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Microsoft: These two new kits help you prepare for Windows 11

Still haven’t migrated to Windows 11 in your company? Microsoft has just released an update to the Windows 11 and Office 365 Deployment Lab Kit and Windows 11 Onboarding Kit to prepare business users for the Windows 10 upgrade.

Windows 11 has yet to be widely adopted by businesses, but Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said the company is seeing “higher monthly usage of Windows 11 apps.” Perhaps to kick things off, Microsoft has also released two kits to familiarize users and IT administrators with the post-Windows 10 world.

The Windows 11 and Office 365 Deployment Lab Kit is intended to help administrators plan, test, and validate modern desktops running Windows 11 Enterprise and Microsoft 365 Enterprise apps.

Welcome kit

The lab provides a Hyper-V dependent virtual lab environment that aims to reflect a modern enterprise. It includes domain-joined desktop clients, a domain controller, an internal gateway, and a fully configured configuration management instance.

Microsoft has released a comprehensive guide for using Virtual Lab, covering Windows 11 deployment tools such as Autopilot, configuring Windows Service to deploy Windows 11, deploying Microsoft 365 Apps on-premises and in the cloud, managing Edge and security configurations for everything from BitLocker encryption to Microsoft’s Defender for Endpoint, a cross-platform solution.

The main tools used by the lab include Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager, Office Customization Tool, OneDrive and Windows Autopilot, among others. It also covers Windows service that can be used to upgrade to Windows 11. Windows service upgrades rely on Configuration Manager and Windows Update for Business.

Meanwhile, the Windows 11 Welcome Kit is a collection of Office files that contain templates and documents that help administrators communicate with users. The content can be adapted as needed.

“With the Windows 11 Welcome Kit, our goal is also to provide you with the materials you need to prepare, educate, and support your end users on their Windows 11 journey,” Microsoft explains in a Microsoft Tech Community blog post. . It aims to support the deployment of Windows 11 on all devices of an international enterprise.

Microsoft released “guided simulations” of Windows 11 earlier this month to demonstrate its similarities to Windows 10 while offering new usability and security benefits. It walks users through some of the lessons Microsoft learned when it rolled out Windows 11 to 190,000 PCs last year.

Downturn in the PC industry

Microsoft Windows revenue was caught up in the slowdown in the PC industry overall due to the Covid-19 pandemic in China. PC shipments fell 15% year-over-year in the second quarter, according to Canalys.

During the fourth-quarter earnings conference call, Amy Hood, Microsoft’s chief financial officer, said that Windows OEM revenue had fallen by $300 million due to the shutdowns in Shanghai. Windows OEM revenue fell 2% in the quarter.

However, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella put a positive spin on the situation, noting that “we continue to see more PCs shipped than before the pandemic, and we’re taking part.”

Microsoft hasn’t disclosed figures on Windows 11 adoption, but Satya Nadella says they’re seeing “higher monthly usage of Windows 11 apps, with increased time spent on creative work, collaboration, gaming, media and writing code”. Similarly, monthly active usage of Azure Virtual Desktop is up nearly 60% year over year, according to Satya Nadella.




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