Windows 11: What is it & how do I prepare my business?

Introducing Windows 11 - all you need to know

Windows 11 What is it?

Our comprehensive guide will offer you all of the details and information you need to know about Microsoft Windows 11, including new features, system requirements and more.

In June 2021, Microsoft unveiled its newest operating system, Windows 11 – almost six years after Windows 10 was released.

Windows 11 intends to increase productivity by connecting people faster, enabling creativity, and providing faster ways for users to access the information they need.  There is an all-new Microsoft store and open ecosystem that unlocks new opportunities for developers and creators.

What is Windows 11?

Windows 11 is Microsoft’s newest release of its operating system and the successor to Windows 10.  The OS features an all-new simplified, yet modernized, interface and is designed to improve productivity and creativity.

Windows 11 has a myriad of new features such as the ability to download and run andriod apps on your Windows PC and updates to Microsoft Teams, the start menu and the overall look of the software which is more like a Mac in design. (1).

Microsoft describes the new Windows 11 as a ‘calm and creative space’ that will ‘bring you closer to the people and things you love’.  Over the past few years, our devices have played a much larger role in how we shop, live, play, stay informed and work encouraging Microsoft to make their software more intuitive and easy to use.

What’s new in features for Windows 11

  1. Multitask with ease.  Multitask with ease with Snap Groups and Snap Layouts – collections of apps that will sit in the taskbar and will come up or minimised for easier task switching.
  2. Easier transition from monitor to the laptop. plug and unplug from a monitor more easily without losing where your open windows are located.
  3. A Mac-like interface.  Enjoy a fresh, clean design with pastel shades and a centred start menu and taskbar designed to bring you a sense of calm.
  4. Widgets.  Access widgets directly from the taskbar and personalise them with ease.
  5. Teams Integration.  Microsoft Teams is getting an upgrade and will be pinned to the taskbar making it easy to access.
  6. New ways to organise your desktop and optimise your screen real estate so you can see what you need easily.  Customise your desktop for work, gaming or school.  Vertical tabs make it easier to find what you are looking for.
  7. A faster, more natural way to way to connect.   Enjoy a new Chat function from Microsoft Teams integrated into the taskbar.
  8. Faster ways to find the information you need.  Widgets and a personalised feed powered by AI and best in class browser performance.
  9. The New Microsoft store is the new location for apps and content to watch, create, play, work and learn.  It is fast and easy to use.
  10. Open ecosystem unlocking new opportunities for developers and creators.  Microsoft are enabling developers and independent software vendors to bring their apps and keep 100% of the revenue.
  11. Delivering the best PC gaming experiences.  For the gamer, enjoy features found in XBox console-like Auto HDR and Direct Storage and improve your gaming. (3, 4)

Can Windows 11 run on my devices?

Windows 11 requires a modern CPU and a 2.0 trusted platform module meaning most older PCs won’t be eligible.  Microsoft has released a minimum set of system requirements we have included below and will soon be releasing a PC Health Check App that can help you understand if your devices are compatible.

  • Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster with two or more cores on a compatible 64-bit processor or System on a Chip (SoC)
  • RAM: 4 GB
  • Storage: 64 GB or larger storage device
  • System firmware: UEFI, Secure Boot capable
  • Graphics card: Compatible with DirectX 12 or later with WDDM 2.0 driver
  • Display: High-definition (720p) display that is greater than 9” diagonally, 8 bits per color channel
  • Internet connection: Windows 11 Home edition requires internet connectivity and a Microsoft account to complete device setup on first use. Switching a device out of Windows 11 Home in Smode requires internet connectivity. (2)

So does this mean you should purchase your device with Windows 11 and avoid any with Windows 10 or below?

Well just like Windows 10 there will be a free upgrade to Windows 11.  But there is a catch.  The upgrade only applies if your PC fits with Microsoft’s minimum requirements as listed above.  Specifically, you will need the TPM 2.0 requirement.

If you have a device from one of Microsoft’s partners, you’ll get Windows 11 after October 5.  New devices that have Windows 10 installed will be able to upgrade to the new version through the Windows update.  After that, Microsoft will take a phased approach and will have all updates to compatible PCs by mid-2022.

When can I get Windows 11?

Windows 11 was officially released on the 5th of October 2021, however, this is only for new laptops and PCs with Windows 11 pre-installed.

Users wanting to upgrade their existing Windows devices will likely have to wait until 2022, allowing time for software vendors and apps to provide support for the new upgrade.

