What businesses need to know about Windows 11

What businesses need to know about Windows 11

Windows 11 was released on October 5, 2021, and it’s got the entire tech world abuzz. With a host of new, more intuitive features, the latest version of the world’s most popular operating system (OS) is set to revolutionize user experience and greatly improve productivity.

However, as with any new piece of technology, many questions have been raised about Windows 11, particularly regarding its compatibility with existing hardware and Microsoft products and services. Answering such questions is especially important for small- and medium-sized (SMBs) like yours that have a limited budget for IT.

To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of everything businesses need to know about Windows 11.

Windows 11 brings improvements to existing Windows 10’s features along with a slew of new ones designed to enhance the way users work and play.

Price, rollout, and system requirements

Windows 11 is a free upgrade for Windows 10 computers. It’s also not mandatory, but Microsoft does recommend upgrading to Windows 11 before Windows 10’s end of support on October 14, 2025. Before downloading the upgrade, make sure your PCs run Windows 10 version 2004 or later and meet the following minimum system requirements:

  • Processor: 64-bit at 1 GHz
  • <strong>RAM: 4 GB
  • Storage: 64 GB
  • System firmware: UEFI, Secure Boot capable
  • TPM: Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 2.0
  • Graphics card: Compatible with DirectX 12 or later with WDDM 2.0 driver
  • Display: Greater than 9” diagonal at 720p

To see if your computers will be able to run Windows 11, download Microsoft’s PC Health Check app. Note that while you can install and use Windows 11 on incompatible PCs, you may not be eligible for updates.

Installation

To install Windows 11, sign in to your Microsoft account and make sure your files have been backed up properly. Backing up to OneDrive will ensure a more seamless upgrade, as your backups will automatically be transferred to your Windows 11 computers once the installation is complete.

If for whatever reason you decide to roll back to Windows 10, you can do so easily. However, if you do it after 10 days of installing Windows 11, you will need to back up your files and folders again, as you’ll have to perform a clean install of Windows 10.

Updates and support

Unlike Windows 10 that gets two feature updates annually, Windows 11 will receive just one each year. On the other hand, security updates will still arrive on the second Tuesday of each month.

Additionally, Microsoft is extending support for Windows 11 Home, Pro, Pro for Workstations, and Pro Education from the current 18 months to 24. The Enterprise and Education editions, meanwhile, will receive 36 months of support.

Features

Windows 11 brings improvements to existing Windows 10’s features along with a slew of new ones designed to enhance the way users work and play.

User interface (UI) revamp

With Windows 11, Microsoft introduces a redesigned UI, the most prominent feature of which is a taskbar with a centered Start menu and app icons. According to Microsoft, this will help users access apps more easily, as they no longer need to move the cursor all the way to the bottom left of the screen to find what they need. Those who prefer the old left-aligned layout can easily switch back by following these steps.

Also, a Recommended section and a set of pinned apps have replaced Live Tiles and the app list on the Start menu. The Recommended section shows installed apps that users may find useful as well as recently opened files from any platform or device. The Start menu also includes a search box, making finding files and apps more convenient.

There’s also a new widgets icon on the taskbar, which gives you quick access to information such as weather and traffic, as well as tools such as a calendar and a to-do list. Finally, Windows 11 brings back rounded corners to window borders, which makes for a more pleasing aesthetic.

Microsoft Teams integration

The free version of Microsoft Teams is included in Windows 11. You’ll find the Teams icon on the taskbar so you can easily make a call or share files with colleagues right from your desktop.

Snap layouts

Some tasks require you to have two or more windows open at the same time. Windows 11 makes this easier with snap layouts. You can choose from a selection of preset layouts to arrange multiple open windows and even resize snapped windows the way you want.

Improved virtual desktops

Setting up and accessing virtual desktops is easier on Windows 11. Simply hover over the Task View button on the taskbar to create a new desktop or access an existing one. You can also customize your virtual desktops by naming and changing the background for each one.

Better performance and security

Users can expect faster startup time and wake time from sleep mode, as well as faster, easier authentication in Windows Hello. Windows 11 also offers more streamlined background updates and more optimized browsing in any web browser. Also, the new OS provides supported Intel and AMD processors with zero-day attack protection.

New Microsoft Store

The Microsoft Store has been revamped to make it easier for users to find and download both Microsoft and third-party applications (e.g., Zoom, Adobe Creative Cloud). And soon, users will be able to discover Android apps in the Microsoft Store and get them from the Amazon Appstore.

If you have more questions about Windows 11’s features and how they can benefit your SMB, turn to the professionals at Cutting Edge Network Technologies. We’ll give you the answers you need and help you make a smooth, efficient transition to Windows 11. Reach out today.

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