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Windows 7 at Stanford

University IT Recommendation

Windows 7 is fully compatible with Stanford's core applications and administrative systems.

Users and departments still using Windows 7 should ensure that they are deploying Windows 7 Enterprise or Ultimate editions as required by University policy to protect data on the system, using BitLocker for whole disk encryption.


Microsoft released Windows 7 to general distribution on October 22, 2009. The new operating system offers reduced boot time, better overall performance, and increased and security.

Windows 7 is available in four versions:

  • Home Premium
  • Professional
  • Enterprise
  • Ultimate

The versions are differentiated by the features they provide. Home Premium marketed to the home user, Professional and Enterprise are marketed to the business user, and the Ultimate version includes every available feature in Windows 7.

Due to security concerns and incompatibility with our campus computing infrastructure, University IT will support Windows 7 Enterprise and Ultimate (without supporting Windows Media Center for home use), since they meet the University requirement for support of BitLocker whole disk encryption.

Note on 64-bit versions of Windows 7: Most applications and services commonly used at Stanford will run under 64-bit versions of Windows 7. 

System requirements

The minimum computer hardware requirements for running Windows 7, as recommended by Microsoft, are:

  • 1 GHz or faster 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor
  • 1 GB RAM (32-bit) or 2GB RAM (64-bit)
  • 16 GB available disk space (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)
  • DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver

There may be additional requirements to use certain features. See Microsoft's Windows 7 System Requirements page for the official list of system requirements.

To help you determine whether your computer can run Windows 7, Microsoft has created the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor. This utility analyzes your system and identifies possible compatibility problems with your hardware and software.

Note: You cannot do an in-place upgrade directly from Windows XP to Windows 7. Contact your local IT support person for assistance.

Obtaining Windows 7

Windows 7 Enterprise is available for Stanford-owned computers through Stanford's campus agreement with Microsoft.  Check with your desktop support staff for more information.

Those who wish to purchase a copy for personal use only can do so at the Stanford Bookstore

Software compatibility

Essential Stanford Software

Most Essential Stanford Software (ESS) applications work with Windows 7. The following list provides additional information about some of the ESS applications.

Administrative Systems applications (e.g., Oracle Financials, PeopleSoft/Axess)

Internet Explorer 8 and later will run on Windows 7.  Please see Browser Recommendations for Administrative Applications to verify the applications you need are compatible with IE 8 before moving to Windows 7.

Other applications

  • Cisco VPN Client: Cisco released version of their VPN client to offer official Windows 7 compatibility. It is available at
  • SSL VPN Client: An update is expected soon from Juniper Networks that will provide support for both Windows 7 and Mac OS X 10.6. University IT hopes to have the update tested and deployed during the Winter of 2010.
  • OpenAFS for Windows: OpenAFS for Windows is compatible with Windows 7.
  • SWDE: Compatible with Windows 7.  See the Stanford Whole Disk Encryption web site.
  • Microsoft Office 2007: Compatible with Windows 7; a new version of Microsoft Office is expected to be released next year.


Last modified February 9, 2016