Microsoft Windows 11 – What to know

Microsoft has now announced that Windows 10 support will end October 2025. Windows 11 became available October 5, 2021.  Businesses need to be aware of Microsoft’s transition requirements and features that will be in Windows 11 so they are not left scrambling when Windows 10 goes end of support.  Businesses should begin the planning for Windows 11 by understanding the hardware requirements and functionality to make a smooth transition into Windows 11.

Windows 11 will require businesses to have relatively new devices specifically those designed and sold starting in 2019. Older devices may not support the new OS, which may not allow Windows 11 to be installed. Eligible devices should be running Windows 10 at a version of 20H1 or later.

To install or upgrade to Windows 11, devices must meet the following minimum system requirements:

  • Processor – 1 GHz or faster with two or more cores on a compatible 64-bit processor or system on a chip.
  • RAM – 4 GB or more.
  • Hard disk space – Requires 64 GB or more available storage. Users might need extra storage space to download updates and enable certain features.
  • Graphics card – Compatible with DirectX 12 or later with a Windows Display Driver Model 2.0.
  • System firmware – Requires Unified Extensible Firmware Interface and is Secure Boot capable.
  • Trusted Platform Module – TPM version 2.0.
  • Display – High-definition (720p) display, 9-inch monitor or larger, 8 bits per color channel.
  • Internet connection – Windows 11 needs to be connected to the internet to perform updates, download and use certain features.  Windows 11 Home edition requires Microsoft accounts and internet connectivity to set up devices the first time of use.

The Enterprise edition of Windows 11 includes some great productivity and collaboration features that may help business end users work more efficiently.  Some these new tools and features are listed below:

  • Windows 11 will now support 5G wireless connectivity to help businesses secure the remote worker.
  • Simple yet modern visuals are now part of Windows 11 for Enterprise.  This feature primarily assists end users to focus on what matters.
  • Snap Assist – Can automatically arrange window layouts saved in perfect display across screens.
  • Personalized widgets – Users can use personalized widgets to customize at-a-glance info like calendars, tasks, weather, and news, and more.
  • Intelligent video conferencing – During a video conference, you can quickly enable or disable the microphone right from the taskbar.
  • Share a window while presenting – Users can directly share a window from the taskbar during a call and at the same time maintain taskbar access.
  • Meet now in Microsoft Teams – Allows users to conduct video or audio calls from the taskbar to connect with anyone quickly and easily.

Windows 11 Enterprise also added some needed security features that will help protect business data and decrease vulnerability to attacks:

  • Microsoft Azure Attestation (MAA) – Verifies the trustworthiness of a platform before users get access to it.
  • Zero Trust security policy – Sets a security framework to make sure users are authenticated, authorized, and continuously validated before they can access apps & data.
  • Secured-core PCs – Added an extra security layer beneath the operating system, tripling the resistant to malware infection and firmware attacks.
  • Hardware-based integrity protection – New security innovations like hardware-enforced stack protection and Microsoft Pluton security processor are introduced to prevent users against exploits and attacks.
  • Removing the need for a password – Windows “Hello” in Windows 11 for Enterprise replaces the traditional passwords protection by introducing face lock, fingerprint lock, iris lock, and other authentication methods.

Window 11 will follow a little different update cadence.  This includes bug fixes, feature improvements and security fixes.  As with Windows 10, Windows 11 will receive monthly quality updates and incremental updates to Windows products.

However, Windows 11 feature cadence will differ from that of Windows 10. These feature updates include new features, as well as all the previous released quality updates. Microsoft released Windows 10 feature updates twice a year, around March and September. Moving forward, Microsoft will only release one major Windows 11 feature update annually, in the second half of each calendar year.

Windows 11 upgrade for businesses should be an easier transition than the Windows 7 to Windows 10 transition if businesses start to prepare early.  The earlier you can get a plan together the less stress there will be when Windows 10 support ends!

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