The project to update university computers to the Windows 10 operating system continues apace. The first software configuration, known as a "build" or "image", is nearing completion and should be ready for early adopters by mid-February.
Let's take a look at three of the most exciting features of the Windows 10 build and how they will be used at Cardiff Met.
A big feature of our Windows 10 configuration is that staff and students will be able to use OneDrive to store personal documents, in place of their My Sites. OneDrive is a
cloud storage service provided by Microsoft. Documents are saved to "the cloud" (basically, a big collection of servers) and can then be accessed from any computer, tablet or mobile phone. The crucial difference between our corporate version, OneDrive for Business, and the personal version is that we are able to secure and control the use of OneDrive – ensuring that personal and confidential data remains just that. Other advantages of OneDrive include:
- Larger storage quota – the 1TB that will be available is 2000 times the size of current My Site quotas!
- Share documents with externals – documents can easily be shared with people outside of Cardiff Met. (Note, SharePoint Team Sites should still be used by staff to share documents
inside Cardiff Met, we'll explain why in a future blog post).
- Offline access – your OneDrive can be securely synchronised to a Cardiff Met PC or laptop, allowing you to work on files when you don't have an internet connection.
The new build includes the 2016 version of Office. Of the
new features, perhaps the most useful is the
Tell Me feature, a simple improvement that allows you to type in what you want to do, with Office then returning the most relevant commands.
No more searching between tabs for the
Slide Size option, simply type it in and Office will find it for you.
Aside from new features, Office 2016 allows for better synchronisation between devices. Utilising your Cardiff Met Office 365 account, Office apps list documents you've accessed recently on all devices; computers, tablets and mobiles. For example, if you edit an Agenda document on your computer prior to a meeting, it will be readily accessible on your iPad for use
in the meeting.
Also included in the Windows 10 build is Skype for Business, which gives new options for communicating at Cardiff Met. The corporate version of Skype allows full-scale video conferencing and integrates nicely with SharePoint. Again, mobile working is catered for with apps available for all devices.
A consistent, secure user experience
At present, Cardiff Met laptops require a separate
standalone account for log-in off campus. With Windows 10, this will no longer be the case. This means that any account settings, such as saved passwords, email signatures and programs you've pinned to the start menu, will be available whether you are on campus or off.
In order to secure locally stored documents, Cardiff Met laptops will be encrypted using
Bitlocker technology. This allows the offline-access feature of OneDrive to be used without contravening the Data Protection Act.
The rollout of Windows 10 is an iterative process. We'll begin with the 22 early adopter volunteers, who will be contacted in the next couple of weeks to arrange a date for their machines to be updated. Feedback will be collected, then we'll start with the next batch of machines; student loan laptops, and so on.
If you have any questions or comments about the Windows 10 project, tweet us
@CardiffMetLearn, or drop us an email: