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Microsoft Office for Windows

Posted: October 15, 2015

"I like what I have and I’m keeping it!" or "Out with the old and in with the new!" – the choice is yours. Microsoft Office 2010 and 2013 are available to you for use on your Penn State owned computer – the version you choose to use is up to you!

Most people in the College of Ag Sciences are using Microsoft Office 2010, which is a fine, stable and valuable suite of applications.  Penn State’s licensing agreement with Microsoft gives you the option to use Office 2013 with the click of the mouse and then patiently waiting for it to download.

Microsoft Office 2013 has been available for Penn State owned computers for some time, but the release generated little fanfare, interest or celebration.  While it is a feature-rich product, few people found enough improvement or new features to compel them to upgrade from the Office 2010 environment that performs well and is familiar.

In early November we will begin installing Office 2013 by default on all newly purchased computers and those that need to be reimaged.  It is not necessary for offices or colleagues to upgrade together – files can be opened and edited almost seamlessly between the two versions.

If you would like to have, or need to have, Office 2013 installed on your computer, look for the small blue ‘b’ icon at the bottom right of your taskbar.  Click the icon and the IBM Endpoint Manager Support Center will open.  When the console opens you can review your power footprint – the amount of power that your computer uses based upon your current settings.  At the next screen you will be able to review other power setting options to balance your energy conservation interests and your computer behavior.

Across the top of the IBM Endpoint Manager Support Center window, click on the Offers tab.  Click on the task titled Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2013 and then click the option on the top right of the window to Accept.  You may also review the Power Profile Options presented.  Clicking on an option will show you how your settings will be configured if you choose the option, and the accept button is how you implement your changes.

You may already know that Office 2016 for Windows has recently become available.  We are aware that this version of MS Office does have some compatibility issues in our college's environment - especially with Outlook and email.  We encourage you not to install Office 2016 at this time unless there is a compelling issue for you that makes 2016 your best option.  If that describes your situation, please contact your IT Consultant for help and/or advice.  When we determine that 2016 has full functionality in the college it will then become an offer for you under the "b" icon as described above.

If you or your colleagues use Macs you may also know that Office 2016 for Mac has been released.  For reasons of compatibility - especially for Outlook and email issues - we are also recommending against upgrading Office for Mac to 2016 at this time.

Feel free to contact your AgIT Consultant if you have any questions on the advantages or disadvantages of the upgrade, and contact the AgIT helpdesk with any installation troubles.