Nebula Standard Software Package

The Nebula Managed Desktop Service includes a standard set software packages, listed below. Microsoft Office 2010 is the version of Office installed on newly purchased or rebuilt computers using the Nebula image. If you would like to roll back to Office 2007, please see these instructions.

The Campus Software Licensing agreements with Microsoft and Apple allow installation of some of the most popular software products to any UW-owned computer:

  • MS Visio Premium
  • MS Project Professional
  • MS Visual Studio Professional
  • MS Expression Studio Ultimate
  • Apple's Mac OS X Lion

In addition, the agreements provide MS Office to faculty and staff for use on personally-owned computers (costing them only $10.00 for a download or $22.00 for the media).

Microsoft SQL Server

In the past, Nebula departments that use Microsoft SQL Server have often relied on Nebula to provide access to SQL client tools. This is a suite of tools which allows for connection, query and light maintenance of Microsoft SQL Server databases. These tools are now freely available from Microsoft as SQL Server Management Studio Express. Nebula is still available to help download, configure or troubleshoot this application if needed.

For more information, please see:

  • The Uware site to view the Microsoft Campus Agreement or the Apple Campus Agreement
  • Nebula's Mac Support page

Adding Software From Nebula

Nebula offers software in addition to the standard package through its centralized installation method.

Important: Before downloading software from Nebula, talk to your manager. You are responsible for being sure you have a license to use the software you download. Send questions to your manager or to

How does Nebula deliver software?

Nebula delivers software to each computer through a centralized process. We can deliver software to an individual computer, to a department, or to all Nebula computers. Nebula uses the Run Advertised Programs or RAP feature in the Control Panel to install the software. This method lets you control the timing of installing a new piece of software. Below is more information about this new process.

NOTE: The RAP process is not used for critical software, such as patches and services packs. These are delivered on a regular basis using the Windows Server Update Services (WSUS). It is important that your computer is left on at night and over the weekend so these critical patches can be installed.

How do I use RAP to install software?

  1. StepsActions
  2. Nebula will advertise the software package to your computer.
  3. To install the software, open the Control Panel.
    • The Control Panel is usually accessed via Start->Control Panel, but depending on your configuration, you may need to choose Start -> Settings -> Control Panel.
    • If you are not in "Classic View", click on the "Switch to Classic View" link in the left hand column.
  4. Open Run Advertised Programs.


  5. Click on the desired program and then click on Run.

    If you don't see the program right away, try again after an hour or two. It can take a little while for the advertisement process to complete.

The program should install right after that, although it may hide itself for the duration.

Office 2010

Office 2010 is now the default version of Office installed on newly purchased or rebuilt computers using the Nebula image. If you do not yet have Office 2010 installed, you can install it from Run Advertised Programs; please see these instructions.

  • Please confirm with your department manager before installing this program, as some departments have elected to stay with Office 2007.
  • If you wish to move from Office 2010 to Office 2007, please follow these instructions.

Here are some notes regarding what to expect; please feel free to send us information on your experience. We are also happy to help you save and restore your custom configurations, as a consulting service.

What to know prior to installation

  • You must close all Office applications prior to beginning installation, including Outlook.
  • Word, Excel, Powerpoint and Access look similar to Office 2007; Outlook now uses the same ribbon bar as the rest.
  • A full suite of training aids is available as well as interactive guides showing where menu and toolbar commands are.
  • The first time you open each application (Word, Excel, Outlook, etc.) it may take a few moments to finish configuration. If you do not have administrative rights on the computer, this configuration will not be successful.
  • These components are preserved:
    1. Your Outlook setup, including your Non-UW Contacts, signature blocks and additional email accounts. Note: The only thing not preserved is your initial login information: netid\(your netid)
    2. Your printers, including your default printer.
    3. Access 2003 or 2007, although you may need to re-create the shortcuts.
  • These components are not preserved:
    1. Custom macros. To save: use Tools - Macros - Edit, then copy all text into a text file so you can re-create your macros later.
    2. Currently configured Quick Access toolbar changes.
    3. Icons in your system tray (next to the Start button).
  • Security messages may appear when opening documents in Word or other applications.
  • Microsoft Outlook:
    1. The first time you open Outlook, you will need to make sure that your login name is: netid\(your netid).
    2. Outlook will get the new Ribbon look, which the other Office programs got in Office 2007.
  • Microsoft Access:
    1. Our existing package will not remove previous versions of Office or Access.
    2. Access 2010 brings many new features (Data Macros, Calculated Columns, etc.) that Access 2007 does not understand. You may wish to read the Microsoft article on What's Changed and you may find this discussion helpful.

