What is Software Center?
Software Center (also known as SCCM) is Winona State University's (WSU) Windows application management framework. SCCM stands for System Center Configuration Manager. Only WSU computers will see WSU's Software Center application. This applies to both Windows desktops, laptops, and any other Windows devices that WSU distributes to users.
What Should I Expect to See?
When Software Center has new software available, a standard notification may appear in the system tray at the lower-right of the screen.
Occasionally, not often, WSU will have to use Software Center to push updates that are time-sensitive, security-related, or that address other known problems. When or if these situations occur, the message notification may be more persistent.
How do I use Software Center?
To find Software Center on your WSU Windows computer, simply click your Start Menu at the lower-left of the screen and begin typing the words Software Center. Once you have it typed out, you should see something like this. Just click on it to begin.
How is Software Center Used?
Software Center offers self-service software installs, and can deliver important updates directly to your WSU computer. All students, staff, and faculty members can use this tool by searching for Software Center in their Windows 10 start menu (lower-left hand corner) or by interacting with the Software Center icon in the system tray (lower-right hand corner).
Certain licensed software that was previous made available via Control Panel is now available from Software Center. This includes software from Adobe, JMP, SPSS, Microsoft, and more. Simply click the icon then click install to get what you need, when you need it.
Windows 10 Major Version Upgrades
It is sometimes necessary to upgrade Windows 10 to the next major revision (sometimes referred to as "feature updates" or "named updates") in order to provide the best performance, security, and application compatibility.
- These updates are typically more time consuming and take more reboots than standard monthly Windows Updates.
- Depending on the nature of the update, other components of the computer may be upgraded at this time (BIOS, installed software, etc.)
BIOS updates modify and upgrade the firmware of the computer. Firmware is the layer that exists between the computer's hardware and software. Hardware --> Firmware --> Software. Keeping BIOS and firmware versions up to date ensures optimal security, health, and performance for all computers, not just Windows PCs.
For WSU's Windows computers, BIOS updates may be available via Software Center.
To install apps via Software Center, follow these steps.
- Open your Start Menu at the lower left of your screen.
- Type “Software Center” then click on Software Center when it appears.
- Click Applications at the top left of the Software Center window.
- From here, click the icon of the app you want to install.
- Once you hit install, the application will begin downloading then will install silently.
- Please be patient during this process!
- Application installs may take anywhere from 2-20 minutes, depending on the speed of your network and the size of the app you are downloading.
To see if a BIOS update is available, open Software Center and the select the Applications tab.
Estimated time to completion: 15-20 minutes. Your computer may reboot several times during the process. The screenshots below were taken from an HP computer, but the process for Dell computers is nearly identical.
If a BIOS update is available, ensure the following prior to installing it:
- The power adapter remains plugged in during the entire process.
- All applications and software are closed.
- All documents are saved and closed.
- The computer can remain undisturbed for 15-20 minutes.
After installing the update, the machine will restart and display the BIOS update screen. It is not necessary to interact with the computer at this point.
The BIOS update will cause the computer to reboot several times. The computer fan may get loud, the computer may emit an audible beep, and several different screens may display during the update.
NOTE: Interrupting this process may cause permanent damage to the computer and may result in a loss of data!
Once the BIOS update is complete, the standard Windows login screen appears. At this point, users can log in and use the computer as usual.
Following a BIOS update, there should be no noticeable change to the computer. It's all under the hood!