In June 2021, Microsoft announced the upcoming launch of Microsoft, version 11. With any new software version launch, the announcement was followed by industry questions. Back in 2015, you may have thought that Microsoft Office 10 was the last version.

Well, a lot has changed in everyone’s work environment since then. Microsoft 11 is the client operating system for desktops and laptops to tablets and 2in-1s. It is an upgraded platform for how we work today.

Of course, the immediate question is, “Will I be able to continue to use an earlier version of Microsoft, and will it be supported?” The answer to that question is yes. Although version 11 includes some features and upgrades that you may find helpful and beneficial, there is no need to rush a transition to the new version.

For a list of new features and upgrades, I went directly to the source. Here is an easy-to-understand list of new features, found on the Microsoft website in approximate order of importance to most SMB’s

  • Advanced hardware security (available in Windows 10 too)
  • Updated start menu with quicker access to apps and files
  • Improved multi-monitor support – Windows 11 will remember your apps and settings when you connect an external display
  • 40 percent performance improvement to Windows Update
  • Improved snap assist tool for window management
  • New themes
  • New Microsoft Store experience to make it easier for developers to distribute applications and users to acquire, download and manage them.
  • The ability to run Android apps
  • Built-in Microsoft Teams support for out of the box video conferencing and chat
  • New Windows Widgets app for quickly accessing your news, weather, and sports scores.
  • Improved Windows Clipboard
  • Improved Windows Inking Panel

Next steps for SMBs and mid-size organizations

Microsoft v11 will begin shipping on new PCs during the 2021 holiday season. Technology management teams are now reviewing the operating system and planning potential transitions to the new version. (Including a review of current hardware capabilities)

Of course, virtual CIOs are looking at each feature and how they will interact with their organization’s standard operating procedures. User authentication protocols are under review and policies may be adjusted. For example, with out-of-the-box video conferencing and chat provided by Microsoft 11, will your organization need to amend policy?

Team MainSpring and Microsoft 11

MainSpring vCIOs have been reviewing the software documentation and working with clients to consider a transition plan to implement Microsoft 11 at their organization.

Over the coming months, I will continue to blog about updates as well as include information in our monthly newsletter. Subscribing to our newsletter is free. Just click here to subscribe.

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