End of Life for Windows Vista plus the Makerere Software Development and Acquisition Policy

Dear staff and Students,

Following from my previous communication on streamlining ICT services within the University, DICTS would like to bring to your attention the Windows operating system lifecycle fact sheet which shows the End of support, End of sales plus service packs and updates for the different versions of Windows operating system.

The Makerere University ICT policy recommends the use of open source software which is freely licensed, however most end-user terminals and systems within the University run proprietary/licensed software especially Windows operating system for most end-user devices. While open source software is highly recommended, it often times requires a lot of customization to meet user requirements and in some instances also presents incompatibility challenges with some proprietary/licensed systems. Therefore, it’s practically impossible to solely rely on open source software for all services.

In 2014, we (DICTS) continuously communicated about the end of life for Windows XP operating system and advised users to upgrade their operating systems to versions that were still supported. Continued use of Windows XP past its end of life meant that “you are basically on your own”
without any support from Windows in the form of security updates/patches thus making your computer highly vulnerable to malware. We hope all users took heed and moved away from Windows XP.

On April 11 2017, Windows Vista customers will no longer receive new security updates, non-security hotfixes, free or paid assisted support options, or online technical content updates from Microsoft. This is therefore to request all Makerere users still using Windows Vista to upgrade to higher versions of Windows operating System.
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/13853/windows-lifecycle-fact-sheet

Please note that Windows Vista being an old operating system, Microsoft does not permit a direct upgrade from Windows Vista to Windows 10. Users will have to first upgrade to Windows 7 and then upgrade again to Windows 10. However it cannot be guaranteed that an upgrade from Vista to Windows 10 will offer satisfactory performance given that most computers running Windows Vista are older machines. In this instance, users may consider installing Ubuntu which has a relatively user friendly interface (please contact unit ICT personnel for support).

In line with the Makerere University “Software Development and Acquisition Policy” (page 20
https://policies.mak.ac.ug/policy/information-and-communication-technology-policy-2016-2020
), users are advised to seek guidance from DICTS before developing or procuring systems that require access to University ICT services. This has been the case for many project-based websites which have been developed without guidance from DICTS. Makerere University websites have a set of guidelines and standards they must meet and this applies to all other systems. It’s therefore highly unlikely that these standards will be met if DICTS is not consulted before systems and/or softwares are developed or procured and this will automatically disqualify the system from accessing university ICT services.

Users should understand that ICT policies are in place to enable DICTS streamline ICT service delivery and also improve our work processes and not to suffocate user systems. Adherence to policies and procedures will improve the management and performance of University ICT services which benefits all users.

Lastly, users should desist from using pirated software as this is illegal. Software procured through the right channels within the University, will always be licensed and so are computers which are procured with pre-installed software/operating systems by the original equipment manufacturer. Users should always seek guidance from DICTS for the right specifications before making any ICT procurements and also refer to the ICT Framework Contracts for specifications.

Kindest Regards, Mugabi Samuel

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End-User Support Manager DICTS