Standard Operating Environment

In order to improve your computing experience, ITDS introduced a standard operating environment (SOE) for installation on most University computers. The current SOE is based on Windows 7 (64 bit) and Office 2010.

Benefits of the SOE include:

  • Single login/password for many systems
  • Documents accessible at any standard networked computer across the University
  • Units/schools able to use shared network folders to share documents across campuses
  • Improved network security
  • Full support from ITDS
  • Remote assistance by IT support, if required
  • Packaged software able to be delivered automatically across our network
  • Ability to print to any network printer at any campus
  • Calendar sharing

When a new SOE is introduced, the older SOE is no longer supplied with new computers. Support for older SOEs persists until the last computers supplied with the SOE reach the end of their lease. 

Environment details


  • Operating System - Microsoft Windows 7 (64 bit)
  • Office suite - Microsoft Office 2010

Previous (expires 2015):

  • Operating System - Microsoft Windows Vista
  • Office suite - Microsoft Office 2007

For all SOEs:

  • System login credentials - your WesternAccount
  • Email - staff email is stored on a Microsoft Exchange system and accessed with Outlook on campus, or Outlook Web App (OWA) off campus. OWA's web address is
    Email is accessed using your WesternAccount credentials.
  • Antivirus and personal firewall software is provided.
  • Most other commonly used software is packaged and delivered across the internal network for installation, which allows users to self install packaged software without assistance from support.
  • Staff are able to access their files from any University networked standard computers.
  • After internal testing, relevant service packs and patches are automatically installed on standard machines.