Windows 11 rollout begins as industry predicts slow business uptake

Windows 11
User Global 1218 via Baidu

Microsoft's long-awaited OS refresh is here, but analysts expect many will wait until next year to upgrade

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5 October 2021 | 0

Microsoft has officially launched Windows 11, with the operating system’s phased rollout kicking off on 5 October.

The release has been long anticipated by consumers and tech industry professionals alike, with the update bringing a number of new features such as a redesigned Start menu, Microsoft Teams integration, and the promise of faster future updates.

Windows chief product officer Panos Panay, who was promoted to executive vice president in August, announced the launch on Windows Blogs and thanked Microsoft’s partners for their support.

 

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“We are grateful to our entire ecosystem of partners who have played important roles in helping us prepare to get Windows 11 into the hands of our customers around the world. From OEM and app partners, to silicon, to retail, to our Windows Insiders, a launch of this global scale could not be achieved without them,” he said.

“On behalf of the entire team, we are pumped to bring you Windows 11, the Windows that brings you closer to what you love. We look forward to seeing the dreams and ideas you bring to life with Windows 11. This is just the beginning,” he added.

The tech industry was quick to share its thoughts on the launch, and many believe Windows 11 will fail to make a significant impact, with business uptake likely to be slow.

Gartner senior research director Ranjit Atwal, for example, told IT Pro that he is not expecting the launch to create “significant change” in the wider PC market. Many businesses will likely wait until next year to upgrade to Windows 11, he added, due to uncertainty towards the availability and compatibility of different apps.

However, Mahadeva Bisappa, principal architect at the Microsoft Partner and digital transformation consultancy, SPR, said the operating system has clearly been designed for the distributed workforce.

“Windows 11 comes out at a time when distributed remote work has become a norm”, she said, adding that its features are tailored to meeting “those remote working needs”.

“This includes all the new user interface improvements, Microsoft Teams for integrated communication and collaboration via text, audio and video modes across devices, and being able to use Windows 11 from any device or operating system,” he said.

Bisappa also highlighted Windows 11’s security features, saying that Microsoft has been “doing a tremendous job of updating the Windows operating system regularly to address security issues and help users be more productive and secure”.

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