Upgrading to Windows 10

As discussed at our Whangarei Hui, Microsoft has extended the MARS licence for Computers in Homes to include Windows 10.  This means we can now move towards providing families with Windows 10 operating systems.  It is important that families are trained on equipment with the same software (operating system and application software) as that is on their take-home computers.  The Stepping UP modules used for Computers in Homes training will be progressively updated for Windows 10, but this should not be a deterrent in making the move from Windows 7.  Trainers are expected to be able to use the Windows 7 material as a guide in the meantime and explain the differences for Windows 10.

Families already in training

These families will already be using Windows 7 and therefore should be provided with Windows 7 computers when they complete their training.

Training being provided at a new hub

Hub equipment with a Windows 10 image should be purchased for the new hub as well as for families when they complete training.

Training being provided at an existing school hub

Schools already have access to Microsoft software under a centralised agreement with the Ministry of Education.  We would expect that schools are already considering upgrading to Windows 10 if they haven’t already done so.  Check the situation with the school training hub before starting training.

Training being provided at a community hub

We can offer to assist the community hub upgrade their computers to Windows 10 before training starts.

  1. Contact Jackie Lawrence at Conbrio/The Ark with an order for the number of Windows 10 licences required.
  2. Jackie will send a custom laptop, a switch and the licences.
  3. The community hub then plugs in all the existing computers at the hub that they want to upgrade to the switch (just replace the existing switch temporarily)
  4. Plug the laptop into the switch and then, using the second network port on the switch, plug into the internet connection (this is needed for management as the upgrade files are all on the laptop).
  5. Turn on the laptop and then turn on the PC’s.
  6. The new install will happen automatically, including appropriate drivers and the standard CIH image.
  7. When finished activate Windows and Office and create the recovery partition provided with all CIH computers.
  8. Provide the necessary licence information to Jackie at Conbrio for her to advise Microsoft.
  9. Box up all the bits (laptop and switch) and courier to the next site (as instructed by Jackie)

Windows 10 now available for MARS

Brian Lawrence at Conbrio advised me today that Microsoft has now included Windows 10 in the MARS (Microsoft’s Authorised Refurbisher Scheme) licencing programme, which means we can now plan to migrate our standard Computers in Homes image from Windows 7 to Windows 10.   Sue Kini is taking a look at what this might mean for the Stepping UP modules that we use for Computers in Homes training and will report on this at our NCCG in Whangarei.  I am proposing that we ask our refurbishers to start supplying computers with the new image from the start of September, but we will hold off on a firm decision until we meet in Whangarei.

Microsoft Office Software for BYOD Devices

Can we supply Microsoft Office with BYOD Devices?

The product recommended for BYOD devices is Microsoft Office 365.  This is a cloud-based package (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneDrive) that normally sells for NZ$165 per annum.  The good news is that the Ministry of Education has negotiated a Student Advantage Licence for home use (with up to 5 devices/student) at no cost to students.  This is managed by Datacom as part of the Microsoft School Software Agreement. From 1 December 2013, every school and tertiary provider in New Zealand that licenses Office for staff and faculty is eligible to get Office 365 Pro Plus for its students at no additional cost.

Schools choosing to use Office 365 will be responsible for securing licences (see below) and helping families load the software to their BYOD laptops.

How are Office 365  licences  allocated to students?

The Ministry agreement (for an Office 365 A2 Plan) includes:

  • Cloud based email, calendar and contacts
  • Use your own domain name
  • Instant messaging, voice and video chat
  • Online conferencing with desktop sharing
  • Web-based viewing and editing of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote files

The student software client (Office 365 Pro Plus) can be ordered by schools online or by contacting Datacom.

Will the Office 365 Pro Plus software work on laptops if they are not connected to the internet?

Yes.  Once the Office software is downloaded to a student’s laptop, the software can be used offline without a live internet connection.