Microsoft backs on its own transition to Windows 11

Microsoft gave more details about its plan to internally move to Windows 11 on 190,000 PCs in just five weeks, starting October 7, 2021.

While Microsoft considers the project a great success, the company admits it hasn’t upgraded all of its PCs to Windows 11. especially the Trusted Platform Module 2.0 chipsets, which aren’t present on older PCs.

“Windows 11 has specific hardware requirements and a certain percentage of our devices have not been upgraded. Employees with these devices will continue to use Windows 10 in parallel and will receive a Windows 11 device when their device needs to be replaced,” Microsoft’s Lukas Velush said in a blog post.

A “smooth” implementation

Microsoft used its own tools to support the internal upgrade. One is the Update Compatibility tool, combined with Microsoft Endpoint Manager’s device scanning capability to identify devices that meet or exceed minimum specifications.

While Microsoft does not specify the percentage of its devices that do not meet the minimum requirements, the company specifies that “190,000 devices were eligible based on hardware requirements.” The deployment of these has been largely successful.

“Microsoft’s upgrade to Windows 11 is considered the smoothest we’ve ever had,” the company said in a blog post.

“Within five weeks, Microsoft Digital Employee Experience has deployed Windows 11 to 99% of eligible devices,” Microsoft said on another page dedicated to this implementation.

Not all devices received the update

Some aircraft were excluded on the grounds that they “shouldn’t receive the upgrade” and were therefore not included in the exercise. “Other devices, such as servers and test labs — where Microsoft validates new products on older operating systems — have been left out of the transition to Windows 11.”

Microsoft used its Update Compatibility Utility to determine which PCs are eligible for or excluded from the Windows 11 rollout, allowing the rollout team – called Microsoft Digital Employee Experience – to apply checks to ineligible devices and automatically bypass them during the rollout. implementation.

“These checks also allowed the company to bypass the implementation on any device that was mistakenly targeted for an update,” Microsoft said.

Prevention is better than cure

Microsoft will support Windows 10 until October 2025. By that time, the company expects most customers to have refreshed their hardware and are ready for Windows 11. “Windows 10 and Windows 11 can co-exist and be supported.” simultaneously supported by Microsoft until all devices are upgraded or retired. As devices are refreshed, more Microsoft employees will gain access to Windows 11.

Microsoft recognizes that some devices may experience issues with Windows 11, even if they are eligible for the update. The company recommends using Windows 11 built-in media to roll back to Windows 10. The default rollback period is 10 days after installation.

Following an initial pilot, an opt-out process has also been created for employees who want their devices to be excluded from the global rollout. Employees had to explain their reason, while Microsoft set a deadline for how long devices could be excluded from the upgrade.

Microsoft used Windows Update for Business to automate Windows 11 deployment and to track and manage exclusions and rollbacks. It also allowed employees to make the upgrade to Windows 11 happen overnight or over the weekend.

The “fastest implementation” in its history

Naturally, all major implementations of new systems require special attention. Microsoft recommends clearly communicating the benefits of Windows 11 to employees. Microsoft Digital Employee Experience communicated about the rollout via its internal home page, SharePoint, email, Teams and Yammer FAQs.

The key materials used summarized the new features of Windows, such as support for Zero Trust, the ability to schedule upgrades at employee-appropriate times, the fact that Windows 11 can be up and running in as little as 20 minutes, and new terms related to Windows 11.

Microsoft says it hasn’t measured an increase in support tickets during the Windows 11 rollout to 190,000 devices and claims the five-week rollout was the “fastest rollout of a new operating system in the world.” Company History”.


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