Planning a Windows 11 Refresh? What You Need to Know

At the end of January, Microsoft® stopped selling Windows® 10 Home and Pro licenses and removed the software downloads from its website – marking the beginning of the end for the nearly 8-year-old product. Windows 10 will continue to be supported until October 2025.

That means it’s time to start thinking about a Windows 11 refresh for your organization.

But, a Win 11 refresh could come with some significant challenges, because Microsoft requires that devices have CPUs that are 1 Ghz or faster with 2 or more cores and the Trusted Platform Module (TPM), which provides hardware-based security used to authenticate the device. In fact, research indicates that almost 43% of all enterprise devices won’t be able to upgrade to Windows 11 because of its minimum CPU requirements, and 15% because of the TPM 2.0 requirement. 

Other requirements of which to be aware is that devices must be Secure Boot capable by having UEFI/BIOS enabled and have a graphics card that is compatible with DirectX 12 or later with WDDM 2.0 driver.

But first, some background. What is Windows 11?

Microsoft released its latest operating system, Windows 11, in October 2021. It was built on Windows 10 core architecture with new features and end-user experience improvements. Win 11 was also designed to support a hybrid work environment and be reliable and secure.

New security-focused requirements of Windows 11 are why the upgrade to Windows 11 will be difficult for many large and enterprise organizations. Microsoft is trying to improve the security of devices that run its Win 11 OS, but with so many enterprise devices not able to upgrade because of hardware deficiencies, a complete device refresh may be necessary – a major undertaking.

On a positive note, the upgrade to Win 11 is a perfect time for businesses, organizations, and governments to upgrade their devices and their security.

As mentioned, to run Windows 11, devices need a 1GHz or faster CPU with 2 or more cores on a compatible 64-bit processor, and at least 4GB RAM/DRAM. But there’s also the TPM requirement.

What is TPM, exactly?

TPM, or Trusted Platform Module, was probably an unknown term prior to Windows 11, but it is a microprocessor that secures a device at the hardware level by encrypting and decrypting data. It works in tandem with other systems and applications within the device, and since TPM is hardware based, it is more secure than just using software encryption.

Before you can upgrade your organization to Windows 11, you may need to upgrade your device hardware. Since a device refresh is such a time and resource consuming project, you may want to consider working with a technology partner to manage the process.

A technology partner can manage the nuts and bolts of a major refresh project which allows your internal IT team to continue to focus on more strategic projects. Plus, working with a Microsoft certified partner allows you to take advantage of Microsoft engineers and architects that know everything about the tools and platforms. A technology partner can assist with everything from start to finish – selecting the best hardware options for your organization by conducting assessments, helping with device rollout, and on-going management of the software and hardware tools. If you are interested in learning whether MCPC is the right technology partner for you, contact us.

We’re the Outcome Engineers. MCPC is a global endpoint management company, founded in 2002, and our approach inspires not just endpoint defense, but business offense. By protecting your devices, bringing simplicity to endpoint management complexity, and empowering employee performance, we reduce your business risk and increases digital innovation.  Our consultative approach creates a true partnership where your endpoints are just the starting point.