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Windows 11 has arrived from Microsoft.

by Nicki Dowsett in Engineers, General, Hardware, Helpdesk, Industry News, IT Support, IT Systems, Microsoft, Office 365, Windows 10, Windows 11, Windows 7

What is Windows 11?

Microsoft regularly updates their operating system and Windows 11 is their latest offering.  Windows 10 was released in July 2015, and before that, we saw Windows 8 and 7, etc.  As technology and requirements evolve as does the need for the operating system for your PCs and laptops.  Windows 11 is the first version released whereby a new license is not required, it is a free update to your existing version.  A bit like Apple and Android phones regularly sending updates to your devices that improve the functionality and security of the operating system.

Is Windows 10 redundant and should I update straightaway?

The simple answer is NO.  Windows 10 will continue to be supported by Microsoft until 2025.  Allowing a 4-year crossover between Windows 10 and Windows 11.  This means that support and security updates will be rolled out to users as normal for this period.  Windows 10 is not redundant and can continue to be used without any disruption until such time your organisation decides the time is right to update.  As the saying goes if it’s not broken – don’t fix it!

Audit of Existing software and hardware?

Within your business, you are likely to use several third-party software packages, such as accounting packages, CRM’s, auditing, procurement, and monitoring programs.  It is important to understand how each of these interacts with the operating system, Windows 11.  Just because Microsoft has released Windows 11 and carried out internal extensive testing, it does not mean that these third-party offerings have had the opportunity to ensure they will continue to work as expected.  Code and commands in the programming may need to be amended and changed to suit the requirements of Windows 11, which is likely to be rolled out by third parties in time.  Without a full understanding of the packages used and what is required in terms of processing, it could potentially cause a huge issue and remove access to your data.

Similarly, hardware is not automatically going to be compatible, whilst new machines are likely to have the processing power and memory to run Windows 11, it is highly recommended that each individual machine including printers, scanners, and copiers are audited to ensure they will continue to work as expected.  As Windows 10 is supported for a further 4-years, we can identify which machines will operate as normal and which ones may need to be updated over this period.  For example, if you have a laptop that is 3 years old but not compatible, it makes sense to wait until the end of its life before purchasing a new one, rather than simply upgrading the laptop now, when Windows 10 will still work.

What can happen if updated without support from MPR IT

Updating to Windows 11, without a full audit of your software and hardware, could potentially become costly.  Not only because you will find that some devices and software packages will not work immediately, but also because you may not be able to operate as normal and your employees may struggle to complete tasks.  This can affect your business in the long term, with orders not being processed in time and customers looking elsewhere, whilst the issue is fixed.

With a varying speed on the update to Windows 11, planning the rollout across your business is important to minimalise downtime during the update.  This will avoid all devices being updated at once and having no employees able to carry out any business tasks.

Planned update with support from MPR IT

Our team has the experience and knowledge to understand the requirements of devices and software packages, to identify what can and more importantly, cannot be updated to Windows 11.  Liaising with you, we can strategically plan the project to ensure minimum downtime for each device, user, department, and company as a whole.  The project can be planned to allow for any future upgrades of devices over the next 4 years, to ensure minimum outlay is required.  Historically, with the update to Windows 10, we had the experience of businesses updating to the new operating system without expert assistance, causing work to stop as devices and some software programs were incompatible.  This meant that in addition to new devices needing to be purchased and installed, the day-to-day business could not continue.  Not to mention the cost of calling in expert advice without an agreed SLA. 

MPR Testing Windows 11

MPR IT Solutions are currently carrying out internal testing of the new operating system and its compatibility with our own third-party software packages, such as antivirus, monitoring, CRM, and Accounts application.  This will ensure that when we make the right decision to upgrade all our own devices, we can continue to support our clients.

As part of this testing, we have identified that in terms of general use Windows 11 does have some different functionalities compared to Windows 10, which once used for a little while, the end-user can adjust quite easily.  Right-hand click menus on your mouse have changed and you are now shown icons as opposed to words for actions, such as copy and paste. Overall the general feel for the operating system is very simple to use.

We have also identified that the incorporated Microsoft Teams will only link to a personal account and not a business or educational account.  This is likely to cause initial confusion, as you will not be able to log in to your work Teams account, without some minor alterations made by one of our engineers in the setup.

Future expectations

Moving forward, it is expected that as with any operating system, Windows 11 will be regularly updated for security patches and functionality.  This is not unusual and will have minimum effect on the day-to-day running. 

Contact us for further information

To discuss arranging an audit of your network for compatibility to Windows 11, and an agreed project plan to update your systems please contact our Sales & Account Management Team on 0800 030 20 30 or via email sales@mpr-it.co.uk

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