Tech Updates – September 2010

There are several Tech Updates this month, including news about 802.11n WiFi, Windows® 7Office 2010, and Office: Mac 2011.

Campus Wireless Update

802.11n is a new standard of WiFi, or wireless, local area networking. It’s main benefits, when compared to 802.11g, are 50% faster transmission speeds and increased signal strength, when accessed from an 802.11n capable system. 802.11n also supports systems using 802.11a, b, or g, at their rated speeds. This past summer, Information Technology Services began an upgrade to 802.11n, which remains compatible with our current 802.11a/b/g NUwave service.

Locations with 802.11n include International Village, Snell Library and basement classrooms, Curry Student Center, Shillman Hall, Ryder Hall and Ruggles, as well as many classrooms receiving major renovations this past summer. As part of Information Technology Services’ normal currency replacement cycle during the academic year, all wireless scheduled for currency replacement will be replaced with 802.11n.

Windows® 7

New computers available for sale by retailers will come with Windows® 7 installed. Windows® 7 offers several benefits over previous releases of XP and Vista including usability, search capability, and stability/responsiveness. Please visit the Microsoft website for more detailed information about the benefits of Windows® 7.

Information Technology Services has been testing the new operating system for compatibility with the most popular applications on campus like Banner, Blackboard, etc. We encourage faculty and staff not to upgrade to Windows® 7 at this time until the major application providers have been able to certify their applications as being compatible with the new operating system. IS will be providing advisory updates to the campus community on the status of application compatibility and its efforts to deploy the infrastructure needed to support Windows® 7. Our goal is to provide a University offering of Windows® 7 to faculty/staff in early Fall.

Students who have purchased a computer running Windows® 7 will need to upgrade their anti-virus software. Information Technology Services provides access to Symantec EndPoint Protection anti-virus software for free download through the Software Downloads channel on myNEU.

Office 2010

Information Technology Services has participated in the beta program for Office 2010 and has begun building the infrastructure required to support it, including training for faculty and staff. Classes in Office 2010 will become available in late Fall, and the IS Knowledge Base, myKnowledge, contains key information. myKnowledge can be found on the “Services and Links” tab on myNEU.

Office 2010 is very similar to Office 2007. However, it also offers extended file format support, user interface updates, and an overall improved user experience. Please visit the Microsoft website for more information about the new features in Office 2010.

See the Software > Featured Software > Office 2010 page.

Office: Mac 2011

Mac Office 2011 is scheduled for release later this year. Once we have completed testing, we will make it available to the Northeastern community in electronic format.

New features include:

  1. The “Presence Everywhere” document sharing feature which offers real-time status updates on document editing. Accomplished via an Internet link using Web Apps via SharePoint Technologies, this is a useful feature for team editing.
  2. Outlook for the Mac, a replacement for Entourage.
  3. Mac Ribbon, a user interface closer to Windows.

Please visit the Microsoft website for more information about Mac Office 2011.

See the Software > Featured Software > Office 2011 Mac page.

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