Windows 11: Security and Telemetry

October 9, 2021

Windows 10, currently running on nearly 80 percent of the world’s Windows PCs, was once touted as Microsoft’s “forever OS.” That is going to change with Windows 11. But the new OS may have to hurdle a lot of institutional hesitation to reach the market status that Windows 10 currently has. Plus, Microsoft’s hardware requirements for Windows 11 mean end users running older PCs may be locked out of the upgrade. That will force many organizations to undertake complicated and potentially expensive hardware refreshes in exchange for an OS that looks and acts a lot like Windows 10, at least from the outside.

Investing in Security

The compelling reason for businesses to make the leap to Windows 11 is security. With scores of previously office-bound employees now working remotely because of the pandemic, using home networks and non-corporate devices that may be less protected than ideal, security has become a major concern for organizations in the last 18 months. There has also been a spate of high-profile security incidents throughout 2021, including the protracted “Hafnium” attacks on Exchange Server and the ransomware attack on Colonial Pipeline. The concern goes all the way up to the White House; in response to these incidents, the Biden administration issued an executive order this summer calling for federal agencies to improve their cybersecurity defenses.

Microsoft has talked up Windows 11’s security benefits before and has indicated that its strict hardware requirements are in service of better protection.

Measuring Migration Success

The best way to assure a customer that its Windows 11 migration pays off — that employees are more productive and the end user experience is better — is with telemetry. Many organizations will likely take their time moving to Windows 11, starting first with small pilot groups before rolling it out companywide. They argue that a measured Windows 11 rollout is a good opportunity for IT to cultivate Windows 10 benchmarks that they can then compare to Windows 11 data as their migration progresses.

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