One of the challenges of managing a Windows deployment is navigating the ever-complex way that Microsoft services the operating system. This month, the company announced additional ways to service Windows 11 with Web Experience packs, Online Service Experience Packs, and - everyone’s favorite - Feature Experience packs.
I wish that I was making up all the pack names, but they are real. This means that the company has more than a handful of ways of altering Windows 11 - and you can’t forget about updates coming from the store or Windows Updates, too. The point is: if you are chasing after a stable and non-changing Windows environment, Windows 11 is going to be tricky to manage at scale.
This month, we made Start11 available for corporate customers. The application is now ready for wide-scale deployment, and we have it configured so that you can use a single key for multiple installs.
With Start11 for Business, it is now possible to make Windows 10 and Windows 11 look nearly identical to the end-user. You can make Windows 10 look like Windows 11, or make Windows 11 look like Windows 10 (as shown in the image above). With Start11, you can have a mixed Windows environment, but the end user’s workflow will not be impacted by the changes that arrive with Windows 11.
Considering that Microsoft has not said whether they will extend the life of Windows 10 beyond October 14, 2025, if you have a large environment you need to be in the planning stages of migrating.
This may sound a bit crazy, but seasoned IT pros know that with about 3 years left of support, you either plan to migrate or start paying Microsoft for extended service contracts. It’s important to remember that older Windows 10 hardware may not support Windows 11, too – planning a large refresh of hardware takes time and proper budgeting.
Windows 11 changes up the Windows experience in ways that can require retraining your users. For example, the Start button is now in the center of the taskbar, but a widget icon is now on the left by default. For users who prefer the Windows 10 menu system because they understand where everything is stored, this goes away in Windows 11 but can be returned with Start11.
Start11 brings stability and familiarity to Windows across Windows 10 and Windows 11. You can try out Start11 for Business for yourself and, as with all our products, volume discounts are available, too.