Should My Business Upgrade to Windows 11?
The much-anticipated release of Microsoft's new operating system, Windows 11, is here! But if you're like many business leaders, you're probably trying to figure out how this relates to your business and what, if anything, you should do now.
That's why we've compiled some information on what's new with Windows 11, what features you won't see carried over from Windows 10 to Windows 11, as well as guidance on when the right time to upgrade could be for you.
Let's dive in.
What Are the New Features in Windows 11?
One of the main reasons for operating system upgrades is to improve the user experience. That's why companies such as Microsoft, Apple, and Google spend billions of dollars in research and development in order to provide their users with the best experience possible.
With the release of Windows 11, Microsoft has added some neat new features that will help with productivity and make your life easier.
Here are just a few that are especially exciting for business productivity (and are just plain cool):
- Android app compatibility. You can now download apps directly from the Microsoft Store through the Amazon Appstore where you'll have access to over 500,000 apps. You'll finally be able to bring those small-screen Android apps to a big screen.
- Microsoft Teams. Teams is now integrated into Windows 11, allowing for a more streamlined experience. This can help boost your team's productivity if you "live" in Teams.
- Virtual Desktops. A lot of what Microsoft has changed with this version of Windows is a direct reaction to features that Macs have had for years, and virtual desktops are one of them. You'll be able to toggle between specific desktops that you customize however you like. From work to personal, you can easily switch between what's important to you.
This is just a tiny taste of what's new in Windows 11.
What Features of Windows 10 Aren’t Included in Windows 11?
As with most significant operating system updates and upgrades, Windows 11 is removing some features included with Windows 10. If you rely on any of them, you might find yourself wondering how you'll complete certain tasks efficiently without them.
Here are a few features you won't find in Windows 11:
- Tablet mode
- Taskbar features: Customization, Drag-and-Drop
- Legacy Snipping Tool
- Live Tiles in Start Menu
- News and Interests
- S mode in Windows 11 Pro
- Pre-installed Apps: 3D Viewer, Cortana, Internet Explorer, OneNote, Paint 3D, Skype, Wallet
These aren't necessarily commonly used features, and you might not personally be affected by any of these changes. Still, if you're one of the few who use them in Windows 10 now, you may find yourself frustrated without these.
Is Now the Right Time For My Company to Upgrade to Windows 11?
It can be tempting to upgrade to a new operating system right when it comes out, but we suggest holding off until the operating system has been thoroughly tested.
There are bound to be bugs and compatibility issues with any new operating system release, so we recommend businesses wait until the first Feature Update is released before integrating it into their business environment.
Also, it’s an IT best practice to test operating system upgrades on one machine in your environment first to see how it works with your applications, VPNs, hardware, drivers, peripherals, and other existing systems before rolling it out to your organization.
This thorough testing minimizes the risk of downtime and other disruptive technical issues.
No matter your role in the company, you have a job to get done, and you don’t want technology issues getting in your way.
One of Accent's Windows experts, Jared, had this to say when discussing the possibility of significant issues arising due to an upgrade.
"There are so many unforeseen bugs that come up with new operating systems in business environments that end up hindering end-users. It'll be a good amount of time before Windows 11 catches up to Windows 10 in regards to stability."
Loss of stability results in a loss of productivity for employees. Jared continues...
"At the end of the day, what our clients want is for their employees to be able to work as effectively and efficiently as they can. If they implement a new operating system too soon, the employees will end up spending a lot of time on the phone with us trying to get everything to work how it already was working before. So it's typically not worth rushing into it for a couple of shiny new tools."
If technology stability and employee productivity are top priorities for you and your team, it's best to wait until your IT team has confirmed that the operating system will perform well in your environment.
However, the decision about when to upgrade is ultimately up to each business leader and their organization's unique situation.
Is It Okay to Upgrade My Home Computer?
If your home computer is also used for business, we suggest waiting until the operating system is more stable and your IT team has thoroughly tested it with your business apps, peripherals, etc. before making the switch.
If the computer is solely for personal use, go for it when you're ready! As mentioned, there are a number of cool new features in Windows 11, and you might be ready to upgrade your home computer right away to experience them for yourself. New operating systems can be fun!
Before You Click That Upgrade Button…
We recommend doing a few things to help reduce any unforeseen issues:
Back up your data. Whether you back up to an external hard drive or a cloud service, ensure all your data is intact and restorable.
Check for hardware compatibility. Not all computers can be upgraded. Check your computer's specifications before proceeding with your upgrade. Here are the specifications Microsoft recommends: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/windows-11-specifications
Check for software compatibility. Windows 11 has been in the hands of software companies for a while now, but it's best to check that your commonly used apps are compatible. Visit their support pages for info.
Check for peripheral compatibility. Some external devices such as printers or scanners might not work once you upgrade to Windows 11, especially older equipment. Check with the manufacturer of your devices and make sure they have up-to-date drivers that work with the upgrade.
Still Not Sure What's Best for Your Business?
If you're still not sure whether your Southern California business should upgrade now or in the future, or about your business's technology roadmap overall, contact us any time. One of our technology consultants would be happy to discuss your unique situation and determine the best course of action for your business.
About Courtney Casey
In an industry dominated by men, Courtney Casey, Director of Marketing for Accent Computer Solutions, Inc., is making her mark on the world of information technology. Courtney has been immersed in the IT field most of her life and has been molded into the tech savvy expert she is today. She began working for Accent while earning her Bachelor's degree from California State University, Long Beach. Known in the Inland Empire as the "Tech Girl," Courtney is a regular columnist for the region's newspaper of record, The Press-Enterprise. Her columns address topical news trends, new technology products, and offer advice on how to embrace technology or avoid common IT pitfalls.