June 15, 2022
It’s Time to Plan for a Windows 11 Upgrade
Microsoft began rolling out Windows 11 in October 2021, but most organisations have set this aside to date in favour of the current and familiar Windows 10 platform. However, things are changing, and the time has come to start looking ahead at how the switch to Windows 11 will work in your IT environment.
A Quick Look at Windows 11
Introduction to Windows 11: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/windows-11
Windows 11 has been re-designed optimize your screen space and maximize productivity. Here is a quick look at some of the best features you can look forward to:
- Android apps are now built into Windows 11 allowing you to access and download them directly to your computer.
- Windows 11 adds Widgets to the interface – an AI-powered customizable feed that slides out to show you such info as news, weather, a glimpse at your calendar and to-do list and your recent photos.
- Windows 11 builds Microsoft Teams directly into the operating system, making it easier to access for daily use.
- Windows 11 lets you easily create separate virtual desktops for different uses, customize them with different wallpapers and easily toggle between them.
- Windows 11 lets you arrange open windows in different ‘snap layouts’ on the screen, and will save all of those windows in that arrangement.
- There is also a bunch of new features on the way such as touch gestures, accessing Bluetooth devices from the Action Centre, a floating ‘overflow’ taskbar, a new Microsoft Designer app and the ability to interact and perform actions in Windows 11 with voice input, just to name a hot few.
Why Do You Need to Plan for Windows 11 Now?
There are three main reason why you need to start preparing to adopt Windows 11.
- New computers are starting to come with Windows 11 pre-installed out of the box.
- Microsoft is planning a forced update in October that IT providers may not be able to block.
- Windows 11 is the future and the future is now. You want to operate a modern workplace and having staff come to work grumbling that their Operating System at home is more advanced that what they get at work is counter-productive.
Windows 11 Hardware Requirements
You will need to be aware that Microsoft have some fairly strict hardware requirements for Windows 11. As a first step, we will need to know which of your current devices meet the Windows 11 hardware requirements. As a general rule, most devices purchased in the last 18-24 months should be compatible with Windows 11.
Layer3 will help you analyse your endpoint devices, determine application compatibility, and manage any hardware replacements or workarounds needed.
For administrators on our L3 portal, you will be able to see the readiness of your devices by navigating to Infrastructure -> Endpoints and selecting the Performance tab:
Do not overlook the importance of user readiness to deliver an effective, enterprise-wide deployment of Windows 11. Windows 11 has a familiar design, but your users will see several enhancements to the overall user interface. They will also need to adapt to changes in menus and settings pages. Therefore, we recommend a few steps to prepare your team for the Windows 11 experience:
- Develop an internal communications plan to ensure that you provide the right message at the right time to the right groups of users, based on when they will see the changes.
- Inform your staff of what changes they can expect to see and offer tips on how to use or customize their experience. Include screenshots of the new user interface, the out-of-box experience for new devices, and the upgrade experience for existing devices.
- Consider some Windows 11 training for your staff.
Layer3 has an excellent short form training course in the University section of our L3 Portal:
Brain Bites – Windows 11 Essentials
How To Get The Most From The Windows 11 Operating System
This Course Is for People New To Windows 11 – Taking This Course Will Help You Understand The New Operating System Navigation, Advantages, And Functionality
Topics covered include:
- Understanding the basics of Windows 11, including versions and user account types
- Navigating Windows 11, including the desktop, Start Menu, Task Bar, and Action Center
- Managing your files with the File Explorer and the Quick Access option
- Using Snap, Task View, and Virtual Desktops to organize your windows
- Customizing Windows 11 for your personal workflow
We can also provide some useful resources and links to help your organization and users get the most out of your new Windows 11 experience.
Layer3 will be in touch to start the discussion. Depending on your organisation’s size and complexity, it is likely that some scoping and testing will be required to ensure it will be a smooth transition and that all of your other existing business applications will play nicely in the sandbox with Windows 11. While some project costs may apply for this testing work, you will not be able to just jump blindly into a major upgrade such as replacing your whole Operating System.
Layer3 will develop a project plan and roadmap in consultation with you and we can progress from there.