Information Technology

Software - Windows 8

Windows 8 Enterprise at UMass Boston

The UMass Boston IT Department is supporting Windows 8 and 8.1 for university owned computers but we are not yet actively deploying it. Faculty and staff can request a copy of this software by emailing The cost is $15 per disc. Please specify whether you want the 32-bit or 64-bit version.

What is Windows 8?

Microsoft officially released its latest operating system, Windows 8, on Friday, October 26, 2012. Windows 8 is a version of the Windows operating system for use on personal computers, including home and business desktops, laptops, tablets, and home theater PCs.

While Windows 8 provides some new functionality and improved performance but also has a significantly different user interface, anyone choosing to upgrade will need to learn a different way of navigating Windows. To ease the transition from Windows 7 to 8, IT will offer end user training to the community in the near future.  Furthermore, IT has been officially supporting Windows 8 since July 2013; however we have not installed Windows 8 on new or old computers yet, pending to the end user training. However, if the computer comes with Windows 8, IT will support it.

Microsoft released Windows 8.1 in October 2013. This release provides a variety of fixes, including the return of the Start Menu button located at the lower left hand corner of the screen, which most users are used to since its debut in Windows 95.

Please also be aware Microsoft stopped supporting Windows XP in April 2014; therefore IT has been migrating all Windows XP computers to Windows 7 or 8 (if requested).

Software Compatibility

Moving the university community and university systems to the Windows 8 platform will require planning and software testing. In September 2013, we determined that the following software is compatible to Windows 8.

UMass Boston Licensed Software Windows 8 compatibility chart (as of September 2013)

Microsoft Software Compatible with Windows 8
Office 2010 Suites YES
Office 2007 Professional YES
Office 2003 Professional NO
Office 2000 Professional NO
Office XP 2002 Professional NO
Front Page 2003 NO
Visio 2010 YES
Visio 2007 YES
Visio 2003 NO
Adobe Software Compatible with Windows 8
Adobe Acrobat Pro X YES
Adobe Acrobat Pro 9 YES
Adobe Acrobat Standard 9 YES
Adobe CS5 Design Standard/Premium YES
Adobe CS4 Design Standard/Premium YES
Illustrator CS3-CS6 YES
Illustrator CS2 NO
Indesign CS3-CS6 YES
Indesign CS2 NO
Photoshop CS4-CS6 YES
Photoshop CS2 NO
Adobe Flash Player 9-10 YES
Adobe Reader 9- 10 YES
Antivirus Software Compatible with Windows 8
McAfee 8.7 NO
McAfee 8.8 (must have patch 3 or above) YES
Statistical Software Compatible with Windows 8
SPSS V.19-20 YES
Administrative Software Compatible with Windows 8
Resources 25 YES
COMPUTRACE (Laptop only) YES
Alert US YES

Hardware Requirements:

Before installing a fresh Windows 8 operating system or upgrading your old one to Windows 8, you should know the minimum hardware requirements.

Version of Windows 8 and upgrading compatibility:

Windows 8 comes in four editions (namely, Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro, Windows Enterprise, and Windows RT), and it is possible to upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 8 with the user’s data intact. See this link for version details and upgrading compatibility. For all university-owned desktop and laptop computers; we will install the Enterprise version.

IT has tested the upgrading compatibility for the following versions of operating systems:

Old Operating System New Operating System Can it be upgraded?
Windows 7 Enterprise 32 bit Windows 8 Enterprise 32 bit YES
Windows 7 Enterprise 32 bit Windows 8 Enterprise 64 bit NO
Windows 7 Enterprise 64 bit Windows 8 Enterprise 64 bit YES

Dell Computers that are Windows 8 ready (partial list):

If you have one of the Dell models that IT currently supports, this computer is Windows 8 ready:



For any other models not listed; please contact the IT Service Desk at 617.287.5220 or