Following an unprecedented 18 months in which many of us merged our home and business lives, Microsoft says that with Windows 11, it has built a “space that feels familiar where you can create, learn, play, produce, and maybe most importantly - connect - in all new ways.” Recognizing how reliant we have become on our devices, Microsoft says Windows 11 will help make us more ‘productive and creative’, but it is also becoming more consumer and gaming focused.
Microsoft describes it as the most secure Windows yet. And perhaps with a nod to the anxiety and burnout many have experienced during the pandemic, Microsoft intends the experience of Windows 11 to inspire a sense of ‘calm’. Microsoft is also introducing features that may help to create some much-needed separation between our home and work lives even as homeworking continues.
New sounds, designs and rounded corners – here’s what we know about the Windows 11 OS:
Windows 11 will be made available ‘by the holidays’ – so probably November or December. A pre-release will be available first for developers to test and certify before it’s available to all. Microsoft says that ‘most devices purchased in the last 18-24 months will be compatible with Windows 11.’ You can verify Windows 11 requirements to find out what is compatible and feed into your hardware refresh program ahead of your update.
What do we know about support for Windows 10? On the Windows 10 Home and Pro page, Microsoft says it will ‘continue to support at least one Windows 10 semi-annual channel until October 14, 2025’. Windows 10 was available for two years before Windows 7 was declared end of life so it’s likely that Microsoft will still deliver Windows 10 feature updates through 2023.
The Windows 10 spring 2021 update was a small one, and Microsoft has now said it will deliver Windows 10 version 21H2 with “new updates to current features that enable hybrid work like Universal Print and enhancements to management and deployment features like Windows Autopilot.” If, like many others you’re updating your enterprise annually, you may want to start preparing now for the next Windows 10 update.
Microsoft will deliver feature updates once per year during the second half of each year as well as regular monthly quality updates providing security updates and bug fixes. It says “since Windows 11 is built on the same foundation as Windows 10, you can use the same deployment capabilities, scenarios, and tools—as well as the same basic deployment strategy that you use today for Windows 10. You will need to review and update your servicing strategy to adjust for changes in servicing and support for Windows 11”.
Microsoft suggests the strategy, at a high-level, should include:
During the livestream Microsoft said Windows updates will be smaller, lighter, and more efficient – making them easier to install. That probably sounds like music to your ears but as we all know, nothing is ever that simple. It’s going to take some time to prepare and train teams on the new features. And given the focus on increasing productivity, it’s possible you may be asked to evaluate and rollout Windows 11 sooner than later. But it’s clear that as you prepare for the fall Windows 10 update, you should be keeping an eye on how the new features in Windows 11 will affect your enterprise IT environment.
For any Windows update, planning is critical:
If you’re doing things manually, it’s going to take time to prepare your enterprise for the next Windows 10 update and for Windows 11. Given how long it takes to collate and clean information, you will always be working with old information that can adversely impact your project. So, what can you do to aid success?
ReadyWorks automates 50% or more repetitive tasks to take the hassle out of any Windows deployment. By connecting to and orchestrating your systems, tools, databases, and directories you can:
With ReadyWorks you can cut through the clutter to manage your upcoming Windows 10 updates and gain a clear view of your enterprise environment to prepare for Windows 11.