The migration for all computers on Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s network from Microsoft’s Windows 7 to Windows 10 began this week — a process expected to be completed by the end of November.
The inception of rapid deployment of Windows 10 across the entire Department of Defense dates back to early 2016. The U.S. Cyber Command sent out a task order for all installations to have the computers on their respective networks complete the transition to Windows 10 by January 31, 2018.
The JBLM Network Enterprise Center has already been testing computers equipped with Windows 10 in an early adopters test group. The process to completely migrate all computers is expected to take some time, with approximately 13,000 machines on JBLM’s network.
Peter Paul, JBLM NEC desktop support and service branch chief, said the intent is to be at least 95 percent migrated to Windows 10 by the end of November. That would leave about 5 percent or less, consisting of machines that are hard to get to or the ones that have problems.
“We would like to do 500 machines (or more) per week to get us within that time frame,” Paul said.
The big push in migration is scheduled to begin June 12 with NEC no longer supporting new or re-imaging efforts for Windows 7. People will have plenty of time to plan around their computer’s scheduled migration, according to Paul.
“One way they’ll know is that the background on their machine will change about a week prior to the migration, telling them their machine is going to be migrated, giving them information about when their machine will be migrated,” Paul said.
Additionally, the Information Management Office for units and organizations on the JBLM network will likely inform people about their scheduled migration before the background message appears.
Windows 10 was first released in 2014, but JBLM NEC staff wanted to ensure the program’s capability on JBLM before beginning the migration. Paul said Windows 10 does have a lot of familiar features, but it will be more user-friendly than Windows 7.
For example, a user can simply click on the start button and be able to use the search feature to quickly find programs.
“Windows 10 is currently considered the standard operating system for Microsoft,” Paul said. “It will enhance security at both the computer level and the network level.”
The importance of a strong cybersecurity posture across the Army has taken renewed importance since the ransomware, WannaCry, quickly spread across the globe recently, infecting approximately 200,000 civilian and corporate computers in 150 countries globally. Although JBLM NEC and U.S. Army Cyber Command has been focused on Windows 10 migration for a while now, the migration is part of an ongoing effort in DOD cyber security.
“We are always aggressively patching our computers to stay ahead of threats like WannaCry and many others,” Paul said.
Informational meetings are set for June 6, 8 and 12 from 1 to 3 p.m. at Stone Education Center on Lewis Main. Additional information will be provided online at tinyurl.com/lwueofn.
The site will also provide a recording of one of the informational meetings for those can’t attend. JBLM NEC staff said it is important for people working at JBLM to learn about Windows 10 by attending a meeting or going to the informational site.
“Windows 10 and Windows 7 look completely different, and (the public) really needs to do the training,” said John Harman, a JBLM NEC system center configuration manager. “That will help reduce the number of help calls.”