Microsoft Updates: Microsoft 365 and Windows 11

2022: Celebrating 25 years of Desktop Productivity with Microsoft 365

Although Microsoft Office was initially released in 1990, it was the release of Office 97 that established the suite of products as the premiere desktop productivity package. At that time, when computers weren’t as common in the workplace as they are today, the professional version of the desktop productivity package included five primary applications, a word processor (Word), a spreadsheet editor (Excel), a presentation program (PowerPoint), a database manager (Access) and a personal information manager (Outlook). Throughout the past 25 years, Microsoft released nine major versions of Office for Windows and eight major versions for Mac. These “on-premise” releases of Microsoft Office, the most recent being Office 2019, are what most people think of when thinking about Microsoft Office.

In 2010, facing stiff competition from Google Apps (a cloud-based, productivity and collaboration suite), Microsoft began the gradual shift to offering Microsoft Office as a service on a subscription basis. This subscription-based service would extend the use of Office products into the cloud and across mobile platforms including iOS and Android. In 2020, this product was rebranded as Microsoft 365.

In 2022, due to changes in the University’s licensing of Microsoft products, Information Technology will start shifting computers from yesteryear’s on-premise version of Microsoft Office 2019 to the modern work experience of Microsoft 365. The productivity applications you’ve come to rely on (e.g., Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, OneDrive, Teams) will still be available on each and every classroom, lab and office computer. The experience of using these applications will remain familiar and consistent.

Microsoft 365 Resources and Training

Microsoft 365 Learning Resources (authentication required) has been customized by the University’s Division of Information Technology team. This resource is curated to provide our campus with updated training information for the products that are available on our campus.

Power Automate is available on our campus. For resources, visit Microsoft Power Automate documentation.

The Microsoft 365 Training website combines video and step-by-step training with template, quick starts and easy handouts.

Teams Beginner Training for Faculty and Staff

Through Bookings, you can reserve Microsoft Teams training to review Teams and answer any other M365 program questions. Feel free to bring a colleague. This one-hour session is in-person in AMH 109. This is a beginner session. Click here for online resources and training.

Windows 11

Windows 11, the newest, major version of Microsoft’s operating system was released on October 5, 2021. For an organization, the release of any new operating system can be challenging as resources need to be allocated to confirm that legacy hardware and software is compatible with the new operating system. Processes for deploying and managing the new operating system also need to be verified.

Information Technology is preparing its strategy for migrating to Windows 11. More information about this strategy and the availability of Windows 11 will be communicated in 2022. In the meantime, rest assured that your Windows 10 computer will continue being secured, maintained and managed.


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