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Windows 11
April 5, 2022

Windows powers the future of hybrid work

Over the past two years, work has changed dramatically. Most employees want flexible and remote options to stay. Cyberthreats are at an all-time high. And with the move to hybrid work, IT managers are challenged to empower their workforces with new tech experiences.

At Microsoft, it’s our responsibility to deliver tools and technologies that make hybrid work, work for you, our customers. Windows is central to this mission.

Windows 11 is the operating system for hybrid work. It’s built on a compatible and familiar foundation that’s easy for IT to manage. It’s designed to meet the challenges of an ever-evolving cyber landscape and equipped with experiences that help employees do their best work.

Since launching Windows 11, we’ve seen strong demand and the highest quality and product satisfaction scores of any version of Windows we’ve ever shipped. This is just the beginning, our team is committed to innovating how Windows can streamline experiences whether you’re returning to the office, working from home or never left the workplace as a frontline employee.

And with Windows 365, businesses can stream the entire Windows experiences from the Microsoft cloud to any device, representing an important step in our journey to bring Windows to the cloud.

There has never been a better time to move your business to Windows 11 and Windows 365 — the most productive, manageable and secure Windows ever.

On behalf of the team, I’m thrilled to share what’s coming in Windows 11 and Windows 365 for commercial customers in the areas of management, security, and productivity and collaboration.

Zero Trust chip-to-cloud security in Windows tuned for hybrid work

“Cybersecurity issues and risks” top the list of concerns for business decision makers in the year ahead, shows new data from Microsoft‘s 2022 Work Trend Index. With built-in chip to cloud protection, Windows 11 is here to help organizations meet the new security challenges of the hybrid workplace, now and in the future.

Our more than a billion Windows users will benefit from layers of tightly integrated hardware and software protection – including deep partnerships with device and silicon manufacturers to elevate security against multiple attack vectors. You need your devices to be more secure than ever from phishing, weak credentials, malware, ransomware, data loss and the serious risk of hardware attacks if a device is stolen. Windows is here to help provide that by targeting and disrupting the techniques used by ransomware and other large scale cyberattacks. Windows 11 is introducing two powerful new features that strike against the most common cyberattack techniques: phishing and targeted malware. New in Windows 11 is enhanced phishing detection and protection built into Windows with Microsoft Defender SmartScreen. This new feature will help protect users from phishing attacks by identifying and alerting users when they are entering their Microsoft credentials into a malicious application or hacked website. Smart App Control uses code signing alongside Microsoft’s powerful artificial intelligence models to ensure that only trusted applications are run, blocking one of the largest attack vectors on Windows by-default. We’re also looking ahead to bring the power of the cloud to hardware with the flexible, updatable Microsoft Pluton security processor. We’re thrilled with the ecosystem progress to date.

We’re continuing on our Windows journey to empower IT to continuously raise the bar against attack patterns from the chip to the cloud. We are focused on making your jobs easier as you work to protect the productivity of your people as well as your organizations from the most common to the most sophisticated attacks. To do that, Config Lock, already in Windows 11, monitors registry keys through MDM policies to help ensure devices in your ecosystem comply with industrial and company security baselines. If Config Lock detects a change in registry keys, it will automatically revert the impacted system to the IT-desired state in seconds.

We’re thrilled to continue on this journey with our customers. To learn more about the security innovations coming to Windows 11, visit the Security Blog.

Empowering employees through productivity & collaboration

Our teams derive so much inspiration for Windows by hearing from our customers on how they use Windows to stay connected and productive. As people are working in more places, across devices, requiring even greater flexibility, we want to build experiences into Windows that are as inclusive, connected and intelligent as possible.

More inclusive, accessible and intelligent

Windows is for each of us, and Windows 11 is the most accessible and inclusive version of Windows ever. New features like Focus, system wide Live Captions, and Voice Access empower everyone, including people with disabilities, to do more. Focus makes it easier for information workers, including people with ADHD, to build healthy digital habits and be more productive. System-wide Live Captions in Windows 11 make it easier for everyone, including people who are hard of hearing or deaf and language learners, to understand spoken content. And Voice Access makes it possible for everyone, including people with limited mobility and people with repetitive stress injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome, to control their device and dictate content using their voice. Each of these experiences was created in partnership with people with disabilities and extended to many other Windows users. Additionally, we want to help Windows users be more efficient and more productive in every experience. The redesigned, cloud-powered File Explorer makes it easier to find what you’re looking for, allowing you to see all files in one centralized place. You can also pin files and create tabs in File Explorer, bringing what used to take six clicks to get to an important file to one.

