Microsoft calls the Windows 11 upgrade their biggest upgrade in years, with a focus on “productivity, creativity and ease,” for both working, learning and gaming. Microsoft describes Windows 11 as delivering “a more streamlined, more personal computing experience that doesn’t compromise performance, security, and manageability.”
Windows 11 is built on the compatible and familiar Windows 10 foundation, and is deployed just like Windows 10. Upgrading to Windows 11 is similar to deploying a Windows 10 feature update. The familiar management experience—like Microsoft Endpoint Manager, cloud configuration, Windows Update for Business, and Autopilot is still available for Windows 11 users.
Windows 11 has several interesting upgrades that I will detail below, as well as some areas for improvement that I think are still lacking.
Improvements with Windows 11
Microsoft has raised the bar on system and hardware requirements for Windows 11 to ensure they provide users with an uncompromising user experience (requirements include only newer CPUs, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. See exact details here). As a result, Windows 11 will not run on some of the older PC models that are now running Windows 10, which will probably push some users to update their hardware.
Windows 11 UX- Fluent Design
The new name for the look of Windows 11 is Fluent Design, and it gives users a cleaner, more modern look and feel. The Start menu has been moved to the center of the screen, and it dynamically changes depending on the time of day, and the content you’re working with.
There’s also a huge improvement in the functionality of the Snipping Tool. Light Mode and Dark Mode are also available, with a unified design across the Windows 11 OS.
Improved App Store on Windows 11
The Microsoft Store is finally seeing a redesign, with better-curated content, and improved options for managing your purchased shows, such as mirroring them to your television. Apps such as Disney+, Adobe Creative Cloud and other popular options are already preloaded in the redesigned store for Windows 11.
WPA, EWP and Win32 apps are now all in the Microsoft Store, ready to go. If a developer has a commerce engine, they can keep 100% of the revenue brought from the Microsoft Store.
Android apps are also ready for Windows 11, discoverable from the Microsoft Store, via the Amazon App Store. You can download TikTok and more, ready to use on your PC or tablet.
Virtual Desktops on Windows 11
Windows 11 offers excellent support for virtual desktops, which allow you to use several desktops, and switch between them easily. This allows you to keep organized by having separate desktops for work and personal activities, for example.
It’s a great way to have some of the productivity benefits of multiple monitors, but with a single screen. Check out our previous guide on how to use virtual desktops in Windows 10 for an in-depth look into this feature.
Improved Security with Required TPM 2.0 as part of the System Requirements
Microsoft touts Windows 11 as the most secure release yet, with the main upgrade being the systems requirement of a TPM chip. A TPM chip not only protects your computer from external tampering, it also helps software perform encryption tasks. For any device looking to run Windows 11, Microsoft has made it a minimum system requirement for it to support the latest TPM 2.0 specification.
But Is Windows 11 Secure Enough for Enterprise Use?
Microsoft made quite some progress in making user experience more modern and streamlined – this is a great leap forward that would probably increase engagement of users with their desktop operating system – maybe at the expense of other platforms that they use today to consume content and to do their work.
While user experience seems to have been the focus of the Windows 11 launch, not much has changed on the security front, outside of the requirement for TPM 2.0. Organizations still face the same challenges imposed by “mixed usage” on desktop operating systems – Windows 11 does not change that paradigm.
Accessing sensitive resources from the same operating system that is used to perform day-to-day tasks puts your sensitive resources at risk.
An operating system that is set up for performing day-to-day tasks typically allows users to install applications, access the web freely and connect external hardware – this makes the operating system more susceptible to being infected with malware.
When the infected device is then used for accessing sensitive resources, these resources could be then compromised.
Hysolate: OS Isolation for Windows 11
Hysolate provides a full OS isolation solution for Windows 10 and now for Windows 11 as well, so users can isolate risky or sensitive activities on their Windows endpoint device. Hysolate has worked hard to make sure that support was released on the same day as Windows 11, so that your organizations could immediately enjoy the benefit of Hysolate OS isolation on Windows 11, in the same way that they did up until today with Windows 10. With Hysolate, organizations can reduce the risk of mixed usage, making their user endpoints more trusted, and secure.
Restoring Trust in User Endpoints
Hysolate creates an isolated workspace on user endpoints, to ensure secure enterprise access, for both users of Windows 10, and now also Windows 11. With Hysolate, users have an extra layer of endpoint protection while accessing secure corporate data.
With Hysolate’s enterprise solution, Security or IT admins can fully manage user access to the isolated Workspace via granular policies on their cloud based admin console. Since Hysolate mirrors the Windows OS configuration and settings, it is comfortable for both technical and non technical users to use. Hysolate sits on user endpoints instead of in the cloud, so users experience less lag, and UX issues, even when their internet connection isn’t optimal.