You have probably heard about the upcoming release of Windows 11 and all its new gadgets and gizmos, and you may be asking yourself, 'should I get Windows 11? How will it affect my business?'
In this post, we're going to take a look at how much Windows 11 will cost, how upgrading may or may not benefit your business and what happens if you'd prefer to stick with Windows 10.
Microsoft has announced that they are releasing a new operating system - the first since Windows 10 was released in 2015. Windows 11 will be released properly later this year. Currently, only the beta or 'preview' version of the update is available – depending on feedback, they might still make a few more changes to the software.
In terms of actual release dates, Microsoft has said that the Windows 11 release will come later this year in October. There is no set date yet for the Window 11 software to become available as a download, but early indications are that it will be in the spring of 2022.
There will most likely be two ways to get the Windows 11 release: upgrading your existing computer or buying a new one.
Upgrading Your Existing PC
Let's talk about upgrading your existing computer to the new Windows 11 operating system (OS). Just because there is a new OS available, it doesn't mean that you need to go out and buy new computers. Firstly, you should check if your current hardware will support the Windows 11 release. Microsoft will release a compatibility checker (at the time of writing, this is not yet available, but it soon will be).
The Windows 11 release will be available as a free download, a bit like Windows 10, so if you have a PC running Windows 10, you can get your hands on the Windows 11 software without any cost.
The minimum system requirements tell us you need only 4GB RAM, 64GB disk space and a 1ghz processor with two cores and a TPM chip. Of course, most modern computers far exceed this, and if your computer doesn't, then it might be time to upgrade it anyway. However, keep in mind that these are minimum requirements; you should be looking to at least double these for good performance.
Buying a New PC
From October, when we buy any new PCs, they will typically already have Windows 11 available.
With the release of Windows 10 in 2015, new PCs came equipped with Windows 10, but they could downgrade to Windows 7. That was great news for businesses that weren't quite ready to upgrade yet, as it allowed them to do so at their own pace. They had the Windows 10 license available for a future date but could continue to use Windows 7 if they preferred.
It seems likely that the same will be in place with the Windows 11 release, and you will be able to buy a new PC with a Windows 11 license but continue to use Windows 10 for now if you wish. This means that even if you need to buy new computers, you can opt to wait and see if Windows 11 is good before you commit to it.
In terms of your business hardware replacement strategy, there is no need to do anything new. You can keep replacing PCs in your business as you need to.
Can I Keep Windows 10?
Windows 10 isn't going anywhere just yet. It is still here, and Microsoft has announced that it will be in support until 2025. There is absolutely no rush for you to go out and do anything until you're ready. Windows 7, released back in 2009, was only removed from support in 2020; see our eBook 'The 2020 Problem' for more information on that.
Is Windows 11 Good? Features for Business
Let's now talk about a few of the new features that I think will benefit businesses, because after all, it's the features that drive people to want to upgrade. The new features are designed to make your PC more streamlined and you more productive (hopefully).
- Look and feel
Windows 11 has been described as more of a Mac-like feel - with rounded corners and pastel colours.
One of the biggest changes is the start menu. It's no longer in the bottom left of the screen where it has been in every Microsoft OS, but it's in the centre. Yes, just like Apple Mac. That might take some getting used to!
Check out our previous blog post for a rundown of whether Windows or Apple is a better fit for your company.
- Integration of Microsoft Teams
Microsoft Teams is integrated into Windows 11. Teams is now directly built into the operating system; you'll find it in the taskbar. You can simply click on the Teams icon to launch the chat tool, where you can message any of your contacts or start a voice or video chat.
Most of our clients use Microsoft Teams, so this is a definite plus for businesses, particularly those with colleagues still working from home or adopting a hybrid home and office working style.
- Snap layouts + snap groups
A feature that I like and I think will benefit businesses is the snap layouts and snap groups. You can group applications and websites that you use for common tasks together in one place and open them all at once. This will save time and make your work more organised.
- Virtual desktops
Windows 11 virtual desktops are a pretty good idea, too. Many people use the same computer in different places, particularly if you're working from home – you might have one workspace for personal use and a different one for work. This allows you to go between the two easily.
Should I Get Windows 11?
In time, your business must upgrade to the Windows 11 release. That's just how the software world works. Still, there's no rush as yet to get upgraded. In fact, it might even be better to wait a bit.
- As with any new software, there will be some teething problems. My advice is always to wait six to twelve months after the launch, giving a bit of time for any issues to be ironed out.
- If you have a business with multiple PCs, then you shouldn't just jump into the upgrade. Instead, you should carefully plan and upgrade uniformly.
- What applications does your business run and rely on? Unfortunately, some applications might not work well with the Windows 11 release or could be slow to be made compatible.
We know that some people like to have the latest software, and that's fine, but it's also important that your software works for you and your business. If you have any questions about whether you should get Windows 11 for your business, or if you would like to book an IT consultation to get an idea of how to improve your existing technology, please get in touch with us today.