Windows 8 released

General

Released on October 26, 2012, Windows 8 is the latest release of the Microsoft operating system. A pre-release version of Windows 8 was tested for compatibility with typical university applications in order to verify that UVic is ready for Windows 8's release.

The most significant problems facing UVic users who wish to use Windows 8 is compatibility with PGP Whole Disk Encryption and Symatec Endpoint Protection.  Neither are compatible with Windows 8 and do not plan to relase updated versions of the products until after Windows 8 is released.  For further details, please see the UVic applications section below.

University Systems does not recommend upgrading to Windows 8 at this time due to the issues facing PC users who require whole disk encryption and Symantec Endpoint Protection.

Web browsers

Internet Explorer 10

The latest version of Internet Explorer does not have issues rendering and interacting with the UVic websites tested. My page, Webmail, Outlook Web Access, Moodle, FAST, and Banner all work as expected. Sign on to UVic works across uvic.ca and web.uvic.ca without issue. When accessing a website that requires Java for the first time (such as Banner), you will not be prompted to download and install the recommended Java plugin. After installing the latest version of Java, Internet Explorer will warn that the application (Banner) wants to use an older version of Java, but still requires Java 7 to be run.

Internet Explorer 10 also has compatibility issues with Windows SharePoint Services. We have received reports that some administrative SharePoint functions such as managing user groups and modifying web parts do not work correctly in Internet Explorer 10. University Systems strongly recommends that anyone who requires Banner or SharePoint does not use Internet Explorer 10.

Mozilla Firefox

Firefox has no issues and performs typically with Windows 8. Version 16.0.1 installs normally and exhibits no abnormal behaviour.

Productivity applications

Microsoft Office 2010

Microsoft Office 2010 does not appear to have any compatibility issues with Windows 8. Documentation for configuring Outlook 2010 for use with UVic’s Microsoft Exchange Email and Calendaring system is available here.

Windows Mail

Please note that the following is provided for informational purposes only. University Systems does not support the use of Windows Mail with the Microsoft Exchange Email and Calendaring system at UVic.

Windows Mail has been completely overhauled in Windows 8. Microsoft now requires the user to log in to a Windows Live mail account before they can configure additional accounts. Once a Windows Live account has been configured, Exchange can be set up through Windows Mail using ActiveSync, and will need to be compliant with any UVic ActiveSync policies.

Networking and printing

Wireless

Wireless connectivity with the UVic, UVicOpen and eduroam wireless networks was without issue. When connecting to UVic and eduroam a prompt opened asking for a username and password. Entering netlinkid@uvic.ca and an associated password worked as expected without requiring any certificate configuration.  Instructions to configure UVic wireless networks are available here.

Network storage

University storage resources work as expected with netdrive.uvic.ca shares setup being identical to previous versions of Windows.

Printing

Printing configuration has not changed over the previous release of Windows. 

UVic applications

PGP Whole Disk Encryption

Symantec has not yet released a version of PGP Whole Disk Encryption that is compatible with Windows 8.

University Systems strongly recommends that anyone who requires PGP Whole Disk Encryption as part of their data protection strategy does not upgrade to Windows 8 at this time.  Symantec is working on a new release of PGP Whole Disk Encryption that supports Windows 8, but will not be released until January 2013 at the earliest.

Symantec Endpoint Protection

Symantec has not yet released a version of Endpoint Protection that is compatible with Windows 8. 

University Systems strongly recommends that anyone who requires Symantec Endpoint Protection does not upgrade to Windows 8 at this time.  Symantec is working on a new release of Symantec Endpoint Protection that supports Windows 8, aiming to be released shortly after Windows 8 comes out.

Tivoli Storage Manager

IBM has not yet released a version of Tivoli Storage Manager that is compatible with Windows 8. 

University Systems strongly recommends that anyone who requires TSM does not upgrade to Windows 8 at this time.  IBM is working on a new release of TSM that supports Windows 8, aiming to be released mid November.

VPN client

UVic uses a Cisco Systems virtual private network for securing remote connections to the university's network. The Cisco AnyConnect VPN client version 2.5.6005 may have an install issue using the instructions available here. If you follow the aformentioned instructions and have trouble with the Cisco AnyConnect client working, please contact the Computer Help Desk for a quick fix.

A test of connection stability was satisfactory.

Windows Live, SkyDrive and the cloud

Windows 8 introduces integration with cloud based features that have not been present in previous versions of Windows. Users will be prompted to log in with a Microsoft account or to link their local user account to a Microsoft account to sync files, preferences and more between multiple devices running Windows 8 and Windows RT. The syncronization is mostly implemented using SkyDrive, but can also sync to different web based applications such as Facebook, Flickr, etc.

Before using any SkyDrive or cloud based features, University Systems recommends that you review the internet storage section of the secure your data page.  This section outlines relevant UVic policies and provincial legislation surrounding privacy and the use of cloud services.

University Systems recommends that faculty and staff refrain from using SkyDrive to store any university data as the privacy of this data can not be guaranteed.

Questions about Windows 8?

If you have any questions about Windows 8, please contact the Computer Help Desk for additional information.