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What is the Common Operating Environment?

The Common Operating Environment (COE) is a list of software that is commonly used and supported on all McCombs computers. COE exists so that software is automatically updated to the most current version and that users have easy access to properly licensed software.

Note that the COE is not a complete list of software used and supported throughout the college, but it includes software that is used in several courses on a recurring basis. Not all users require the use of all software in the COE and not all software is applicable to every user. Some software may have special licensing and distribution requirements. Please see the sections below for more information about each specific software package. For questions, comments or requests about the COE, please e-mail James Coombes 


McCombs Tech Wiki

Software Descriptions

Software Descriptions

For a list of all software currently available to students as part of the COE please visit the wiki pages at

The most commonly used software listed on that page is also pre-installed onto computers used by faculty and staff.

Getting COE

How do I get COE and other software?

Software is available directly from McCombs Computer Services, external web sites where you can download and install it for yourself, and some software must be installed by McCombs Tech Support or must be purchased from the Campus Computer Store.

The options below list other ways to obtain both COE and non-COE software. These are the preferred options to obtain software free of charge or at specially reduced academic or state prices.

Faculty and Staff

Faculty and staff should contact Tech Support for questions about obtaining or installing software.


Students should contact the SWAT Shop for questions about obtaining or installing software.


All lab computers will have a complete install of COE software except for the VPN client. For information what other software is installed on lab computers or to request additional software, please visit the Lab Support page.


For courses that use certain Microsoft software packages not available in the COE, students may be able to download the software from the Microsoft Developer Network Academic Alliance.


Are there any special licensing requirements?

Some applications are licensed with specific usage terms. The specific terms are addressed in the software sections below for each application. If you are interested, you can find more information below about the various Microsoft licensing programs in effect at McCombs.

  • Microsoft Campus Agreement
  • Microsoft Academic Select 6.0 Program
  • Microsoft Dreamspark (UT ITS page)

Note on ISO Files

Note on ISO Files

Some software on this page is downloadable in an ISO format. An ISO file is a file copy of a CD or DVD. Most computers today come with a CD/DVD drive and software that is capable of "burning" files to a writeable CD/DVD. An ISO file must be copied to a CD/DVD before software can be installed from it. If you do not have such a computer, you can instead use an application to create a virtual CD/DVD drive to to access an ISO file. One popular (and free) application that will allow you to do this is Virtual Clone Drive from SlySoft. You can download this software from Slysoft.