The new Windows 11 though primarily focused on the new experiences consumers ha some highlights that certainly matter to business users. It is clear that the company wants to help businesses and IT teams optimize productivity, collaborate in a hybrid work environment and shield employees from cyber threats.
Hybrid work and more security
Microsoft has been endorsing the hybrid work scenario for some time now as it is already underway and changed how most of us will work going forward. Hence, by combining its Microsoft Azure and Microsoft 365 services, Microsoft is positioning Windows 11 as being hybrid work-centric.
In today’s world of hybrid work and learning, our PCs are more than word processors and app platforms. They are our window to the world. PCs link our work, learning, and personal lives, and our computing experience when we work, teach, and learn needs to be more personal.
The new Windows 11 delivers a more streamlined, more personal computing experience that doesn’t compromise performance, security, and manageability.
“As we think about what that new experience means for hybrid work and learning, we have modernized the overall user interface, while still maintaining its familiar feel. We have worked to make the Start Menu more modern, and we’ve made it easier to find your apps and recommended documents,” Wangui McKelvey, General Manager, Microsoft 365 said in a statement.
Windows 11 has new built-in security technologies that will add protection from the chip to the cloud. It is being described by Microsoft as a zero-trust-ready operating system which would be very sensible in today’s hybrid working environment. With Windows 11 designed to be deployed across a variety of different devices, the exposure to cyber threats is only going to increase as employees split their time between working at home, the office or almost anywhere else.
Collaboration and support
Microsoft has been toying with the idea of running Android apps on Windows natively for years. Alongside a new Windows Store that will let software developers use their own in-app payment systems and pay no commissions to Microsoft, it will also let users both find and run Android mobile applications on their laptops and PCs. Also, the app store Microsoft plans to use is Amazon’s.
Experts believe the team up of Microsoft and Amazon as a big step to dominate people’s tech interaction as this cross-system compatibility will provide improved and better user experience. As Ajay Bagga, Director at SSRDP Private Limited, comments, “Microsoft has unveiled Windows 11, its “next generation” operating system. It lets Android apps run on the Windows desktop. Windows 11 will also let users configure multiple desktops for work, home, and gaming, like on a Mac.”
The moves stand in contrast to Apple’s business model, in which the iPhone maker only lets users download software from the App Store and imposes controls on software developers, including a requirement to use Apple’s in-app payment systems and pay commissions of up to 30%. It also challenges Google Play Store, which charges developers commissions.
The company will further integrate its Teams chat software directly into the operating system, which means that Windows users will be able to access Teams right from their task bar. Microsoft’s Chief Product Officer Panos Panay “Users can chat, call, video call, with anyone anywhere in the world on any platform or device, including Windows, iOS, Android or others.”
While Forrester VP and principal analyst JP Gownder believes, “This innovation is well timed for the covid world, which has (re)established the centrality of the PC to the future of work and to digital life,” the move could cause conflict with Slack Technologies. Slack, which is being purchased by Salesforce for $27.7 billion, has filed an antitrust complaint against Microsoft in the European Union.
Windows powered Microsoft’s rise in the 1990s as PCs became a fixture among businesses and consumers. But the operating system took a back seat to Apple’s iOS and Alphabet’s Google as mobile phones displaced PCs as the primary computing device for billions of users. Still Windows remains one of the biggest platforms in the technology world, with Microsoft’s personal computing segment, which includes Windows revenue from businesses and consumers, accounting for $48.2 billion of its $143 billion in revenue in its most recent fiscal year.
The tech juggernaut will pull the plug on Windows 10 support on Oct. 14, 2025. That gives businesses some years to prepare as Microsoft slowly moves its billion-plus Windows users to Windows 11. At present the two operating systems can coexist, but it’s probably a good idea for business users to move to the new platform. Then again, no rush.