Windows 11 Features Ease Hybrid Workload on IT

Microsoft has introduced features in Windows 11 that address the challenges IT departments face when supporting a distributed enterprise workforce between office and home.

Newly released and upcoming Windows 11 features, unveiled on Tuesday, will help businesses support workers remotely, protect employees from phishing attacks and automate software updates. Features will simplify management and securing a hybrid workforcesaid Microsoft.

An upcoming Windows 11 update will integrate phishing protection into the operating system. If a worker enters their Microsoft login credentials into a malicious app or website, the Defender SmartScreen feature will alert them and prompt them to change their password.

Another security feature, Smart App Control, will prevent employees from running untrusted or unsigned apps on their Windows 11 computers.

Microsoft has not specified a release date for Defender SmartScreen or Smart App Control.

Several enhancements to Microsoft’s device management platform, Endpoint Manager, could help IT pros meet the challenges of hybrid working on Windows 11 PCs. Features include the following:

  • A cloud-based remote help service that allows administrators to view an employee’s screen and take control of their PC. Microsoft released the feature this week to enable IT to help out-of-office employees. However, remote assistance incurs an additional charge of $3.50 per user per month.
  • Improved automated patching for Windows, the Microsoft Edge browser, and Microsoft 365 Apps. The new Windows Autopatch allows businesses to pilot updates with a subset of users before rolling out patches to the entire workforce. work. The service can stop and roll back updates if they cause problems. Microsoft will release Autopatch in July.
  • An improvement that allows IT pros to send pop-up messages in Windows 11. Administrators can target specific groups with messages that appear above the taskbar or on the desktop or screen lockout of a worker. Notes could, for example, remind new employees that they need to attend a training session and direct them to class. Microsoft did not say when it would launch the feature.
  • A new policy enforcement feature requiring employees to log into the Microsoft Edge browser before accessing corporate resources like email. Once workers are logged in, the software will force them to follow company policies. This can include preventing workers from copying and pasting company data.
Microsoft has released a cloud-based remote support tool that helps IT pros troubleshoot hybrid worker issues.

IT departments will appreciate the application of additional policies that protect workers from themselves, said Paddy Harrington, analyst at Forrester Research.

“The biggest problem in any security deployment…is the person behind the keyboard,” Harrington said. “They’re going to blow your security policies and practices faster than [anything else] can because they want to do things their own way.

Microsoft executives insist that companies like consulting firm Accenture have started using the operating system. However, the AdDuplex advertising platform found that between February and March, only about 0.1% of Windows 10 users upgraded to Windows 11.

Riverbed consulting firm reported that the hardware requirements of Windows 11 kept businesses out. He estimated that more than a third of corporate PCs cannot run the operating system.

Mike Gleason is a journalist specializing in unified communications and collaboration tools. He previously covered communities in the MetroWest region of Massachusetts for the Milford Daily News, Walpole time, Sharon’s lawyer and Medfield Press. He has also worked for newspapers in central Massachusetts and southwestern Vermont and served as local editor of Room. He can be found on Twitter at @MGleason_TT.

Lance B. Holton