Microsoft published a case study on its website to highlight the smoothness of the upgrade to Windows 11 at the company. According to the publication, Microsoft rolled out Windows 11 to 190,000 devices across the company in five weeks. The entire process was the “most streamlined to date” delivering the new version of Windows 11 to employees in “record time”.
Microsoft divided the upgrade into planning, preparing and deploying parts, and published a recommended Windows 11 rollout and strategy sheet that companies and organizations may follow.
Here is a high level overview of the three phases:
- The environment — Microsoft analyzed its entire device population to find devices that meet Windows 11’s system requirements. The company used Update Compliance and Microsoft Endpoint Manager’s Endpoint analytics feature to evaluate the device population.
- Ineligible devices and exclusions — Microsoft Digital Employee Experience was used to skip devices that should not or could not receive the Windows 11 upgrade during deployment.
- Deployment timeline — Deployment was divided into different waves to roll out the new version of Windows gradually to the fleet of devices.
- Rollback plan — Windows 11 has built-in support for rolling back to a previous version for 10 days after installation.
- Reach out — Employees were asked to complete pre-work needed for a successful upgrade. In this particular case, Microsoft focused feedback on Windows 11 and the changes that would come with it.
- Ready support — support teams had time to use Windows 11 and learn about the operating system prior to the deployment.
- Opt-out process — For users who had a “business reason” to opt-out of the upgrade process.
- Security model — Risk assessment and the building of several specific Windows 11 security policies in test environments to benchmark them against Windows 10 policies.
- Deployment — Used Windows Update for Business deployment service to automate the deployment.
One thing to note is that App Assure returned the score of 99.7% compatibility for all apps in Windows 11 across all devices eligible for the upgrade. It is likely that the value may be lower in other environments. It is also noteworthy that previous upgrades would not face system requirement restrictions that are as drastic as those for Windows 11. More devices could be upgraded because of that, which would also mean less devices that could not be used anymore because of the inability to upgrade to a new version of Windows.
The guide reads in part like an advertisement for Microsoft Digital Employee Experience and for upgrading to Windows 11. Microsoft did not mention the number of devices that it operates that are not compatible with Windows 11, only that employees would get Windows 11 on the next device refresh.
Now You: did you upgrade your devices to Windows 11?
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