Windows 11 launched on 5 October, the first major upgrade since Windows 10 launched more than six years ago. Microsoft says Windows 11 is the most secure and productive version of Windows. Troy Phillips, Technology Strategist at Zetta, has been using the new release since June as part of the Windows Insider program. He believes there are many benefits to upgrading.
“It might not look like a big change on the surface, but Microsoft has made security a stronger focus of this release than in the past,” Troy says.
“The current threat landscape for cyberthreats is escalating.”
“People are more mobile and working off-site, so corporate users are less likely to be protected by traditional on-prem defences than in the past.”
Remote work drives security focus on EUC
Troy credits the rapid shift to remote work due to COVID-19 as a driving force behind the need for security upgrades to End User Computing (EUC). While most security features in Windows 11 are available in Windows 10, Microsoft has made more of them mandatory in the new release.
“The security features in Windows 11 are essential for corporate users,” Troy says.
Windows 11 is a free upgrade for all Windows 10 users, but it does rely on your PC having some features that were optional for Windows 10 such as a 64-bit processor and a TPM (Trusted Platform Module).
“TPM supports the Windows Defender Credential Guard to provide higher levels of protection for identity, which is often the target during cyber-attacks” Troy says.
Ideal opportunity to begin transition to managed cloud
Troy believes Windows 11 is an ideal opportunity to adopt modern EUC management practices by transitioning to cloud-based solutions for managing the client standard operating environment (SOE).
“Microsoft has announced Windows 10 will stop being supported in October 2025,” Troy says.
“Windows 10 is no longer considered a strategic platform by Microsoft, so now is the time to start early pilot programs to transition your client device SOE.”
New PCs will start to come with Windows 11 pre-installed, so your normal acquisition cycle for hardware will address any deficiencies in your current hardware. With four years to go before Windows 10 support is dropped, organisations have time to plan a thoughtful transition.
“Windows 11 is so close to Windows 10, organisations shouldn’t be concerned about running a mixed environment.” Troy says.
“The rollout to a cloud-based management environment can happen quite naturally.”
What else does Window 11 offer for business users?
While the security is the most important focus for Windows 11, Microsoft has also made other upgrades that users will find attractive.
New look and feel for Windows 11
Users can customise the look of Windows 11 using different themes. You can also choose any colour you like, apply transparency, or select light or dark mode. There are plenty of cosmetic features to improve the look, including the ability to change your cursor. The taskbar has been renamed to the “dock” and is optimised for touch.
Improved virtual desktops in Windows 11
Windows 11 lets you use several virtual desktops, and switch between them easily. This allows you to have separate desktop views for different projects without needing additional monitors. It’s simple to set each desktop with a different theme to make flicking between desktops easy.
New productivity features in Windows 11
Multi-tasking features include Snap Layouts, which lets you arrange multiple windows across the screen and put them in columns or sections. Snap Groups allows you to go back to previously snapped windows from the dock so you can pick up where you left off. If you are using multiple monitors, Windows 11 remembers the previous positions of the windows that were on a particular monitor.
Windows 11 collaboration features
Microsoft Teams for Windows 11 is built into the operating system and integrated into the dock. Work and school accounts are not supported yet, but this will make it easier to jump onto calls for remote meetings. You can also share, mute and unmute right from the dock.
Making the transition from Windows 10 to Windows 11
Troy says Windows 10 and Windows 11 have been designed to co-exist and encourages organisations to begin Windows 11 pilot programs.
“Microsoft has programs and tools in place to support organisations who are considering transitioning,” Troy says.
“Common applications are supported across both Windows 10 and Windows 11, which helps to simplify the migration process.
“From an application perspective, it’s possible to make a seamless transition from on-premised EUC to cloud management.
“Now is a good opportunity to trial cloud-only management with minimal disruptions to your environment.”
Windows 11 summary for business
- Security is at the forefront of the release
- Free upgrade for Windows 10 users
- Improved look and feel for an enhanced user experience
- New features for users for productivity and collaboration
- Microsoft has made it easy to transition between Windows 10 to Windows 11
- Windows 11 is a good opportunity to begin a transition to fully cloud-based EUC management
Zetta can help provide Windows 11 pilot programs from installation through to validation. We are able to address any questions or concerns you have and provide training if there are gaps in understanding between the two releases.
For more information about Windows 11 or how you can begin to transition to a more secure Windows SOE, please reach out to our EUC Team. We can help you set up a pilot and guide you through every step.