How to install Office 2010

  1. Close all Office applications including Outlook.
  2. Open Control Panel, then Run Advertised Programs and find MS Office Professional Plus and Click Run.
  3. Click Update (not Customize).
  4. The installation should begin and will take 15-25 minutes to finish. Do not start any Office programs during this time.
  5. When finished, you can click on the Continue Online button to go to the Microsoft Welcome to Office site, or just click Close.
  6. Close Control Panel.

Office 2010 Tips

Email us your favorite tips (or questions) and we will post them here.

Ten Quick Tips To Get The Most From Office 2010

The folks at have put together these Ten Quick Tips To Get The Most From Office 2010.

Opening multiple instances of Word or Excel

Sometimes you want to open multiple instances of Word, Excel or other Microsoft Office programs. Instead of using Programs - Microsoft Office repeatedly, try this:

  1. Drag a copy of the desired program to your task bar (hold down the Ctrl key while you drag it).
  2. Right-click on this icon and choose Open. Repeat as needed.

This tip has been tested on Office 2010 on Windows 7 and Office 2007 on XP.

Cannot Remove Watermark In Word

Nebula client Cynthia passed along this potential solution for when you Cannot Remove a Watermark in Microsoft Word. Thanks, Cynthia!

Adding Your Own Software

Additional software (other than that available in the standard package or through the centralized distribution system) may be installed on your system. Software of this type falls outside of the standard installation, so you will be responsible for retaining any media, making sure you have a license for the software, and documenting specific software settings.

  • Nebula may notify you that the software you installed has security weaknesses or other problems. If a solution cannot be found, you may be asked to remove the software.
  • If the software you want is used by many users, you can request that it be added to the centralized distribution system. Nebula will evaluate the product and its licensing terms in making its decision whether to make it part of the central system.

You are free to install any additional software that you need, providing it complies with certain security requirements. (We monitor Nebula computers for these security problems and notify the owners if they occur.) We are happy to try to package any software that your department uses, subject to the On-Demand User Support fee of $113.80. If successful, these software packages can be assigned on a by-department basis, or to specific computers only.

Centrally distributed packages must meet some specific criteria. Please contact your Nebula support person for help with software selection and analysis.

Once a software package is made available for assignment, it may be installed as an optional package on any computer subscribing to the Nebula Basic Desktop Service. Some software packages may require additional licensing beyond what is provided with the standard Nebula suite. Departments are responsible for purchasing such licenses and tracking how they are used.

Managing Upgrades

To ensure support for packaged software, only the most recent version of software will be packaged and supported. For software provided in the Nebula suite, new versions will be evaluated by Nebula support staff and engineers for suitability. If an upgrade is recommended, it will be done within an announced, reasonable period of time. For packages that have been requested by departments that are not distributed across all of Nebula, a reasonable period of time, usually several months, is allowed for those using the package to become ready to use the new version. This may include purchasing new licenses, upgrading templates, etc. The new version is then packaged, distributed and supported. The earlier version may still be used, but it is no longer installed via the centralized distribution service.

If there are any questions about this policy, please contact Nebula Support, at 206-221-5000, or

Training Opportunities

  • Microsoft On-Line Training
  • UW Computer Training

Last modified: January 21, 2014