Windows 11 Is Coming: What It Means For Your Business
When Windows 10 was launched, many believed the operating system (OS) was the last one Microsoft planned to launch. At the 2015 Ignite conference, a prominent Microsoft developer declared Windows 10 “the last version of Windows,” a contention Microsoft never affirmed nor denied. Then, contrary to its history of launching new Windows versions, the company instead has released bi-annual updates that have included updates, patches, and new features since then.
However, recently news broke that Windows 11 is indeed coming. Given the surge in PC sales for personal and professional use during the pandemic – as well as remote and hybrid work operations that will continue for the foreseeable future, the time seems right for a new launch. Further, Microsoft has probably realized with Windows 10 that there are only so many advancements you can make through over-the-air updates. Real innovation requires changes to the operating system, and while Microsoft has yet to reveal its new plans fully, some details have already been revealed.
What’s Expected in Windows 11?
At a virtual event in June, Microsoft shared some key features of the new system, starting with a fresh look. Windows 11 will make greater use of pastel colors and rounded corners for dialog boxes and widgets. The Start menu will no longer be at the bottom of the screen. Instead it, and other app icons, will sit in the center, along with news, weather, and other widgets. Windows 11 will also include a feature called Snap Groups which aggregates the apps you’re currently using in an open window for easier switching between tasks. Using this feature will also help you easily access the applications and files you need when using multiple desktops and monitors.
Windows 11 will also enhance Microsoft’s competitiveness in the videoconferencing arena. The new version of Microsoft Teams will be more robust, integrated into the Windows taskbar, and accessible through any platform (in contrast to FaceTime, which is only available on Apple devices). Windows 11 will also take aim at the Apple Store with an announcement that developers on the Microsoft Store for Windows 11 will be able to keep all of the money they make off sales, rather than pay the 30 percent commission Apple charges. Further, they’ll be able to use any payment processing platform they want; by contrast, Google and Android require developers to use their own e-commerce services. And Windows 11 users will have the ability to run Android apps on their PC that they download from the Amazon app store.
There’s even more that’s been announced, including the inclusion of Xbox console elements for a better gaming experience and improved support for virtual desktops. And if history is any indication, the final version of Windows 11 will have quite a few remaining surprises in store.
What Does Windows 11 Mean for Your Business?
Though the beta version is expected this month, the full version of Windows 11 is expected to be available for purchase during the 2021 holiday season. To encourage adoption, Microsoft plans to launch Windows 11 as a free update for Windows 10 users, whose PCs meet the OS’ operating requirements. Microsoft also plans to sell PCs prepackaged with the new OS this fall. If you’re not yet sold on upgrading, you have a bit of time. The company has announced plans to discontinue support for Windows 10 by 2025, which will give you time to demo the OS and make your decision.
Of course, not every business or consumer uses Windows 10. Some still use Windows 7 and even earlier versions that Microsoft no longer supports. But given the lack of support and all of the newer features in Windows 10 (and now 11), it’s time for those using old operating systems to move forward. For business owners especially, upgrading from Windows 7 to an OS like Windows 11 could be a game-changer.
And if you are running an older operating system, you’ll likely need to upgrade your hardware to run Windows 11. If you’re already grappling with the challenges of running outdated enterprise-wide software, reach out to Alvarez Technology Group. For more than two decades, we’ve been helping companies like yours get up to speed with the latest technology solutions. And we can help you prepare to make the transition to Windows 11 and answer any questions you may have. Contact us today, and let’s discuss your operating system needs.