October 2025 may seem far way, but if your company has computers that are currently running Windows 10, there are some decisions to be made in 2024.
Version 22H2 of Windows 10 will be the last feature update until it reaches the end of support in October 2025, but Microsoft has recently announced that Windows 10 customers will be able to purchase up to 3 extra years of critical security updates through Microsoft’s Extended Security Updates (ESU) subscription program to extend the use of Windows 10 devices past the end of support date in a more secure way. The ESU subscription will not include feature updates, new features, quality updates or technical support. Pricing, licensing and enrollment conditions for the ESU subscription are expected to be announced mid to late 2004.
Microsoft advised those who want Windows 10 devices on their network to keep receiving essential bug fixes and security updates to upgrade eligible systems to Windows 11 (or migrate to Windows 11 in the cloud with Windows 365.) Most devices purchased in the last 18-24 months should be able to meet the minimum Windows 11 hardware requirements needed to upgrade:
- Windows 10: Version 2004 or later
- Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster with 2 or more cores on a compatible 64-bit processor
- RAM: 4 gigabytes (GB)
- Storage: 64 gigabytes (GB) or larger
- System Firmware: UEFI, Secure Boot capable
- TPM: Trusted Platform Module (TPM) version 2.0
- Graphics Card: Compatible with DirectX 12 or later with WDDM2.0 Driver
- Display: High definition (720p) display that is greater than9” diagonally, with 8 bits per color channel
- Some Windows 11 features have increased requirements beyond the minimums above. A list of feature-specific requirements can be found on Microsoft’s Feature-specific requirements for Windows 11 webpage.
Older machines may not be able to upgrade to Windows 11 and will eventually need to be replaced, even if you choose to subscribe to the ESU program. If you are unsure if a device can meet the minimum requirements, Microsoft’s free PC Health Check app can be used to assess compatibility.
Windows 11 Features
In addition to enhanced security features, Windows 11 has a small learning curve and provides productivity features many users will find helpful, especially in a business environment:
Customized Start Menu: In Windows 11, the Start menu has been redesigned with a grid to pin favorite apps for quick access. Above the grid is a search field to search for apps, files and settings.
Copilot: An AI-powered assistant with commercial data protection that can be launched with a keystroke, while working online and in Windows app.
Voice Access: Dictate emails, control apps and search online using your voice. Once enabled in the Accessibility section of the Settings menu, simply press the Windows logo key + H to open voice typing.
Widgets: A feature that runs on your Windows 11 desktop to give you quick access to a favorite app or feature. It can display calendar appointments, dynamic weather information, news headlines, traffic reports, and more. Your personalized widgets are displayed in your widgets board, which you can access by selecting Windows logo key + W. The widgets board can be customized to show snippets of information you want at a glance with minimal interruption to your workflow.
Snap Layouts: Hover over a window’s maximize button or press the Windows logo key +Z, then choose a snap layout to optimize screen space and boost productivity.
Personalized File Explorer: Right click on any file or document to mark it as a favorite. Use tabs to keep files and favorites organized.
As always, we are here to help. Be sure to check our blog for details about the ESU program, as well as guides and tips for Windows throughout 2024. For more information, assistance with deciding which Windows option will work best for your company, or planning your move to Windows 11, contact us.