Systems up or down


Standard Operating Environment (SOE)

The University's Standard Operating Environment (SOE) is a recommended and supported set of standard application software for use on all desktop and notebook computers used for core teaching and learning, research and administrative functions.

Key components can be found on the Standard Operating Environment (SOE) page. To request specific software that is not part of the SOE refer to Purchasing and Licensing page.

You can find excellent online training materials through Microsoft at their Office 365 Training Center or through LinkedIn Learning.

New desktop computers and notebooks purchased from a Designated PC Supplier will normally have the UniSA Standard Operating Environment (SOE) loaded by the supplier.  This will include the current "Recommended" version of Windows and Office Suite. The SOE can also be loaded onto University owned computer systems.

There is no cost or license application forms required for the use of the UniSA Standard Operating Environment (SOE) providing the desktop or notebook computer system is purchased through ISTS to ensure that it has a qualifying desktop operating system license (this would typically be a Microsoft Windows OEM operating system).

Software loaded in addition to the SOE must be appropriately licensed. Staff should consult with the IT Help Desk for specialised software requirements.


11 Enterprise Recommended
10 Enterprise Supported
8 Enterprise and below Unsupported


10.12.6 and above Supported
10.11.x and below Unsupported

Office Suite:

365 Recommended
2019 Supported
2016 Supported
2013 and below Unsupported

There are many risks to running unsupported operating systems. A few risks that can easily be identified are as follows:

  • Your machine will be vulnerable to viruses, malware and remote attacks
  • Newer applications won't run or will have difficulty running on unsupported Operating Systems
  • Application vendors probably won't support their products if installed on unsupported hardware/Operating Systems
  • Denied access to the UniSA network via LAN
  • Denied access to Office Printers
  • Denied access to shared/team drives

Some advantages of using UniSA SOE:

  • Easier to support - assists with standardisation and streamlining support processes
  • New features and embedded applications
  • Easier to work between devices

NOTE: This page will be updated regularly and content may change.

Windows is a service, which means it gets better through periodic software updates. Major updates provide improvements to functionality and importantly security.

The great news is you don’t have to do anything. As automatic updates are enabled on UniSA computers, new updates will automatically download and prompt customers to install when they are available, so you don’t have to think about it.

When the update has completed, you will be notified to reboot the device via a pop-up message. Once this pop-up has appeared, you will have 7 days to reboot the device.

While this is a major update it’s the same as the current regular windows updates you are used to seeing every month.

When & What?

Major updates for Windows will be incrementally released throughout the year to those computers identified as requiring it. 

The updates take place in the background and may require a longer reboot once completed. The updates will apply both on and off campus provided you have an Internet connection.

NOTE: This page will be updated regularly and content may change.

UniSA will be releasing a new Windows 11 Standard Operating Environment (SOE) on all new staff devices from June 2023.  Windows 11 is a Microsoft Operating System (OS) released in October 2021.  While it has similarities to Windows 10, there are some changes, you may notice a new look and feel such as the new design of the Start menu.   Most common software will still work with Windows 11.

Windows 11 includes many security features and enhancements compared to Windows 10, which help to protect UniSA computers from unauthorised access, malware, and other potential threats. Updating the Standard Operating Environment (SOE) to Windows 11 is important and will enable the University to better protect its people, devices, and data from cyber-attacks.

For further information and tips on using Windows 11 please refer to the Windows 11 AskIT page

Further Assistance

If you require further information or assistance, please contact the IT Help Desk on (08) 830 25000 or 1300 558 654.