By Delia / Last update December 16, 2021

About Windows 11 operating system

On October 4, 2021, Microsoft officially released Windows 11, the successor desktop operating system to Windows 10. The product name is "Windows 11", the OS build is "22000", and the version is "21H2". The build details at launch are unchanged from the latest build 22000.194 previously available through the Windows Insider Beta channel.

In conjunction with the release of Windows 11, OEM vendors have begun shipping PCs with Windows 11 pre-installed. For individuals (without a volume license for Windows 10), there is also a manual upgrade option.

windows 11 check

The feature updates for Windows 11 will be released annually, with Home and Professional editions available for 24 months from the release date (October 10, 2023 for 21H2) and Enterprise and Education editions available for 24 months from the release date (October 10, 2023 for 21H2). October 10, 2023). Enterprise and Education editions will be supported for 36 months from the release date (until October 8, 2024 for version 21H2).

On the other hand, for enterprises, ISO images are available from the same day in the Volume Licensing Center (VLSC), Windows Server Update Service (WSUS) and Windows Update for Business, and a 180-day evaluation version of Windows 11 Enterprise is also available.

On Microsoft Azure, Windows 11 images for Azure virtual desktops are now available and officially supported. Windows 365 Cloud PCs are now also available for deploying new Windows 11 desktops in enterprise plans.

If you are planning to deploy a new Windows PC in your enterprise, you can choose a PC with Windows 10 pre-installed or a PC with Windows 11 pre-installed on a device that supports Windows 11. This is because they can be used as your company's primary client PC for the long term.

However, if you are considering migrating an existing Windows 10 client to Windows 11, you should consider it carefully. Not all Windows 10 clients can be upgraded to Windows 11.

System requirements and hardware compatibility check

Windows 11 is the successor to Windows 10 and is the latest desktop operating system. The kernel of Windows 11 is the latest public version of the kernel previously developed as Windows 10. However, unlike previous Windows 10 feature updates, not all Windows 10 devices can be upgraded to Windows 11 without modification.

Windows 11 will have stricter system requirements: Windows 11 will only be available in a 64-bit version with the following requirements.

system requirements

However, please note that processor requirements are limited to models from the last few years (2-3 years). For example, for Intel processors, 8th generation and later processors are supported (as well as some 7th generation). Therefore, if your computer is more than 3 years old, you will most likely not be able to upgrade to Windows 11. A specific list of supported CPUs can be found at Windows processor requirements page.

For PCs, the Windows 11 page of the Settings application will already display an invitation to upgrade to Windows 11 or display a notification that the upgrade is not available.

If you haven't received a notification, you can check if you can upgrade to Windows 11 by running the PC Health Check app, which you can download from this page.

However, if your Windows Update is managed by WSUS or Windows Update for Business, the PC Health Check app may not report your support status

If this is the case, you may need to do a few things to determine if you are ready to upgrade to Windows 11, such as temporarily removing policy settings to check, using existing inventory tools to check hardware information, using other check tools that are or will be available, or using your own scripts to check.

WSUS and Windows Update for Business already support Windows 11.

As previously mentioned, WSUS and Windows Update for Business will be able to be distributed immediately after the release of Windows 11.

In the case of WSUS, syncing after the Windows 11 release date will make "Windows 11" available under "Products and Categories", which can then be selected and resynced to license and distribute Windows 11 upgrades.

windows server upgrade service

The Windows Update for Business policy setting "Select Target Feature Update Version" for Windows 10 now includes an option to specify "Windows 10" or "Windows 11" as the product version for cumulative updates through September 2021.

By specifying the product version "Windows 11" and the target version of feature updates "21H2" here, you can immediately begin downloading and installing Windows 11. However, if your hardware does not support Windows 11, the "Upgrade to Windows 11" download will fail at the initial stage, prompting "This computer does not currently meet the Windows 11 system requirements". And it will continue to fail unless you change your policy settings.

In summary

Upgrading to Windows 11 in the enterprise should be well researched beforehand, including checking for compatible hardware for Windows 11, as well as compatibility with business applications and peripherals. Starting to roll out a Windows 11 upgrade without prior verification can lead to mishaps that can disrupt your business for a long time.

So to ensure business continuity, businesses can keep Windows 10 as their operating environment for now - Microsoft has announced that support for Windows 10 will continue until "October 14, 2025" for PCs that cannot be upgraded to Windows 11. And with Windows 10's November Update 21H2" (build "19044") also available, the system will continue to be secure at least through October 2025.

Also, Microsoft is rolling out Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC 2022, but unlike the 10 years of support (5 years mainstream + 5 years extended support) as of the 2019 release, this version will have a reduced support period of only 5 years’ mainstream. Therefore, this is not a recommended solution for long term use.