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Durham University

Computing and Information Services

Microsoft Windows (Managed Desktop)


CIS’s Windows-based desktop service is called Managed Desktop.

There are four main core builds of Managed Desktop. All derivatives of Managed Desktop are fully supported by CIS and provide users with the following core features and benefits:

  • 64-bit Windows 10.
  • Fully compatible with all Lenovo PC hardware.
  • Automatic Operating System and software patching.
  • Easily restorable – all machines of this build can be quickly re-imaged and recovered to their original state.
  • Disk encryption (where available).
  • Core software inclusive of Microsoft Office, Adobe Reader, Sophos endpoint security and CIS asset inventory agents. Additional software delivery through automated managed deployments and access to the App Hub.
  • Access to the central print service and central / cloud subscribed file stores.


Microsoft continually updates Windows 10; they plan to release two updates each year and CIS fully test versions before deployment. The version numbers Microsoft uses are based on the year and month the update is released, for example, version 1607 was released in July 2016. If you use Windows 10 at home, you'll most likely become familiar with the latest updates before CIS apply them to University computers. Version changes often introduce subtle changes to the look and feel of the operating system.

Microsoft documentation on the latest updates is available here.

Current version of Windows 10

Over the 2018 summer vacation, all Managed Desktop PCs were upgraded to 1803. There were no obvious cosmetic differences between 1803 and 1703 (the previous version CIS had rolled out).

Next update from Microsoft...

Microsoft's next update for Windows 10 will be version 1903, due in March/April 2019. More information on its deployment will follow once CIS has tested the new version and are confident it’s ready to roll it out across our Managed Desktop PCs.

If you'd like more detail about the different versions of Windows 10, you'll find this Wikipedia page helpful:

Version history

Windows 10 version

When used at Durham…


Awaiting official release, planned rollout summer 2019.


Beta testing taking place in CIS no rollout planned.


Rolled out over summer 2018 vacation.


No plans to rollout but was tested within CIS.


Rolled out over summer 2017 vacation.


Rolled out to open access PCs only in January 2017.


Used in development of the new Managed Desktop
Available on all Managed Desktop PCs from Sept 16 - Jan 17.


Used in early development of the new Managed Desktop.