To further improve the meeting and collaboration experience, we’re also introducing new intelligent meeting features for Windows 11 powered by AI. More than ever, we’re connecting with each other through our devices, and with new features like Voice clarity and Voice focus, Automatic framing, Portrait background blur and Eye contact we want to make that experience feel more personal and more human*.

To learn more about the productivity and collaboration experiences coming to Windows 11 and Windows 365, visit the Microsoft 365 Blog.

Empowering IT with streamlined Windows management

We understand simplicity and ease of management are more important than ever as organizations and IT adapt to remote and hybrid work environments. Here are some of the examples the team shared on how we’re simplifying endpoint management for IT with Windows in Microsoft Endpoint Manager.

We introduced our new intelligent managed service, Windows Autopatch that can help reduce the load on IT by automating updates for Windows, Microsoft Edge and Office, ensuring they’re always up to date. We are excited to bring Autopatch to customers at no additional cost, as part of the Windows Enterprise E3 subscription.

With Windows 365, we extend the Windows experience to the cloud to help meet the changing workforce needs. The Windows 365 Enterprise edition gives organizations the flexibility to provide an incredible Windows experience on a corporate device or personal device, all managed in Microsoft Endpoint Manager. Through Endpoint Manager IT can manage Windows 365 Cloud PCs alongside their physical PCs. We are pleased to announce that our top customer-requested feature — Azure AD Join support for Cloud PCs — is coming to general availability in May.

Also coming to Windows 11 is application management for Microsoft Edge to provide more flexibility in how and where employees work. When employees need to use personal devices to check in on work or perform tasks, we want to help IT ensure that end users can access corporate resources in a secure way. With app protection policies applied in Endpoint Manager for Edge for Windows, administrators will be able to configure how data flows in and out of their organization as well as define the allowed Windows Defender threat level on the device. We’re enabling employees to securely access company resources from their personal Windows device, while maintaining security and privacy.

We are also announcing a new era for Microsoft Endpoint Manager. Today, we are sharing our plans for premium endpoint management that will bring together mission critical endpoint and security management tools into a single, cloud powered solution. Over time we will launch a series of capabilities in Endpoint Manager designed to improve end user experiences, increase endpoint security and reduce TCO. These new solutions will help to protect endpoints in the cloud, on premises and across device platforms, and will be foundational for organizations striving to adopt a Zero Trust security model. Today, we are launching remote help — the first of our premium endpoint management add-ons to Endpoint Manager — that addresses a major need for hybrid work by safely helping employees with their day-to-day IT needs with secure, helpdesk-to-user connections no matter where they work. Find more information on our management solutions for IT.

Removing boundaries between the PC and the cloud

We will soon deliver new integrations that bring the power of Windows 11 and Windows 365 together. Integrations include Windows 365 Switch for seamless movement between your Cloud PC and Local PC with a single click, Windows 365 Boot to be able to boot straight to your Windows 365 Cloud PC in just one step, and we envision the ability to work offline and then automatically resync without losing any data with Windows 365 Offline. These scenarios are powerful for businesses, and they are just the beginning of our Windows and Microsoft cloud integration.

Device partners make more possible

A key element to hybrid work is ensuring devices are modern and secure. Our ecosystem of partners provide the broadest array of devices on the market from 2 in 1s, to laptops and desktops, at every price point. OEM partners including Acer, ASUS, Dell Technologies, Dynabook Fujitsu Client Computing, Getac, HP, Lenovo, LG, MSI, NEC PC, Panasonic and Samsung, together with our silicon partners AMD, Intel and Qualcomm, are bringing the best of Windows 11 innovation to our joint customers. This innovation includes secured-core PCs, amazing video conferencing, next gen graphics, all day battery life, rugged designs for front-line workers, instant-on, fast memory and extreme performance, sustainable designs and so much more. There’s never been a better time to buy a new PC.

Windows is built for commercial customers and hybrid work

Over the last two years, the organizations that thrived were those that embraced digital transformation. We cannot always predict what’s coming, but we can ensure that Windows stays at the forefront of technology and experiences — from cloud to intelligence to devices — empowering your organization to embrace whatever comes next.

Windows 11 and Windows 365 are ready to take us all into the next era of hybrid work. Now is the time to move your business to Windows 11 and Windows 365. We are building Windows for the future, to support the future of your business, offering organizations the most secure, manageable and productive Windows experience on the planet.

*Hardware dependent

Editor’s note – April 5, 2022 – The section above about remote help was updated for clarity.