The All New Windows 11
An operating system designed for hybrid work and learning
In today’s world of hybrid work and learning, our PCs are more than word processors and app platforms. They are our window to the world. They connect us with our colleagues, friends, students, and family, with knowledge and tools to solve problems and create in new ways. PCs link our work, learning, and personal lives, and our computing experience when we work, teach and learn needs to be more personal.
Microsoft announced Windows 11, which reimagines Windows to deliver new experiences that work how you work and learn. The customer experience is more important than ever—not only for productivity, but for student engagement, employee satisfaction, retention, and attracting new talent. Windows 11 delivers a more streamlined, more personal computing experience that doesn’t compromise performance, security, and manageability.
As we think about what that new experience means for hybrid work and learning, we have modernized the overall user interface, while still maintaining its familiar feel. We have worked to make the Start Menu more modern, and we’ve made it easier to find your apps and recommended documents.
You’ll also see visual enhancements in Office that take advantage of Windows 11, giving you a more seamless and simple PC experience across your apps based on the Fluent design language and system.
Meetings are how many of us get work done, and we all have stories about talking on mute or needing to be sure everyone can see the presentation you’re sharing. To help, we have also created deeper integration with collaboration and communication apps like Microsoft Teams to make it easier to mute or unmute your mic or share your desktop or even a single application during a meeting directly from the desktop taskbar.
Easy for IT to deploy and manage
Hybrid work and learning have added even more complexity for IT. Users are no longer working or learning from a single location, and they may have to work or learn on different devices. What IT needs from an operating system for this new world of hybrid work and learning is greater simplicity.
Windows 11 is built on the consistent, compatible, and familiar Windows 10 foundation you know. You’ll plan for, prepare, and deploy Windows 11 just as you do today with Windows 10. Upgrading to Windows 11 is similar to taking a Windows 10 feature update. The familiar management experiences you have in place today—like Microsoft Endpoint Manager, cloud configuration, Windows Update for Business, and Autopilot—will support your environment of tomorrow as you integrate Windows 11 into your estate. And when Windows 11 becomes available in the Windows Insider Program, Windows Enterprise and Education customers can also test it out on Azure Virtual Desktop.
Microsoft also heard from many of you that an annual update works best for you, and a simplified servicing plan makes it easier to deploy. So, Windows 11 will be updated annually with 24 months of support for Home or Pro editions, and 36 months of support for Enterprise and Education editions.
Just as with Windows 10, Microsoft is deeply committed to app compatibility, which is a core design tenet of Windows 11. Microsoft stands behind their promise that your applications will work on Windows 11 with App Assure, a service that helps customers with 150 or more users fix any app issues they might run into at no additional cost. Since 2018, App Assure has worked with thousands of customers and evaluated almost 800,000 apps with a 99.7 percent application compatibility rate. For that remaining 0.3 percent, the App Assure team will engage directly with you to get your apps running.
Microsoft also launched Test Base for Microsoft 365. Test Base is an automated application testing tool in the preview that you can use to test those business-critical applications. If the tests show that the app might have issues, again, App Assure will be there to help you.
Organizations can move eligible PCs directly to Windows 11 using Windows Update for Business if they are running any supported version of Windows 10, which is Windows 10 Enterprise, version 1909 or higher, or Windows 10 Pro version 20H1 or higher.
With advanced security from the chip to the cloud
Security has never been more important. In the most complex cybersecurity environment, we’ve ever seen, you need the next-generation platform that evolves to address the changing threat landscape, especially as your users are moving across networks, devices, and applications.
Windows 11 is Zero Trust ready and secure by design, with new built-in security technologies that will add protection from the chip to the cloud, while enabling productivity and new experiences. Key security features like hardware-based isolation, encryption, and malware prevention are turned on by default. Microsoft has also made going passwordless easier by simplifying the steps to deploy Windows Hello for Business. And all these components work together in the background to keep users safe without sacrificing quality, performance, or experience. We have also worked closely with our manufacturer and silicon partners to raise security baselines to meet the needs of the evolving threat landscape and the new world of hybrid work and learning. The new set of hardware security requirements that comes with Windows 11 is designed to build a foundation that is even stronger and more resilient to attacks.
Continued innovation in Windows 10
Today more than 1.3 billion monthly active devices use Windows 10, and Microsoft is honored and humbled by how many people choose Windows 10 for work, play, and learning. As you make the move to Windows 11, Microsoft will continue to support you as you use Windows 10. In fact, Microsoft will release Windows 10, version 21H2 in the second half of 2021 with new updates to current features that enable hybrid work like Universal Print and enhancements to management and deployment features like Windows Autopilot.
Microsoft is committed to making Windows 11 work for you, on your terms. That includes the flexibility to upgrade eligible PCs to Windows 11 as soon as the end of this year, and to have both Windows 10 and Windows 11 devices managed together in Microsoft Endpoint Manager; or you can update to Windows 10, version 21H2 to stay on an updated, secure, and supported version of Windows 10 as you plan your Windows 11 journey.
The operating system for hybrid work and learning
Windows 11 is the operating system for the world of hybrid work and learning. Here are a few ways you can get started now:
Once Windows 11 is available in the coming weeks, join the Windows Insiders Program to start to experience Windows 11 in preview. If you are an Enterprise or Education customer, you can also use Azure Virtual Desktop to start to explore Windows 11.
If you haven’t already, move to cloud management with Microsoft Endpoint Manager to leverage the power of the cloud to manage all of your Windows endpoints—whether they are Windows 10, Windows 11, or even virtualized with Azure Virtual Desktop. Within Microsoft Endpoint Manager, you can use cloud configuration to speed deployment and Endpoint Analytics to make assessing the move to Windows 11 even easier.
You can trust the security Microsoft has built into Windows 11, and if you haven’t invested in a secured-core PC, now is the time. Microsoft has also invested to make it easier to go passwordless with Windows Hello for Business.
Kick off a pilot to see how well it works in your environment—and remember that when it comes to application compatibility, Microsoft has got you covered with App Assure.