Friday, March 4, 2011

Campus-Wide Microsoft OS License

Here’s another small but important step forward on the IT side of things: as of March 1, we now have a campus-wide Microsoft license in place for University-owned PCs running Windows OS as well as Enterprise Client Access Licenses.

This means all University-owned computers can be upgraded to the latest version of operating system (currently Windows 7 Enterprise). The license covers all faculty and staff, but not students or professors emeriti. Also, by the end of March, a process will be in place for faculty and staff to install a work-at-home copy of Windows 7 Ultimate.

This agreement with Microsoft is an easy and efficient way for the University to ensure full compliance with Microsoft’s licensing terms while also providing a number of other benefits, such as:
  • Reduced costs to faculties and departments;
  • Better standardization of IT systems across campus;
  • IT staff no longer have to track purchases and installations for the products covered by the agreement.
Existing contracts with Microsoft will run to completion and be continued  (in some cases, supplemented) by the new agreement.

For more information and frequently asked questions please go to our Product Sales page. Information on the business case for the agreement can be found here.

posted by
Jonathan Schaeffer, PhD
Vice Provost and Associate VP (IT)


  1. I am on my way back from Munich. If the UofA is short-strapped for cash then maybe we could learn something from LiMux ( The City of Munich seems to be doing financially just fine yet they decided to gradually switch to free software from you can guess what. Amsterdam, Vienna and Zaragoza saw the light too. Could we?

  2. Jonathan SchaefferMarch 14, 2011 at 4:26 PM

    The University of Alberta is making its first major foray into the use of free (Google) and open-source (Moodle) solutions. However, the campus has a limited appetite for change -- we need to show that Google/Moodle are a success before we can introduce new related initiatives. In some areas (like Microsoft) we aren't going to easily be able to move people away from what's working for them. Many people at the U of A like and use Microsoft products. Now we have an agreement that saves money and adds value.

  3. Jonathan,

    i) Google is not a charity and does not give away freebies even if they give you such impression.

    (ii) I have been told to use Moodle as a replacement for something that worked well anyway (web pages+mail+newsgroup).

    (iii) OpenOffice seems as good as Microsoft stuff and costs substantially less.

    (iv) People on campus use Microsoft not necessarily because they like it.

    (v) If you think that something both saves money and adds value then most likely someone made you buy something.

    Aside: results of similarly triumphalist attitude are best seen in the current UofA finances.


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