Last year, Microsoft announced they would begin releasing Windows 11 come October 5, 2021, with the update available for download to computers meeting the new version’s hardware requirements.
As a business owner, one of your immediate thoughts is probably whether you ought to update right away or if you should adopt a wait-and-see approach. After all, there might still be major bugs that need fixing, and you also need to ensure your vendors will support the new update.
Besides, with Windows 10 support set to end in 2025, you have more than enough time to prepare adequately for the transition. But even when you don’t want to rush, it’s crucial to strategize and plan to ensure your business’s smooth transition to Windows 11 when the time comes.
Before migrating to Windows 11, here’s what you need to know:
1. Benefits of a Windows 11 migration
One of the primary steps you need to take before upgrading to Windows 11 is knowing and understanding exactly what value Windows 11 brings and the benefits of upgrading.
Some of the major appeals of Windows 11 are its new and improved features and functionalities like reliability, security, compatibility, multitasking, video conferencing, playing, creating, learning and a whole lot more.
From among the benefits Windows 11 offers, the following elements stand out:
- Security: With more cyberattacks and data breaches taking place, Windows 11 ramps up IT security by requiring hardware to enable protections like Windows Hello, device encryption, secure boot, virtualization-based security (VBS), and hypervisor-protected code integrity (HVCI). Together, these features can help cut down incidences of malware significantly. To enable this, Windows 11 supported CPUs will have a trusted platform module or TPM. They should also have a support secure boot, support virtualization-based security (VBS) and certain VBS capabilities. These are designed to protect your system against malicious code (i.e. kernel-mode malware) that traditional security mechanisms usually have difficulty handling.
- Support and Reliability: All devices that are upgraded to Windows 11 are automatically supported and assumed to be in a reliable state. With CPUs adapted to the new Windows Driver model and supported by the OEM and other relevant partners, it’s possible to achieve a crash-free experience.
- System Compatibility: As the latest Windows OS, you can expect Windows 11 to be compatible with new or upgraded apps. It will align with the minimum system requirements for Microsoft Office and Teams.
- Space for Better Collaboration, Creativity and Productivity: Windows 11 offers a fresh avenue to manifest your creativity and indulge in better and new experiences on the Windows desktop operating system. You’ll have a newer, simpler Start menu and more convenient communication options. In addition, Windows 11 comes with better interoperability with Microsoft Teams, as you can launch directly into Teams chats and meetings with just one click or touch. You can also use virtual desktops to enhance productivity and easily switch from personal to work mode.
- Android App Support: One of the special surprises from the unveiling of Windows 11 is its Android app support via the Amazon Appstore.
2. System requirements
To facilitate Windows 11 migration, you need to meet the following minimum system requirements:
- 64-bit compatible processor or 1gH (or faster) system on a chip (SoC) with two or more cores
- 4 gigabytes (GB) of random-access memory (RAM)
- 64 GB of storage space for Windows 11 installation (additional storage space might be necessary to activate certain features and download updates)
- Secure boot-capable unified extensible firmware interface (UEFI) firmware (legacy basic input/output system or BIOS firmware not supported)
- Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 2.0 (might have to be enabled in the firmware settings)
- DirectX 12 (or later) compatible graphics card with a Windows Display Driver Model (WDDM) 2.0 driver
- 9-inch monitor (or larger) with a high-definition (HD) display (or 720p display) and 8 bits per colour channel
- Internet connection
For a complete list of the requirements, you can check out the Windows 11 requirements page on the Microsoft website.
While Windows 11 can still be installed on computers that don’t meet the above minimum requirements, it’s considered a risky move as Microsoft won’t support such installations. There could also be compatibility problems, and since unsupported installations do not get updates, those computers would also be more vulnerable to cyberattacks.
3. Pre-migration checks
To ensure you experience a smooth and orderly transition from Windows 10 to Windows 11, take the time to cover all your bases. Rather than rushing into an upgrade for your business computers, go over your upgrade planning and enjoy a systematic transition.
Make sure you cover the following items first:
- Get your computers assessed to establish if they meet the minimum system requirements for a successful Windows 11 migration.
- Replace or upgrade units that don’t meet the technical requirements.
- Go over the software applications you use for your business and determine whether they’re compatible with Windows 11.
- Communicate the impending upgrade to your employees, provide a schedule and assure them that you have ironed out the details of the rollout.
- Schedule the migration with Softlanding and choose a timeframe that’ll minimize downtime.
- Set up a training schedule to help your team maximize the features of the new OS and instill confidence.
4. Windows 11 support
It’s crucial to note that Microsoft will provide two years of support for the Windows 11 Home, Pro, Pro for Workstations, and Pro for Education editions. Moreover, the support periods for the rest of the editions have been extended to three years.
Feature updates will now be issued yearly during the second half of each year, while security updates (or quality updates) will still be released every second Tuesday of each month.
Upgrade Now or Later?
Your decision to upgrade to Windows 11 now or later depends on your business requirements.
At Softlanding, we’re always ready to work with you in deciding on the best course of action for your organization and employees.
If you have questions or feel you’re ready to upgrade to Windows 11, please get in touch with us.