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Higher Ed Organizations Go Public with Windows 8 Deployments

Four higher education institutions have recently gone public with their adoption of Microsoft's Windows 8.

In an effort to complement its bring-your-own-device (BYOD) program, Florida's Barry University will install the operating system on all of its 2,815 desktop and laptop computers. The move is designed to improve productivity, collaboration, and access to resources for 8,700 students and more than 1,200 full-time employees at the university, as Windows 8 will be integrated with the school's current Office 365 for Education deployment.

"We are moving to Windows 8 to give our students the opportunity to work on real-world projects with technology they will eventually see in the workplace, experiences they won't get on other specialty devices," said Barry's Chief Information Officer Yvette Brown, in a prepared statement. "I think Windows 8 will be easier for those who are not as tech-savvy because of the intuitive user interface with touch capabilities. I love the fact that I can actually get real work done on my Windows 8 tablet."

Pace University in New York has already installed Windows 8 throughout its labs amidst a rapid classroom technology build-out. The school is currently testing and piloting various projects en route installation of the platform on approximately 10,000 desktops and devices.

In Maine, Thomas College has installed the OS on all desktops and laptops and entered a Microsoft Campus Agreement with the company, which allows students to download Windows 8 and Office 2013 for free. As part of the agreement, faculty and staff can also download Windows 8 for a reduced cost of $14, and Windows and Mac versions of Office 2013 for $14 and $28, respectively.

The Apollo Group, which owns several for-profit higher education and online learning institutions across the United States, is testing Windows 8 in its product support and validation lab and providing the OS "as a virtual desktop via Hyper-V to application developers and student support teams for testing student-facing applications," according to a Microsoft release. The company, with approximately 324,000 students and 25,500 employees, is working on a standard desktop image with Office 2013 to be rolled out soon.

Microsoft is holding 700 Windows in the Classroom seminars in the U.S. this school year. To register for a seminar, visit mie.ncce.org.

More information about Windows 8 is available at windows.microsoft.com.

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is the multimedia editor for Campus Technology and THE Journal. He can be reached at jbolkan@1105media.com.

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