Microsoft: We upgraded 190,000 PCs to Windows 11. But even we couldn't upgrade everything

Microsoft: We upgraded 190,000 PCs to Windows 11. But even we couldn't upgrade everything

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Microsoft has provided details of its ain interior Windows 11 rollout to 190,000 PCs worldwide successful conscionable 5 weeks that began connected October 7, 2021. 

While hailing its ain planetary Windows 11 deployment arsenic a large success, adjacent Microsoft didn't negociate to upgrade each of its PCs to Windows 11. The caller operating strategy has stringent minimum hardware requirements, which, for example, necessitate Trusted Platform Module 2.0 chipsets that aren't contiguous successful older PCs. 

"Windows 11 has circumstantial hardware requirements, and a percent of our devices were not upgraded. The employees with these devices volition proceed to tally Windows 10 successful parallel and get a Windows 11 instrumentality astatine their adjacent instrumentality refresh," said Microsoft's Lukas Velush successful a blog post.

SEE: Windows 11: Latest updates bring a question of caller features

Microsoft utilized its ain tools to enactment the interior upgrade, including the Azure Update Compliance service combined with Microsoft Endpoint Manager's Endpoint analytics diagnostic to place devices that bash and don't conscionable the minimum specifications. 

Microsoft doesn't accidental what percent of its devices didn't conscionable the minimum requirements but states that "190,000 devices were deemed eligible based connected hardware and relation requirements". Of those that did conscionable the minimum, the rollout was overwhelmingly a success. 

"Microsoft's upgrade to Windows 11 is mostly considered the smoothest we've ever had," the institution says successful a blogpost

"Over the people of 5 weeks, Microsoft Digital Employee Experience deployed Windows 11 to 99 percent of qualifying devices," says Microsoft successful a abstracted leafage astir its Windows 11 rollout. 

Some devices were excluded connected the ground they "should not person the upgrade", truthful weren't successful scope for the exercise. 

"Other devices, similar servers and trial labs – wherever Microsoft validates caller products connected erstwhile operating systems – were issued controls and excluded from receiving Windows 11."

Microsoft utilized Update Compliance to find which PCs should beryllium ineligible oregon excluded from the Windows 11 rollout, allowing the deployment squad — dubbed the Microsoft Digital Employee Experience — to use controls connected ineligible devices and automatically skip them during deployment.   

"These controls besides allowed the institution to bypass deployment connected immoderate instrumentality that had been incorrectly targeted for an upgrade," Microsoft says. 

Microsoft is supporting Windows 10 done to October 2025. By then, the institution expects astir customers to person refreshed hardware and beryllium acceptable for Windows 11. 

Here's Microsoft's instrumentality connected however to negociate Windows 10 PCs connected bequest hardware: "Windows 10 and Windows 11 tin beryllium managed side-by-side and volition beryllium supported concurrently astatine Microsoft until each devices are upgraded oregon retired. As devices are refreshed, much and much employees astatine Microsoft volition summation entree to Windows 11."

Microsoft acknowledges that immoderate devices mightiness tally into troubles with Windows 11 adjacent aft being deemed eligible for the upgrade. It recommends utilizing Windows 11's built-in enactment for rolling backmost to Windows 10. The default auto-rollback play is 10 days aft installation. 

It besides make an opt-out process for employees who wanted their devices to beryllium excluded from the planetary deployment aft an archetypal pilot. Employees did request to explicate the crushed for their exclusion, portion Microsoft acceptable a timeline for however agelong devices could beryllium excluded from the upgrade.

SEE: Windows 11 security: How to support your location and tiny concern PCs

Microsoft utilized Windows Update for Business to automate the Windows 11 deployment, arsenic good arsenic way and grip exclusions, opt-outs and rollbacks. It besides allowed employees to docket the Windows 11 upgrade to hap overnight oregon during the weekend.   

Of course, each large caller strategy deployments request attraction to change-management processes. Microsoft recommends communicating the benefits of Windows 11 intelligibly to employees. Microsoft Digital Employee Experience communicated the deployment via its interior homepage, integer signage, FAQs connected SharePoint, email, Teams, and Yammer.   

Key materials it utilized included caller Windows features, specified arsenic its Zero Trust support, the quality to docket upgrades astatine convenient times for employees, the information that Windows 11 could beryllium installed and moving wrong 20 minutes, and caller presumption related to Windows 11.  

Microsoft claims it measured nary uptick successful enactment tickets during the Windows 11 deployment to 190,000 devices and says the five-week rollout was the "fastest deployment of a caller operating strategy successful institution history."