Windows 11: Modest Launch but Substantial Benefits

Windows 11:Modest Launch but Substantial Benefits

Microsoft took a subtle approach to the most recent update of its Windows operating system — so subtle, in fact, that it took most people by surprise. Just days before the Oct. 5 launch of Windows 11, 62 percent of Windows users surveyed by said they had no idea an update was imminent.

That’s probably not a bad thing.

Previous version launches, including the2015 move from Windows 8 to Windows 10, typically introduced a slew of significant changes that made the update process a stressful experience. There’s typically a transitional period in which users must get accustomed to new features and interfaces. Tasks that had become second nature may require new processes and actions. Compatibility issues with hardware, applications and device drivers often create performance issues until they get sorted out.

Windows 11 isn’t a huge upgrade. It offers many meaningful improvements, but nothing that will make users feel discombobulated. Tweaks, changes and additions give it a fresh look while retaining the familiar feel of Windows 10.

Quality Time

Microsoft says a “phased and measured” rollout will allow it to focus on quality. Some major features will not be available at first but will be added over time to ensure a smooth user experience. For instance, support for Android applications is one of the more anticipated features, but that won’t be available until early 2022. The company plans to continue testing the feature with Windows Insiders over the coming months before making it generally available.

In the meantime, Windows 11 introduces a number of features designed specifically to support remote and hybrid workforces. For example, a streamlined user interface with a new Start menu utilizes the power of the cloud and Microsoft 365 to display your most recent files, regardless of the device you’ve been using.

Additionally, remote workers can easily initiate a Microsoft Teams conference through a chat window integrated in the taskbar. They can launch video, voice or text chats right from the desktop and connect with others regardless of what computer or phone or tablet they are using — iOS, Android, PC or Mac.

Remote and hybrid users can access a virtualized Windows 11 desktop from any location via the desktop virtualization capabilities built into the cloud-based Windows 365 service. Users can stream all their applications, tools, data and settings through any web browser and access them with any PC or mobile device. Because the desktop isn’t linked to any particular device, users can switch devices without losing any updates or changes to the cloud desktop.

Secure By Design

Windows 11 also addresses the unique security challenges of remote and hybrid work. It is secure by design with built-in hardware-based isolation, device encryption, virtualization-based security (VBS), hypervisor-protected code integrity (HVCI) and secure boot features. Microsoft says the combination of these features has been shown to reduce malware by 60 percent on tested devices.

As with any operating system upgrade, Windows 11 may require some hardware changes. Basic requirements include a64-bit processor, 4GB of memory and 64GB of storage. Additionally, there’s no direct upgrade path from Windows 8 — you’ll have to upgrade to Windows 10first. You can find a complete list of Windows 11 system requirements here.

Although Microsoft took a relatively low-key approach to the launch, Windows 11 does offer a number of improvements that will benefit remote and hybrid workers by streamlining workflows and improving resource organization. Give us a call to discuss the upgrade in greater detail. We’d welcome the opportunity to show you how this modest upgrade can deliver significant benefits for your organization.