Windows 11 features for hybrid work

Published on August 25, 2021

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The remote work boom has dramatically transformed how we work. It has shifted our expectations of the software we leverage every day. We have juggled apps like we have juggled work and home life. Cyber threats have become more sophisticated and provided us with new requirements for protecting ourselves and our businesses.

Windows 11 is designed to ease the hybrid work challenges many of us have encountered. Below, I will outline 11 key features to assist you and your business as you navigate hybrid work.

11 key features of windows 11 for hybrid work

1. Windows 11 includes simple IT deployment

The upgrade to Windows 11 works the same as a feature update for Windows 10; Microsoft has designed the platform with as little complexity as possible. Microsoft Endpoint Manager and Intune continue providing you with robust management as you upgrade to Windows 11. Eligible PCs running supported versions of Windows 10 can upgrade to Windows 11; learn more about the requirements here.

2. The first OS with Microsoft Teams integration

Windows 11 maintains the familiar feel of Windows 10 while accommodating the hybrid work models we have also become familiar with. Video meetings deliver deeper integration with applications such as Microsoft Teams so you can unmute yourself or share your desktop from controls in the taskbar.

Replying to Microsoft Teams messages is also easier. You can send a direct reply when notifications appear and accept or decline calls. Users can add contacts with emails and phone numbers and sync contacts from Skype and Outlook.

3. It includes Microsoft Office integration

Microsoft Office integration sees visual enhancements across the operating system. Your Windows 11 and Microsoft Office themes (such as dark mode, white or colourful) align so that you can experience your preferred theme across the whole platform.

4. Window 11 (finally) ships without Cortana or Internet Explorer

Cortana has not disappeared entirely from Windows, but it does appear less frequently. Cortana is no longer part of the setup process and does not appear automatically in the taskbar.

Internet Explorer, on the other hand, has disappeared completely. Internet Explorer was available on Windows 10 for those looking for it; Microsoft Edge replaces it in Windows 11. Microsoft Edge will include an Internet Explorer mode for anyone that needs access to legacy apps or sites.

5. A zero-trust ready OS

In the past year of hybrid work, many of us have heard stories about cybersecurity threats; we have seen phishing emails and ransomware become more sophisticated. Protecting you and your business from cyber threats is a top priority in Windows 11.

A zero-trust security model operates on the assumption that you cannot trust any user by default. Microsoft has designed Windows 11 for out-of-the-box zero-trust security. A combination of hardware, software and OS protections will protect against threats. A Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 2.0 chip will come with every certified Windows 11 system for protection from a hardware perspective. Microsoft Pluton is a security processor that is built directly into future CPUs.

6. It requires users to have malware protection turned on

In addition to out-of-the-box zero-trust, Windows 11 requires more modern CPUs to protect you from malware and ransomware. Windows 11 supported hardware includes hypervisor-protected code integrity (HVCI), virtualisation-based security (VBS), and Secure Boot.

Windows 11 introduces new security innovations such as hardware-enforced stack protection. This will protect from zero-day exploits alongside supported Intel and AMD hardware.

7. It includes a new UI design that enhances productivity

Many of us might open several windows or tabs throughout the day and work across documents and chat apps. Windows 11 simplifies how you organise, group and toggle between them. When you reconnect your device to your monitors, Windows 11 remembers the layout and snaps them back – there is no need to re-organise your windows each time you move.

The Start menu sits at the centre of your screen with a modern look alongside easier ways to find apps and suggested documents. Apps on the taskbar are centre-oriented to create uniformity.

8. It continues current app compatibility requirements

In addition to simplified deployment, Microsoft maintains their compatibility promise for Windows 10 in Windows 11. This promise is Microsoft’s commitment that your apps, including your line of business (LOB) apps, will continue operating as normal when you upgrade to the new OS.

Windows 11 will offer App Assure and Test Base for Microsoft 365 in case you encounter issues. App Assure resolves app compatibility issues. In Test Base for Microsoft 365, you can validate your apps for feature and quality updates. If you leverage one or both of these in Windows 10, you can continue using them in Windows 11.

9. It offers a refreshed app store

The Microsoft Store is built with speed and simplicity in mind. It brings together even more apps and content so that you can easily search for and discover what you need. Curated stories and collections further aid your search for the right app. In addition, Android apps make their debut on the new Microsoft Store.

10. It offers modern widgets

Widgets now provide far more detail than those in Windows 10. You can view the weather, stocks, your calendar, to-do list, and tips for better leveraging Windows 11. Widgets no longer appear as part of the start menu and have a dedicated icon in the taskbar.

11. It has a reduced major update frequency

Microsoft has also taken on the request for annual updates, which makes the OS much easier to deploy. Windows 11 will receive a yearly update with Enterprise and Education editions receiving 36 months of support.

Windows 11 receives regular patches and fixes throughout the year, but feature updates only occur annually.

Please contact us to learn how we can assist you with deploying Windows 11.

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William Lam
Group Innovation Director
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