The vast majority of small businesses today use the Windows 10 operating system for their company computers. Windows 10 is one of the longest running versions of the iconic OS, first being released as a preview in October of 2014 and the full public version being released in July of 2015.
Overall, Windows 10 was a huge success that most people really liked. Recently, however, Microsoft announced that they will be rolling out Windows 11 in October of 2021.
This is going to be a major overhaul to the operating system and will provide small businesses with a lot of new features to take advantage of. Of course, it is also going to come with updated system requirements that need to be met.
While Windows 10 will continue to be supported for the foreseeable future, it is a good idea to start planning for your Windows 11 deployment and support as soon as possible to avoid any potential issues.
System Requirements for Windows 11
The first thing you need to do when planning out the deployment of Windows 11 is make sure that all your systems meet the hardware requirements released by Microsoft. The following are the minimum hardware requirements to run this latest version of the OS.
As most IT pros know, however, running any system with the minimum requirements is not a good idea as you will undoubtedly experience less than ideal performance. When planning your deployment, it is best to take the following system requirements and make sure that your computers exceed them all.
- Processor Requirements – You must have at least a dual core CPU running at 1GHz or faster. The CPU must also be 64-bit compatible (which virtually all models have been for many years).
- Memory Requirements – Windows 11 will require a minimum of 4-gigs of RAM, though more is always better.
- Storage Requirements – Microsoft lists a 64-gig storage requirement for installing Windows 11, but when you factor in patches and other downloadable updates, you may need significantly more free space.
- Graphics Card Requirements – Your graphics card must be compatible with DirectX 12 or later as well as WDDM 2.0 drivers.
Another item that you need to make sure your computer has is the Trusted Platform Module (TPM). This hardware security feature was also required for Windows 10, so if you were running that OS you will already have this in place. TPM was not, however, needed for Windows 7 or 8 so if you are still on those operating systems you may need to upgrade your hardware to ensure this is available.
Of course, you will also need an active Internet connection when installing Windows 11. This will be used to download the latest patches and other updates.
Windows 11 is a Free Upgrade
Years ago, when Microsoft announced that most people would qualify for a free upgrade to Windows 10, industry pros were quite surprised. Providing Windows 10 for free, however, has now been shown to be a very smart move by Microsoft since it helped to encourage most people to upgrade their operating system and stay with the Microsoft product.
They have now confirmed that Windows 11 is also going to be available free of charge. For businesses, this makes upgrading a much easier decision since it will not require a major investment in this area. It also helps to free up available budget to perform hardware upgrades that may be needed to take advantage of the latest version of this operating system.
Of course if you need a new Operating System, we can help
Planning Support for Windows 11
Upgrading to a new operating system is always a challenge for technical support teams. Not only do you have to plan out how you will deploy the upgrade to all the systems with as little disruption to business as possible, but you will also have to provide end user support as people adjust to the new interface.
As with any major version upgrade to Windows, there are a lot of changes. These changes change the way users will access various features, add new features, and generally change the way people use their computers. Making sure that your support team is familiar with how Windows 11 works in general, and how to perform common tasks your users require is important.
The best way to prepare your technical support teams for this upgrade is to install the preview version of the operating system on a few computers. This will allow the support team to become familiar with the interface so that they can be prepared for the various changes and updates when they are deployed to end users.
In order to get the preview release of Windows 11, you must sign up to be a ‘Windows Insider.’ The Windows Insider system not only gives you early access to the beta or preview versions of the operating system, but it also provides you with a lot of great information about their products. Having your technical support teams spend some time familiarizing themselves with Windows 11 before you deploy it will help ensure they can provide the support your users may need.
Of course, the preview version of Windows 11 will not have every feature, and some things may change in the final public release. Fortunately, Microsoft is pushing out updates to their preview versions regularly to ensure your team will benefit from it as much as possible between now and the time when you upgrade your systems.
Security Software is a huge part of protecting your systems
Scheduling Your Windows 11 Upgrade
While Windows 11 is slated to officially come out in October of 2021, it will not likely be available to everyone at this time. Microsoft is releasing this update using a tiered approach that is based on the hardware of the users and a number of other factors.
To determine if your systems are compatible, and when they might be eligible for the upgrade, you can visit Windows.com and run their free PC Health Check app. For many, this will be the easiest way to ensure your systems are ready for Windows 11 and get an idea of when you will qualify for the free upgrade.
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