Kaine Mathrick Tech are currently testing Windows 11 internally and whilst it is very exciting, it is still early days.  As always with new releases, there are teething and usability issues of which we would like to see ironed out before we recommend a rollout for our clients.    We expect this to be resolved very soon and will certainly advise our clients when this changes.

Windows 11 requires a modern CPU and a 2.0 trusted platform module meaning most older PCs won’t be eligible.  Microsoft has released a minimum set of system requirements we have included below and will soon be releasing a PC Health Check App that can help you understand if your devices are compatible.

We have also listed the System Requirements required to operate Windows 11.

Hybrid work made simple

One of the major challenges businesses face today is enabling employees to switch easily and seamlessly between the office and home office or even other remote locations.  Windows 365 allows IT managers to set up and scale Cloud PCs that are personalised to their business needs depending on the number of end-users, their workload, and storage requirements.

Teams can now seamlessly transition from one device to another with Windows 365, making it the perfect solution for the new era of hybrid working.  Businesses and employees are demanding more flexibility from their technology and these updates mean that employees can log off from their desktop computer at work and log in on a laptop from home the next day, picking up right where they left off!

Finally an ultra-secure solution

Windows 11 is much more secure than Windows 10.  Windows 10 has had its fair share of security exploits, hence we are very happy to see Microsoft doubling down on security in Windows 11.

Out of the box Windows 11 is a far more secure operating system and here is why.

  1. The Trusted Platform Module (TPM):  TPM chips have been around for over a decade, however, users haven’t taken them seriously until now.  A TPM chip is a cryptographic store that stores encryption keys, passwords and certificates and uses stored items to identify and authenticate devices, software and users.    Simply put the TPM 2.0 Chip will ensure Windows 11 PCs are authentic and unbreached.
  2. Virtulisation based security (VBS):  This feature will protect security solutions against exploits by hosting the solutions inside an isolated and secured segment of system memory isolated from the rest of the OS.  Protecting security solutions that are the prime targets of cyber attacks.
  3. Hypervisor-protected code Integrity (HVCI):  HVCI protects the isolated system memory VBS creates.  HVCI degrades the performance of older CPUs, hence why Microsoft requires 8th generation or above Intel and Zen 2 or above AMD CPUs as they have dedicated hardware for HVCI.
  4. The UEFI secure boot:  If your system is compromised before booting (boots up with bad code), there are no security tools or protocols that will protect it.  All Windows 11 machines come with UEFI secure boot.

Microsoft are committed to ensure its new Windows 11 OS is secure from the beginning with TPM 2.0 and newer CPUs with features such as VBS and UEFI Secure Boot.  That said, this is only for the new devices.

The good news is we are here to help you navigate through your cyber security queries.

What’s our verdict?

Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither are the new Windows Updates.

We are currently testing Windows 11 internally and whilst it is very exciting, it is still early days.  As always with new releases, there are teething and usability issues of which we would like to see ironed out before we recommend a rollout for our clients.

We expect this to be resolved very soon and will certainly advise our clients when this changes.  Feel free to register your interest and stay on our radar to receive further updates.

How can I get ready for Windows 11?

There are many considerations you need to make before adopting Windows 11 for your business.  As a new release, it is not supported by every device, app or software.

We are offering a Windows 11 Assessment for businesses that would like to find out how to best prepare to upgrade.  Click to find out what the Windows 11 Assessment involves and register your interest.

Get your business prepared for Windows 11 with our Assessment.

Register Today.

References

  1. Microsoft launched Windows 11.  Source:  https://www.cnet.com/tech/computing/microsoft-launched-windows-11-now-what-essential-info-about-new-os/
  2. Windows 11 cheat sheet.  Source: https://lg-static.techrepublic.com/direct/whitepapers/Windows_11_Cheat_Sheet.pdf
  3. Introducing Windows 11.  Source:  https://blogs.windows.com/windowsexperience/2021/06/24/introducing-windows-11/
  4. Microsoft launched Windows 11.  Source:  https://www.cnet.com/tech/computing/microsoft-launched-windows-11-now-what-essential-info-about-new-os/
Summary
Windows 11:  What is it & how do I prepare my business?
Article Name
Windows 11: What is it & how do I prepare my business?
Description
Our comprehensive guide will offer you all of the details and information you need to know about Microsoft Windows 11, including new features, system requirements and more.
Author
Publisher Name
Kaine Mathrick Tech
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Summary
Windows 11:  What is it & how do I prepare my business?
Article Name
Windows 11: What is it & how do I prepare my business?
Description
Our comprehensive guide will offer you all of the details and information you need to know about Microsoft Windows 11, including new features, system requirements and more.
Author
Publisher Name
Kaine Mathrick Tech
Publisher Logo