In June 2021, Microsoft announced that a brand-new version of Windows was coming later in the year.
While the tech press was expecting some sort of update, a full-fledged new major release of Windows was a surprise. But as we’ve all learned more about Windows 11, we’re growing more and more excited about the release.
Your business will likely benefit from moving to Windows 11, but, in true Microsoft fashion, the rollout is going to be a bit complicated.
Here’s what you need to know about the coming Windows 11 update — plus what you might need to do to get ready.
When Is Windows 11 Releasing?
Technically, it’s already here (as of October 5, 2021). Just not for everyone, all at once. Microsoft is taking a phased approach to the Windows 11 rollout, which makes a lot of sense in some technical ways, even if it’s going to frustrate some customers and users.
In a nutshell, here’s what’s happening. Very recently purchased computers will get an automatic update to Windows 11 soon (if not already), and some of the newest PC models will ship with Windows 11 preloaded.
From there, generally speaking, Microsoft will roll out Windows 11 to progressively older machines over the course of the next year.
What’s With That Plan?
If that plan seems a little strange, we get it. Microsoft has good reasons for it, though: Windows 11 includes some pretty significant changes and updates, especially to how it handles device security. Microsoft wants to take a slow rollout so that any large-scale major issues can be resolved before they turn into corporate disasters.
Honestly, it’s a good move — even if it’s a little weird.
What If We Don’t Want to Wait?
If you’re eager to get started in Windows 11, you might not have to wait for Microsoft’s automatic rollout. There are legal and legitimate ways to update sooner, but you only want to do this if you really know your stuff — and you can afford for your machine to die a horrible death if something goes wrong.
For that reason, as a managed services provider, we can’t recommend that businesses take this approach across all their devices. Do it for an individual device for testing if needed, but otherwise, wait until Microsoft pushes the update.
(Of course, you can also work with us to roll out this upgrade in an organized manner — that might be the best approach of all!)
Can My Computer Run Windows 11? It Runs Windows 10 Just Fine.
This is a very important point: not every Windows 10 machine will be able to upgrade to Windows 11.
Microsoft is intent on making Windows 11 extremely secure—and that’s a good thing. But to do so, the company is requiring that all devices must include support for UEFI Secure Boot and TPM 2.0.
Some older devices running Windows 10 may not have the necessary hardware components to support these and therefore won’t upgrade to Windows 11 at all.
Microsoft has released the PC Health Check App, which can (usually) tell you whether a device will be eligible for upgrade to Windows 11.
What’s New in Windows 11?
There’s loads of cool new stuff in Windows 11. Some of it is pretty much eye candy or has a strong consumer focus, like new PC and Xbox gaming integrations. But there are plenty of important business additions:
- Greatly enhanced security
- New multitasking features like Snap Layouts and Snap Groups
- Systemwide Teams integration (it’s in the Dock now!)
- Better support for external monitors
- AI-powered widgets
There’s a lot more we could say about the new features in Windows 11, and perhaps we will next week. But for now, if you have questions about what impacts Windows 11 might have for your business, we’re here to guide you along that journey. Reach out today to learn how we can meet your IT needs.