Microsoft recently announced the release of Windows 11, with the launch expected in the autumn of 2021. Although not many specific details have been released, there are several key differences that will be important for both end users and OEMs.
In their launch blog (link to https://blogs.windows.com/windowsexperience/2021/06/24/introducing-windows-11/), Microsoft drew heavily on the nostalgia of early Windows as the place where ‘the web was born and grew up’. Now, with over a billion global users, and after seeing the changes the world has undergone in the Covid-19 pandemic, Microsoft say that windows has been ‘redesigned for productivity, creating and ease’.
The ‘Bloom’ is an AI-generated shape developed by Microsoft as the emblem of Windows 11.
What does this mean for users?
- A simpler design and user experience that looks more modern
- A new Start button and taskbar
- New Snap Layouts, Snap Groups and Desktops to provide a new way of multi-tasking, including the ability to have separate desktops for work and personal use
- Chat from Microsoft Teams is integrated meaning the user can connect through chat, text, voice or video with personal contacts – no matter which device or platform they are using
- Widgets – a personalized feed powered by AI and a best-in-class browser performance from Microsoft Edge
- Built in security technologies that add protection from the chip to the cloud
What will Windows 11 mean for OEMs?
- Windows 11 will be important for OEMs for a number of reasons. When designing products for embedded systems, devices and IoT, longevity and future-proofing are key considerations to maximise return on investment.
New security considerations in Windows 11 means that Windows 11 will likely support Intel 8th Gen Coffee Lake or Zen 2CPUs and it may mean that older PCs with lower processing requirements will not be suitable to support the more modern Basic Input/Output System BIOS that supports features like Secure Boot and Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 2.0. This could be a important consideration when building and developing IoT and Embedded systems and devices. You can see more here on the system requirements for Windows 11. (https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/windows/windows-11-specifications)
Microsoft will also be creating a more open ecosystem to unlock new opportunities for developers by enabling the use of apps whether they’re built as a Win32, Progressive Web App (PWA) or Universal Windows App (UWA). Plus, developers will be able to use the Windows store and keep the revenue without Microsoft taking a cut, which should drive more creativity.
A blog was released by Microsoft about Windows 11 that covered some details about the OEM channel changes. You can read it here (https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/internet-of-things/windows-iot-support-lifecycle-and-upcoming-releases/ba-p/2511888 ) This stated that Windows 11 Home & Pro will be available on select direct OEM devices this autumn, and as a stand-alone product some time in 2022. Other facts shared included:
- Windows 11 will get one feature build per year
- There will be 24 months of support on Home & Pro build releases
- Some qualifying Windows 10 systems will be able to get a free upgrade to Windows 11 some time in 2022
- Windows 10 IoT Enterprise LTSC 2021 will continue as planned with an autumn release based on build 21H2.
- Nothing will change with Windows 10 IoT Enterprise LTSC 2019, 2016 and 2015 which already have an End of Life and End of Support dates
- IoT versions of Windows 11 and Windows Server 2022 will be released and more information around these releases will be coming from Microsoft.
- Some OEM systems for special purpose commercial use may not be required to have TPM requirements, as long as approved by Microsoft. This will be covered in the hardware requirements document released by Microsoft.
If you’re planning new product design and development right now and are unsure what the software implications will be, please contact one of our team and we will be able to support you.
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