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Desktop and Software Standards

In accordance with University policies, the following recommended standards for desktop and laptop computers and software apply to all colleges, departments, and offices of Boise State University to promote the sharing of information throughout the institution.

Fully Supported Hardware and Software

Refers to desktops and applications that are supported by staff knowledgeable with the hardware or software.  Documentation is available, training may be offered, and consultation may be arranged.

Partially Supported Hardware and Software

Refers to functioning desktops and applications that may have compatibility issues with University systems, or may be beyond the product’s stated life cycle and warranty. We will work to support these desktops and applications but associated costs will be at the expense of the department.

Fully Supported Software

Fully Supported Software
Current Fully Supported SoftwareWindows 7, 8.1 & 10Apple macOS 10.10 & Above
Office Productivity SuiteMicrosoft Office 2013 & 2016Microsoft Office 2011 & 2016
E-MailG Suite for EducationG Suite for Education
CalendaringG Suite for EducationG Suite for Education
Web BrowserMicrosoft Internet Explorer
Microsoft Edge
Mozilla Firefox
Google Chrome
Mozilla Firefox
Google Chrome
Anti-VirusSymantec Endpoint ProtectionSymantec Endpoint Protection

Software is fully supported only if is compatible with University administrative systems, and if the current version is within the manufacturer’s supported product life cycle.

Desktop Standards

Windows 7 and 8.1 Enterprise are currently supported Microsoft operating systems.

Apple OS X 10.8 and above are the only supported operating systems on Apple Macintosh computers. Apple regularly releases several upgrades for OS X which address many stability and performance issues. Technical support staff may recommend upgrading to the current version, which may involve a license fee, as a first step to resolving known issues with earlier releases of OS X.

An Apple or Windows-based computer will be fully supported for 3 years after the purchase date.  Starting in the fourth year of service, the computer will be partially supported.

Machine Standards

Machines used for administrative purposes must be able to operate within the University’s network and run administrative systems using supported software.

Machines used for academic purposes must be able to operate within the University’s network.

Computers purchased for all purposes should be enterprise models offered by contracted vendors. Desktops and laptops manufactured primarily for “home” or “small business” use may appear to cost less at first glance, but support, repair and upgrade costs may prove more substantial over the lifetime of the computer.

Mobile Computing Devices

Smartphones and tablets can be an appropriate choice for the on-the-go faculty member, administration and/or professional employee.  Mobile devices allow individuals to stay in contact with the office, organize daily tasks, and carry important information (such as contacts or documents) electronically.

The Office of Information Technology supports Google-supported solutions allowing real-time connectivity and synchronization between iPhone, Android, and other select mobile handheld devices with Google for Education calendar, e-mail and contacts data.

Preferred Vendors

Boise State University is required by the State of Idaho to order computers from contracted vendors. See the OIT’s Computer Order site for a complete list of preferred and contracted vendors.

Minimum Recommended Windows Hardware

  • 3rd generation Intel i5 or better processor
  • 8 GB of memory
  • 512 GB HDD or SSD

Minimum Recommended Mac Hardware

  • 3rd generation Intel i5 or better processor
  • 8 GB of memory
  • 512 GB HDD or SSD

Need Assistance?

For further assistance, please contact the OIT Help Desk by phone at 426-4357, via e-mail at, or online at Help Desk Self Service.