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Windows 11: What businesses should consider before upgrading

Posted by Celene Robert

May 4, 2022

Is there a compelling business reason to upgrade your system to Microsoft’s Windows 11 operating system? Despite Microsoft’s push to spur users to upgrade to Windows 11, the vast majority have decided at least for now to stick with Windows 10.

The overall adoption rate was recently found to be a minuscule 1.44% in a survey of over 10 million MS devices by Lansweeper, representing an increase from the 0.52% of PCs that ran the OS in January. This comes six months after the product’s launch to the public.

Meanwhile, computer-monitoring software provider AdDuplex found a Windows 11 adoption rate of 19.4% since December 2021. But AdDuplex data also shows Windows 11’s growth stagnated in March, when it saw only a 0.1% market share increase over Windows editions.

Why Windows 11

The sleek aesthetic, revamped start menu and new-look taskbar of Windows 11 will appeal to business users. But its most promising aspect is that the OS has been optimized for hybrid work, with new options designed to allow users to multitask as well as pick up where they left off. Below are the improvements reported by Microsoft.

Collaboration features

• Users can launch directly into team chats and meetings with one click or touch.
• The new system tray has a mute button for easier access.
• Snap Layouts give users greater orientation range when multitasking across windows and apps.
• Snap Groups can restore all windows to their previous location and orientation.

Performance and security features

• Widgets, like those found in Windows 7 and Vista, are resurrected.
• Faster boot times.
• Improved navigation of the web and web-based services.
• Uses less energy.
• New protections added at chip and cloud levels to ensure security no matter where employees are located.
• Facilitates the download of Android apps.

Hardware requirements

With security at the forefront, Microsoft has also introduced a strict new set of hardware requirements for Windows 11. All Windows 11-compatible CPUs must feature an embedded Trusted Platform Module and support secure boot, virtualization-based security and specific VBS capabilities.  

These requirements will shield users against attack (particularly at a firmware level) but are expected to create serious headaches for businesses too.

Microsoft has seemingly confused everyone with its minimum hardware requirements for Windows 11. At the heart of the confusion is the Trusted Platform Module referred to previously. Windows 11 requires all machines to feature TPM 2.0 support, either built into the CPU or in the form of an additional chip connected to the motherboard.

Upgrading isn’t always smooth sailing

Lansweeper research found that 55% of devices scanned were not capable of being upgraded to Windows 11. While in theory Windows 11 can be deployed on incompatible machines, this entails a manual installation process, which translates to a major undertaking for IT teams. 

Further, such devices will not receive the standard level of support from Microsoft. For virtual machine workstations, only 0.23% of which have TPM 2.0 enabled, the situation is worse. 

According to Lansweeper’s monitoring, 91% of devices were able to meet RAM requirements for Windows 11. But while 50% of workstation TPMs met the operating system’s requirements, more than 19% failed and 28% were either deemed incompatible or didn’t have it enabled.

In terms of user reports, there have been a range of issues identified after installing Windows 11. According to TechRadar, some users have found that the start menu search function didn’t work and that File Explorer was problematic, while others have reported unsatisfactory Wi-Fi performance.

The most troubling complaint is that Windows 11 may have memory issues that could precipitate a slowdown. 

Windows 11 cons

A recap of the operating system’s reported drawbacks includes:

Costly hardware

– The powerful background and user interface necessitate a costlier GPU.

No support for older computers

– You need at least 64GB RAM; 2.0 version TPM; 1 GHz or faster with two or more cores on a compatible 64-bit processor.

Redesigned start menu

– The start menu appears at the center of the desktop.

No Skype

– Windows 11 replaces Skype with other video call alternatives.

Taskbar not draggable

– The taskbar is fixed at the bottom of the screen and can no longer be dragged to the side of any window.

Longer boot time

– Takes more time to boot than Windows 10.

Dark mode

– Features a colorful interface rather than traditional dark mode.

No Cortana

– The AI-powered virtual assistant isn’t included by default but can be downloaded.

Upgrade with caution

While the upgrade to Windows 11 is free, moving your existing PCs to the OS may necessitate jumping through some hoops in terms of getting the right hardware. Further, Windows 10 has been around for five years and while it isn’t bug-free, you can expect Windows 11 will have issues that could affect your system performance. 

In the opinion of Lansweeper CSO Roel Decneut, Windows 11 is an adjusted version of Windows 11, and meaningful differences between the two operating systems are minimal. “This is likely the main reason why businesses are against upgrading to a new, and almost unproven, version rather than staying with what they know with Windows 10,” Decneut told Computerworld.

On the other hand, Windows 11 refines what is good about Windows 10 without changing much about Microsoft’s operating system in the process, according to Alex Wawro’s review in Tom’s Guide. And many of its new features can help you be more productive once you learn how to use them.

“It’s hard to make a definitive judgment about Windows 11 because so much of it is still being built out in front of us,” writes Wawro. “I expect Microsoft will address [many of its issues] before the end of the year, which means it should be a whole different OS by the time many of us get the offer to upgrade.”


Celene Robert
Celene Robert

Celene heads up the marketing at Escalon. Passionate about helping companies grow their business, she spends her days finding new ways to bring essential business services to startups, SMBs, and growth-minded companies. Based in the PNW, she’s the proud owner of 8 pairs of Birkenstocks and a sassy, cuddly cat.

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