November 7, 2021

Windows 11 launches

Windows 11 launches

Remember when Microsoft said Windows 10 would be the last version of Windows?….

Well, Windows 11 officially launched on October 5th, 2021!

Windows 11 is the next major release of the Windows operating system and will again be offered as a free upgrade to all Windows 10 compatible devices, between now and Mid 2022.

Here’s what Microsoft say on the matter:

“The free upgrade to Windows 11 starts on October 5 and will be phased and measured with a focus on quality.

Following the tremendous learnings from Windows 10, we want to make sure we’re providing you with the best possible experience. That means new eligible devices will be offered the upgrade first.

The upgrade will then roll out over time to in-market devices based on intelligence models that consider hardware eligibility, reliability metrics, age of device and other factors that impact the upgrade experience. We expect all eligible devices to be offered the free upgrade to Windows 11 by mid-2022. If you have a Windows 10 PC that’s eligible for the upgrade, Windows Update will let you know when it’s available.”

Windows 11 major features include a refreshed interface and new Start menu experience, along with a focus on security (offering MFA functionality to the Windows login experience, and automated sandboxing for malicious activity), as well as universal apps and performance features that will help with video conferencing (as Microsoft Teams is now built into Windows 10).

While we expect this free upgrade rollout of Windows 11 to be slower this time than the Windows 10 launch, there are some considerations we would like to inform you about at this time – to help you make informed decisions for your business ahead of the major rollout of Windows 11 in 2022.

1. Windows 11 looks different.
The Start menu is now in the middle of the task bar, and how users find common apps and programs will be new and not to what your end users may be used to. While this change is superficial – it could lead to some increased training requirements from your users.

Windows 11 desktop

2. Microsoft are phasing out old hardware.
Previously Microsoft allowed pretty much every piece of modern hardware to upgrade to Windows 10, but this time they are limiting it to recent hardware generations, and specifically hardware that has a security TPM 2.0 chip inside. Most hardware from the last 4-5 years should have this, however older or cheaper budget devices may not have this functionality and so won’t be compatible with Windows 11.

3. Windows 11 will start arriving on new devices from now.
As Microsoft has officially released Windows 11, new laptops, desktops, and tablets will start arriving from distribution with Windows 11 pre-installed. Windows 11 can be downgraded to Windows 10, but extra time on installations of new hardware would be needed to accommodate this.

4. Your applications and bespoke software may not run on Windows 11.
Windows 11 is being seen by industry insiders as basically “the next major update to Windows 10”. Microsoft have confirmed that all development tools, software deployment packages and management tools that are compatible with Windows 10 will remain fully working on Windows 11. However, this does not mean that if your bespoke or business application will be compatible. So, testing and guidance from your partners should sought if you have any concerns regarding this, we can also help advise you obviously.

5. We can help block Windows 11 in your environment.
Microsoft have released tools and patches to prevent Windows 11 from rolling out, which may be something you should consider in the short-term.

If you have questions or concerns about Windows 11, please reach out for us or speak to us on our next visit. We are here to help and will try and advise the best course of action for you based on current information from Microsoft. We can obviously setup time to test Windows 11 in your environment or block the deployment as well on our up-coming proactive visits.

If you have any questions, please email us at support@bluespires.co.uk or reach out to your regular point of contact.

You can read more about Windows 11 at the official Microsoft site here.