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Windows 11 adoption increasing, but challenges remain for the channel

Adoption of the latest operating system from Windows is picking up, but those pitching software and hardware upgrades still face a number of obstacles to see it increase further

A Windows release is always an opportunity for the channel to pitch an upgrade to customers, but it takes time for the moment to ripen. However, there are signs that more users are making a move to the latest flavour of the operating system.

Even though Windows 11 came out last October, the expectations were that it would take some time for the impact of the release to filter through to the channel in terms of provoking upgrade sales and support services.

Speaking at the Canalys Channel Forum last October, Ishan Dutt, senior analyst at the market watcher, said it would take some time for the channel to see the impact of the arrival of the OS, but in the long term, users would start to migrate.

“Over the long term, it’s clear that Microsoft intends to use Windows 11 to drive a wider-scale transition to improvements in hardware, given the requirement restrictions it is pushing,” said Dutt.

“Furthermore, many of the features, such as integrated Android apps, better multitasking, widgets and cleaner transitions between using a notebook with and without a monitor, are all squarely aimed at new usage behaviour that has arisen over the course of the past two years, where people are using their PCs at home to cover a wider base of computing needs.”

It has been almost six months since then and market insights shared by Lansweeper have found there is growing momentum in the number of users that have opted to make the jump to Windows 11.

A survey from the asset management platform provider found that over the past three months, the number of devices upgraded to Windows 11 has tripled.

But there continues to be a significant base of users that the channel can still target, with Lansweeper finding that 55% of devices scanned are not capable of being upgraded to Windows 11.

Upgrade challenges can include passing the RAM test, which most users did, as well as workstation trusted platform modules (TPMs), which proved to be where the problem lay for many.

There is also work to be done on a portion of the market that appears to be happy still running on Windows XP and Windows 7, despite Microsoft’s withdrawal of support for those offerings.

“Although the rate of adoption is increasing bit by bit, it’s obvious that Windows 11 upgrades aren’t going as fast as Microsoft had hoped, especially within the business environment,” said Roel Decneut, chief strategy officer at Lansweeper. “Many organisations have been put off from having to buy new machines that meet these conditions, while others are simply happy with the current existence of Windows 10, which continues to be supported until 2025.

“This situation will likely continue in the future unless businesses are given a compelling reason to upgrade. For those looking to adopt Windows 11, the first step is to assess which of their existing devices are capable of upgrading.”

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