March 2001


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Geoffrey Duke <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Departmental Technology Coordinators <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 1 Mar 2001 10:10:34 -0500
TEXT/PLAIN (149 lines)
Announcement: IT Network Standards Group inquiry into phasing out support
for obsolete versions of Windows and MacOS.

Dear Colleagues,

The IT Network Standards Group and Computing and Information Technology
(CIT) request your comments on plans to discontinue support for obsolete
versions of the Macintosh and Windows operating systems.

Proposal Summary


 o Support for DOS, Windows 3.1, Windows 3.11 ends effective
   June 30, 2001

 o Support for Macintosh System 7 and earlier ends effective
   December 31, 2001

 o Support for Windows 95 ends effective June 30, 2002


 o Resources from the vendors related to these operating systems are no
   longer readily available.

 o Cost to UVM of providing support has increased.

 o Several newer versions of the operating systems have been released
   by the vendors, for which we have added support.

 o Consulting services are available to help plan migration to current,
   supported operating systems.

 o Need-based funding is available through the CAP program to help units
   offset the cost of replacing legacy hardware and software.

A detailed rationale is included below. Dean Williams will be coordinating
the standards process related to this proposal.

We hope you will take a few moments to share your thoughts regarding this
proposal. Your comments don't need to be lengthy, but please share any
experiences or ideas that you think will help us in this process.

To respond, reply to this message and check the To: field. If it isn't
<[log in to unmask]>, please change it so your response goes to
Standards Group's forum.

Thank you for your time and helpful feedback. Communications about this
Standards Inquiry are conducted on the open it-standards listserv, with
archives at <>.

For the IT Network Standards Group,


Geoffrey Duke, Computing Analyst II
Computing & Information Technology
Coordinator, IT Network Standards Group

Distributed to: [log in to unmask], [log in to unmask],
                [log in to unmask], [log in to unmask]


From: Dean Williams <[log in to unmask]>

Proposal to phase out support for obsolete versions of Windows and MacOS

Computing and Information Technology (CIT) and the University
Information Technology Standards Committee request your comments on
plans to discontinue support for obsolete versions of the Macintosh
and Windows operating systems.

Computing and Information Technology strives to provide UVM
affiliates with quality, comprehensive computing support. Toward that
end, CIT develops expertise in a broad range of software and hardware
products, and makes recommendations for those products that will best
meet UVM computing users' needs. CIT continually adds new products,
particularly software, to their repertoire, and from time to time,
they must drop old ones. CIT discontinues support only when there is
a better alternative, when a developer or manufacturer withdraws
support, when use falls to near zero, when there are irresolvable
incompatibilities with other products, or when product quality slips
to the extent that support is no longer practical.

Support for Microsoft Windows 3.1 and 3.11, and DOS

CIT no longer has the capability to provide technical support for use of
Microsoft Windows 3.1 and 3.11, nor for MS-DOS. Microsoft replaced these
operating systems over five years ago, and no longer provides the
technical resources that UVM IT experts need when there are problems they
can't resolve. Campus use has already dropped to near zero, and CIT no
longer possesses the equipment or technical expertise to provide effective
support.  For those reasons, CIT will discontinue technical support for
DOS and Windows 3.1 and 3.11 after June 30, 2001.

Support for Microsoft Windows 95

Introduced nearly six years ago, Windows 95 was replaced by two releases
of Windows 98, and, more recently, by Windows ME.  Microsoft will replace
Windows ME in 2001.  Microsoft support for Windows 95 is diminishing, and
Microsoft has moved to fee-based support, as of September 14, 2000. Like
Windows 3.x, CIT doesn't have Windows 95 computers available to maintain
their skills and research solutions to problems. For those reasons, CIT
will discontinue technical support for Windows 95 after June 30, 2002.

Support for Macintosh System 7

Introduced a decade ago, Macintosh System 7 was replaced in 1997 with
MacOS 8 and, last year, MacOS 9. While the Macintosh operating system
has aged with remarkable grace, it's no longer practical to maintain
the hardware and skills necessary to support use of System 7. CIT
will not be able to help with use of System 7 after December 31, 2001.


While no one will be prevented from using the discontinued software,
CIT and the Standards Committee recommend that departments and
individuals replace computers using Windows 3.x, Windows 95, and
Macintosh System 7 as soon as it is feasible.

It is generally not advised to upgrade existing computers to newer
operating systems; instead, CIT and the Standards Committee recommend
that departments and individuals replace aging hardware with new
computers. Computers purchased through UVM's nonprofit Microcomputer
Services Depot come with the latest versions of operating system,
network, and antivirus software.

For departments with limited budgets, the best option will be to
apply for subsidies under the Computer Advance Program (CAP). The FY
2001 CAP program provided $750 per computer, with funding available
for 100 computers. Departmental costs for a new computer and software
were in the neighborhood of $650.

Help Making the Transition

Many users of the discontinued software have experienced little
difficulty switching to newer, supported versions. However, CIT
consultation is available to help with planning and carrying out
transitions. The Help Line, 656-2604 or <[log in to unmask]>, is the
place to start. University Training and Development, on the Web at, offers introductory Windows classes
throughout the year.

Thank you for your understanding concerning these changes. Your
questions and comments are welcome at <[log in to unmask]>.