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All CONNECT PCs and desktops are planned to be upgraded to Windows 10 in 2019. The CONNECT help pages will be updated shortly, but in the meantime please see frequently asked questions regarding Windows 10 below.

Windows 10 Upgrade

Why do we have to upgrade?

Microsoft support for Windows 7 ends on the 14th of January 2020. After this date, security updates will no longer be available. Also, new desktop hardware and software applications are being released that are not be compatible with Windows 7.

Who does this upgrade apply to?

All PCs that are managed by IT Services will be upgraded. This includes managed staff desktops (and laptops), reader workstations and quick search terminals in the libraries, the IT Learning Centre and candidate PCs in Examination Schools.

When will my PC/laptop be upgraded?

The Windows 10 roll-out has now been completed.

A complete schedule was agreed and shared with Departmental Administrators for onward communication.

Will I get a new PC? How will you upgrade me otherwise?

Your PC will be replaced if it has reached it's normal end-of-life (5 years for staff PCs bought before 2019, 6 years for newer staff PCs) or is unable to run Windows 10.

In all other cases we will "re-image" your PC, which effectively performs a completely fresh installation of Windows 10 and all associated software and settings. Apart from your user settings and documents (see below), your first login will be like logging into a new PC.

How do I know if my PC/laptop is due to be replaced during 2019?

All managed PCs have a small sticker showing the purchase date, and where this is more than 5 years ago equipment will generally need to be replaced. Capital drawn from the IT Committee Development Fund will be used to replace the main desktop workstation for most staff. Replacement of any additional equipment will need to be funded by your department. Individual emails will be sent to people whose workstations are due to be replaced once funding has been approved and the schedules planned.

What are the potential benefits for Windows 10 for me?

In addition to continued support for security, performance and functionality, you may enjoy some or all of the following features:

  • Improved performance on old and new hardware
  • A refreshed, cleaner and simpler desktop
  • Integration with Microsoft's digital assistant – Cortana
  • Task View for managing applications using multiple desktops
  • Microsoft Edge - the next generation web browser
  • Vastly improved interface on touchscreens including our range of 2-in-1s
  • Annotation, PDF support, superior reading experience
Does anything else change?

There are several associated changes:

  • You will get Office 2016 which has improved integration with Nexus365
  • OneDrive synchronisation and offline files
  • Laptop encryption will be a simpler and seamless user experience
  • New anti-virus software (Sophos Central), providing increased protection
I’m a Mac user, how am I impacted?

Apple Mac equipment is out of scope for this upgrade. This project will only affect managed PCs.

I manage my own desktop, how am I impacted?

Supporting guidance will be made available.

How do I set up Outlook?

Outlook will guide you through the setup process when you start it for the first time. Assistance on logging in with the correct login details can be found on the Nexus 365 Help Pages. Depending on the setup of your Nexus account, you may also see a SSO login webpage. Login to this as you would any other SSO request. You may have to enter your username/password details up to 3 times, but once you get to the familiar Outlook inbox screen, all your previous settings should be synchronised.

How do I add and manage printers?

Please see our CONNECT Printing Howto.

How does the new disk encryption work on my laptop?

Your encrypted laptop will now start up without requiring a passphrase and take you directly to the Windows login screen. On a shared laptop, other users can start up and login exactly the same, without needing to be configured by IT Services. Despite this, the encryption is just as secure as the previous system. They will not be able to access your data, only their own.

Please note that if your hardware changes significantly, or encrypted disk drive is installed in another machine, then a Recovery Key will be required to unlock the disk. This can be obtained by contacting the Service Desk.

How do I connect to my Nexus365 OneDrive?

Please see our OneDrive for Business Howto

Is Internet Explorer still available?

Yes, if you have legacy web applications which require Internet Explorer, this can be found in the Start menu. However, for usual browsing, we recommend using the new Microsoft Edge browser or installing Chrome or Firefox from the Oxford Application Installer.

Will my desktop look the same as on Windows 7?

All your desktop shortcuts and files will be the same as from Windows 7, however you may have to re-create any pinned applications in your taskbar.

Will I have access to the Windows store?

Yes, but please note that we strongly recommend not to purchase software through the Windows Store. Any purchasing requests should be handle through IT Services Purchasing in the normal way. Any use of the Windows Store or apps from it are not supported through the Managed Desktop Service.

What version of Microsoft Office will be available?

Windows 10 workstations will run Office 2016 (32-bit, for compatibility with third party plugins).

What settings will follow me between machines?

Your Desktop files, My Documents, Internet Explorer/Edge favourites will follow you from any Windows 7 & 10 machine. Firefox, Chrome and Office Application will only follow you between other Windows 10 machines. Windows 7 machines will remain working in the same way with settings following you between other Windows 7 machines. IT Support can help with the transfer for Chrome and Firefox settings from a Windows 7 profile to a Windows 10 profile, if required.

Will all managed machines be upgraded to Windows 10?


There may initially be some exceptions due to business application compatibility or support for critical peripherals, in which case the machine will be isolated from networks until an agreed upgrade plan has been completed.

What applications will be available on Windows 10?

Please see our Guide to Applications on Managed Staff Desktops.

What is the Password Policy on Windows 10?

CONNECT uses a password policy matching the requirements of Single-Sign-On:

  • Lockout duration = 30 minutes
  • Lockout Observation window = 30 minutes
  • Lockout threshold = 3
  • Maximum password age = 365 days
  • Min password length = 8
  • Complexity = Three categories from four (Upper case, lower case, digit, symbol)
  • Password history = 24

An enhanced password policy is available enforcing a higher password standard where units require:

  • Lockout duration = 1 hour
  • Lockout Observation window = 1 hour
  • Lockout threshold = 2
  • Maximum password age = 90 days
  • Min password length = 10
  • Complexity = Three categories from four (Upper case, lower case, digit, symbol)
  • Password history = 24

If you require this please contact the Service Desk.

Do I need to do anything before the upgrade?

Whether your machine is being replace or reimaged, you will be advised in advance on what preparation is required to ensure that all the required software on your PC is still available after the upgrade.

What happens if I move units/departments, during the migration?

If you are moving to another unit that also uses the Managed Staff Desktop then your equipment can still be upgraded, although the timing of your upgrade may be changed to align with your new unit. If you are moving to a unit who do not use the Managed Staff Desktop then your equipment will be provided by your new unit and will be outside the scope of this project.

Where can I get help?

When you have been upgraded you will be left with a set of Quick Reference Cards. You can also contact the Service Desk.

Will this change Nexus365 functionality?

The new Windows 10 desktop work better with Nexus365. Your Office 2016 programs make it much easier to open and save documents in OneDrive, the OneDrive sync client means that you can use your OneDrive files more easily, including when you are offline, and MS Teams will be available. 

What versions of Skype will be available?

Windows 10 comes with a version of Skype that can be used for consumer and personal accounts only. Skype for Business 2016 is available to all staff via the Oxford Applications Installer menu. Any use of the consumer version of Skype is not supported through the Managed Desktop Service.

Where has access to Internet Explorer gone?

Microsoft Edge is the default browser for Windows 10. This brings with it a new, simplified, design and features such as reading mode. Internet Explorer is still available via the Start Menu and is required for services such as Oracle Financials.

Written by IT Services. Latest revision 2 April 2020