It’s been quite some time since Microsoft has released a new version of Windows. As a matter of fact, it’s been just over six years since Microsoft released Windows 10 to the general public on July 29, 2015. Its predecessor, Windows 8.1, was released only two years before that. So a new product launch is overdue, but it is finally here, with the rollout date beginning October 5, 2021.
The Windows 11 migration will be a process, not an event, but you can expect some end users to download it immediately while others will buy new PCs with it pre-installed. However, not everyone is a fan of change and will migrate according to their own timeline. The fact that it is more of an update to Windows 10 as opposed to a completely different operating system should help persuade some users to download the new version in a more timely manner.
Most of the changes provided in Windows 11 are primarily cosmetic, but Microsoft has made a solid effort to appeal to hybrid employees, those who are working from both the office and home. Microsoft kept this hybrid work model at the forefront of their minds when designing Windows 11, which is evident in its features. With Windows 11, you will not only see these newer features being put into play but older ones from Windows 10 being rearranged and brought into the forefront. These older capabilities that are being highlighted are seemingly more functional now with the changing times.
Some of what you will see with Windows 11 are:
- Snap Layouts which allows you to optimize your screen space
- Chat function in Microsoft Teams that will enable you to call, text, chat, or video
- Start function that utilizes the cloud and Microsoft 365 to show your files no matter what device you are using
- Widgets, a faster way to access the information you desire
- And when you need a break from work-enhanced gaming peripherals
However, that’s not all. With so many people working from home these days, heightened security is of great concern, and Microsoft not only heard the call but met the need. With ransomware on the rise, security is now more critical than ever. Windows 11 is Zero Trust ready. Zero Trust ready means your computer will trust no one until it gets to know them and trust them. Until then, no one is getting past the security measures put in place. No access to IP addresses, machines, etc.
Windows 11 also has new built-in security technologies such as hardware-based isolation, encryption, and malware prevention, all of which are turned on by default. Expect to see more PCs that use secure-core PCs that leverage firmware to make them more resilient to malware. Microsoft is also making it easier to abandon passwords using Windows Hello for Business.
Because of the hardware requirements for the new security measures, some people will not be able to upgrade to Windows 11. It will need a processor from Intel’s 8th generation or up. It is also required to have a PC with a Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 2.0 chip. A TPM chip helps carry out cryptographic operations and boosts the Zero Trust security.
Between ransomware and hybrid work models, security is a primary concern for Microsoft and employers alike. While these new changes will not be available to some people due to the requirements, they are very promising for those who meet the conditions and those purchasing new PCs.
As we learn more about Windows 11, we will share it with our clients and prepare for this next chapter in our cyber lives. As always, should you have questions, please contact us.