University of Vermont

Information Technology

Recommended Software


UVM-supported mail clients include MS Outlook, Apple Mail and Web-based Outlook Web App (OWA).

  • Thunderbird is available for both Windows and Macintosh computers. A UVM account-preconfigured installer can be downloaded from and requires only minimal setup.
  • Apple Mail is exclusive to Macintosh computers running OS X and comes preinstalled with the computer.
  • Outlook Web App (OWA) is a browser-based mail, calendar, and contacts client that can be used from any computer. OWA can be accessed at or via the myUVM portal.

Web browser and plug-ins

UVM-supported web browsers include Firefox, Safari and Internet Explorer. Note that some web sites may work better in one browser over another, and it is not uncommon to use multiple browsers simultaneously for different tasks.

  • Mozilla Firefox is a popular web browser available for both Windows and Macintosh computers. It features pop-up blocking, tabbed browsing, built-in search toolbar, RSS bookmarks and increased privacy and security. It also supports add-ons to further customize your web browsing experience. Firefox comes with its own auto-update software, but only works for minor revisions to the program, such as version 2.5 to version 2.6. Manual updates are required between major revisions, such as versions 2.x to 3.x.
  • Apple Safari is also available for both Windows and Macintosh computers. Offering similar features as Firefox, Safari is designed to offer enhanced graphical options such as image-oriented bookmarks and history. On Macintosh computers, Safari receives its updates automatically via Software Update with all other OS X updates. On Windows computers, Safari updates require the Apple Updater utility or manual updates.
  • Internet Explorer is available only to Windows computers and comes included with the operating system. Once known for being insecure and exploitable, current versions offer more online safety features. Internet Explorer recieves its updates automatically with Windows Updates.

Web browsers will also require additional software to be installed as plug-ins to display some content:

  • Adobe Reader is required on Windows computers to display PDF files. Macintosh computers may use Adobe Reader or the built-in Preview application.
  • Adobe Flash Player is required to display any Flash content, such as YouTube videos.
  • Java is required for some UVM online applications, such as Banner and the AnyConnect VPN client.
  • QuickTime is required to play some types of media and movie files.

Instant Messaging (IM)

Instant messaging software allows you to instantly type text messages to other people or create private conferences for multi-party text chat. IM software works by installing client software that communicates through a central chat server or network. Some IM clients also allow for audio and video chat options.

IM Networks and Services

IM software relies on having an account with an instant messaging service. UVM hosts an internal chat server,, for secure, encrypted communication with other UVM affiliates. This is the only chat service you should use if discussing sensitive or confidential information regarding UVM.

Other third-party IM services include Google Talk, AOL Instant Messenger (AIM), Skype, Yahoo! Messenger, and MSN Messenger. These networks are not hosted or controlled by UVM and have no guarantee of information privacy or security. Use of these networks should only be for non-UVM purposes.

Many chat services offer their own client software as a free download, but can only communicate with other members of that chat service. We suggest IM clients that support multi-protocol and multi-account connections that can allow you to use one piece of software for multiple chat networks, including UVM's.

IM Client Software

There are many instant message programs available for download. UVM currently recommends Pidgin (Windows) and Adium (Macintosh) for text-based chat,and iChat (Macintosh only) for audio and video chat.

  • Pidgin supports connections to several popular chat networks and UVM's internal chat server. Pidgin lacks audio and video chat capabilities, but is the only chat client for Windows that is trusted not to contain advertisements, viruses, trojans or other malware.

  • Adium shares is built using the same code as Pidgin and also supports connections to multiple chat networks. Like Pidgin, it is trusted not to contain advertisements or malware, but does not yet have audio or video chat capabilities.

  • Messages (iChat) comes preinstalled on all Macintosh computers. Current versions of iChat support audio and video chat options and connections to AIM, Google, and Jabber chat networks, including UVM's.

See for information on how to connect your IM client to UVM's secure chat server.

Microsoft Office

UVM has licensed Microsoft Office (for both Windows and Macintosh) for faculty and staff use on UVM-owned computers. See the Microsoft Campus Agreement FAQ, or contact your IT manager for specific details on eligibility and installation.


Your UVM Exchange Calendar can be accessed via client software installed on your computer or mobile device, its web interface at or through the MyUVM portal.

Cisco AnyConnect VPN

UVM's Virtual Private Network (VPN) software simulates an on-campus presence for your computer. This is useful for connecting to some on-campus only services or external resources that require a UVM-validated network address, such as certain library catalogs. It also encrypts all network traffic between you and UVM. See the Accessing UVM content section for further information on using the VPN.

IP Softphone

IP Softphone can route your UVM work telephone to your Windows computer. Contact UVM Telecommunications for more information.

Other Software

Any other software that is not available for download from, such as Adobe Photoshop or Microsoft Visio requires individual licensing and purchase. Contact your department's IT manager for details.

Last modified September 26 2016 05:06 PM

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