Please note that that exceptions are temporary.
In addition to controls required for the exception, ISO may require additional controls in the future to prohibit domain or network access, should new threats exploiting unpatched vulnerabilities in Windows 7 emerge.
Exceptions are not available for:
Any device with regulated data (HIPAA, PCI, etc.)
To obtain an exception:
1. Submit a Windows 7 exception service desk request at https://medicine.arizona.edu/webform/service-desk-request-form On your service request, please include the following information:
- Why should the computer remain on Windows 7? (e.g. Incompatible with specialized hardware, software, or connected devices)
- Computer name (You can find the name of the computer in the Systems Properties menu)
- Primary User
- Timeline for the upgrade or replacement of the outdated operating system.
2. Once the exception is approved, complete system upgrade/replacement before the expiration for the exception request.
If you have any question, please feel free to contact COM-ITS Service Desk at (520) 626-8721. We are located on the second floor of the Arizona Health Sciences Library and are open Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.