Microsoft announced a big gift for the holidays this year. It is releasing its next operating system, Windows 11.
The OS comes roughly four years before Windows 10 is due to be retired in October 2025. By “retired” we mean to lose all support, including those vital security patches that keep systems from being vulnerable to attacks.
As upgrades go, Windows 11 won’t be quite as dramatic a change as the shift from Windows 7 to 10, but it is still an operating system upgrade, which means a significant IT project for a company to undertake.
Why is it important to upgrade your operating system as soon as possible after a new release? Here are some reasons:
- IT security considerations
- To stay compatible with the latest software & peripherals
- To provide employees with the best productivity tools
- To take advantage of new features
- To stay “in sync” with customers and vendors
- To stay competitive in a technology-driven world
With the release coming soon, now is the time to begin preparing your office for a Windows 11 upgrade. We’ll go through what you can expect with Windows 11, including some of its most helpful features, cost, release timing, and how to prepare for an upgrade.
Best New Features of Windows 11
Microsoft Teams Calling from the Desktop
Microsoft has really been pushing Teams. The company is retiring Skype for Business on July 31, 2021, and encouraging those users to move to Microsoft Teams.
It also began marketing Teams to consumers, not just businesses, at the beginning of the pandemic and brought out a free version of this virtual work hub and video calling platform.
Teams is getting an even higher profile in Windows 11. The app is natively integrated into the OS, and you can click to start a video call, voice call, or chat right from the desktop. You don’t even need to open the full Teams app!
All Windows 11 images are from Microsoft
Create Your Own Shortcut & News Feed
A new widget-powered feed is available in Windows 11. This feed is accessed from the desktop and can be customized by using the widgets you like to build it.
You can include things like:
- Weather report
- News headlines
- Bing search
- And more
Easier Arrangement of Multiple Windows
The snap layouts feature makes it easier to quickly arrange between 2-4 open windows on your screen without having to struggle to fit them all together.
Snap layout includes six different arrangement options that make multi-tasking much easier. Just hover over the maximize button on a window to get the layout options.
Distraction-Free Look & Feel
Productivity is a big driver of Windows 11, and that includes making the interface clean, simple, and distraction-free.
Some of the ways the OS does this are:
- Rounded corners & translucent options on windows
- Simplified Start menu
- The search bar has been moved from the taskbar to the top of the Start menu
- The Start menu button (Windows icon) has been moved to the center of the taskbar
How Much Will Windows 11 Cost?
Windows 11 is a free upgrade if you have Windows 10 and a system that is compatible with the upgrade.
You can quickly check compatibility by using Microsoft’s PC Health Check tool. Just download it, run it, and you’ll be told whether or not your computer can install Windows 11.
When Can You Expect Windows 11 to Be Available?
Microsoft has stated that Windows 11 is expected to be rolled out publicly around the holidays of 2021 and possibly into early 2022. So, you can expect it around the end of the year.
There is a rumor going around that it might be as early as October 2021. The rumor is fueled by the fact that Walmart was advertising free Windows 11 October 2021 upgrades for some of its laptops. And because certain press images for Windows 11 have October 2021 showing on the taskbar. Microsoft hasn’t confirmed the rumor.
Steps to Prepare Your Business for a Windows 11 Upgrade
It’s important to prepare ahead of time for a big upgrade like an OS version change, no matter how small your office may be. Downtime due to IT problems is costly, and the goal is to mitigate downtime and any potential productivity drop during an upgrade.
Prepare for a Windows 11 upgrade by taking these steps:
- Check all your computers for compatibility with Windows 11.
- Plan replacements for those too old to be upgraded.
- Check all software you’re using for Windows 11 compatibility.
- Make any needed plans to upgrade incompatible software.
- Pre-schedule your upgrade with Texas I.T. Pros. (while there is no exact release date yet, you can get your spot in line before schedules fill up)
- Train employees on Windows 11 about 1-2 weeks before your upgrade.
Pre-Schedule Your Windows 11 Managed Upgrade Today!
Texas I.T. Pros can help your Denton or Wise County business ensure a smooth upgrade to Windows 11 so you can enjoy all the new productivity features without experiencing costly downtime.
Contact us today to learn more! Call 940-239-6500 or reach out online.