Windows 8

Last Updated: 02/11/2014

Windows 8 Release Information


As is the case with most new operating system releases, there are initially a number of incompatibilities with commonly used applications and this is also the case with Windows 8. The Office of Information Technology (OIT) recommends upgrading only when applications that you commonly use are supported and compatible. Also, a general familiarity with the new Metro interface is strongly encouraged before upgrading to Windows 8.

Windows 8 UI Changes

Windows 8 is a radical change from past versions of Windows operating systems. The most notable change is the new Metro screen, which replaces the traditional start menu.

Metro Interface Notes and Tips:

  • The Start button has been replaced by the new Metro interface which consits of an assortment of applications displayed in tiles.
    • Note: Windows 8.1 has introduced a Start button on the desktop taskbar; however, the functionality is slightly different than that of older operating systems (such as Vista or 7).
  • The traditional Desktop screen is an accessible tile from this new interface, but presents a very different user experience. Depending on software compatibility with the Metro interface, a program may run on either the Desktop or Metro interface.
  • Charms Bar: A small menu that appears when you hover your mouse over the bottom right corner or the upper right of the screen Metro screen. This menu contains five options labeled Search, Share, Start, Devices, and Settings. The Charms bar is essential when navigating between applications within the Metro screen.
  • Search: Users can type directly on the Metro screen to quickly find an application.

Before upgrading, it is recommended to research and become familiar with Windows 8. An  overview video of Windows 8: Learn Windows 8 in 8 minutes.

Compatibility Testing

Testing of Windows 8 conducted by OIT has found incompatibilities with some campus services including PGP Whole Disk Encryption and the Cisco Virtual Private Network (VPN). If your Windows machine is encrypted with PGP Whole Disk Encryption you should not upgrade to Windows 8 as this could result in a loss of data. OIT will continue to test compatibility with campus services and supported software and will report the results in the information below. If you wish to help us test Windows 8, please contact us at to discuss how to share your findings.

Download Instructions

  1. Log into CU Services Microsoft download site with your CULogin name and Identikey password
  2. Click either Win8_Ent_64bit.iso or Win8_Ent_32bit.iso depending on your computer
    • Windows 8.1 Enterprise 32-bit and 64-bit are also available.
  3. The file will download.

Incompatible OIT Software

Software/Service Notes 
Cisco VPN Client Currently, Cisco VPN Client is incompatible with Windows 8.
PGP Symantec has not made an official announcement regarding when they will support PGP on Windows 8, however insiders reports discuss it being available Mid-January 2013.
Microsoft Forefront Client Security (anitvirus) Windows 8 does not support Forefront Client Security, as it is being replaced by System Center Endpoint Protection 2012. Windows 8 will not allow the installation of Forefront; however; System Center Endpoint Protection is available through the MSCA and can be found on the CU Services Microsoft download site.

Compatible - Supported Sotware

  • Microsoft Office 2007 and 2010 (with current service pack and patches)
  • VMware Workstation 9
  • Adobe Reader XI (11)
  • Adobe Acrobat XI (11)
  • Adobe CS5-CS6

For a full list of Adobe compatibility visit Adobe's product operating compatibility page.

Compatible - Not Supported by Manufacturer

  • SSH
  • Bomgar Representative Console
  • Bomgar Remote Session
  • Java (Version 7 Update 9 or greater)
  • Identity Finder
  • iClicker
  • Chrome
  • RSAT ((Windows Server 2008 requires specific software installations in order to be managed by Windows 8 RSAT. See for the packages required to be installed on 2008.)
  • Network Connect VPN
  • Eudora
  • Thunderbird
  • Adobe Acrobat XI (10)
  • Adobe Reader X (10)
  • Singularity (works but not officially supported)
  • iTunes (Not Recommended as may causes the OS to become unstable and crash depending on version)
  • VMware Workstation 8 (Does not have full support for Windows 8 and integration tools)

Web Browser CompatibilityTo check other software for compatibility with Windows 8, please visit Windows Compatibility Center.

Browser Notes 
Firefox Mozilla Firefox currently contains a large amount of bugs, mostly with the Metro application. For more information please visit Mozilla's Firefox/Windows 8 Integration page.
Chrome Chrome version 22 is compatible with Windows 8.
Internet Explorer

There are two version of IE 10, Metro and standard:

  1. Metro Version (Does not allow for installation of plug-ins including Java, will not work with most CU services) Only Vendor (Microsoft verified plug-ins) will be allowed in the Metro IE.
  2. Desktop Version (Many incompatibilities with services have been seen, the recommendation is not to use IE 10 until all services are supported by the vendors, these include but are not limited to
    1. D2L (Desire 2 Learn)
    2. MyCuInfo and underlying portals
    3. CULink
    4. Exchangeweb
    5. (Not compatible with Juniper plug-ins)

Though many of these sites did not see any issues, as with all browser upgrades incompatibility can occur.

We'll post more information about the compatibility of our services as we learn about it.