Microsoft announces new developments for Windows 11 and Windows 365 for commercial customers in the areas of management, security, productivity and collaboration.
“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,” said Panos Panay, EVP, Chief Product Officer, Microsoft. “At Microsoft, it’s our responsibility to deliver tools and technologies that make hybrid work, work for 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.”
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 helps organizations meet the new security challenges of the hybrid workplace, now and in the future.
Microsoft’s 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. Devices need 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 helps 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. Microsoft is also looking ahead to bring the power of the cloud to hardware with the flexible, updatable Microsoft Pluton security processor.
More inclusive, accessible, and intelligent
Microsoft introduces new features like Focus Sessions, system wide Live Captions, and Voice Access that empowers everyone, including people with disabilities, to do more.
Focus Sessions make it easier for information workers, and 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. Voice Access makes it possible for everyone, including people with limited mobility and people with repetitive stress injuries like carpal tunnel, 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, the redesigned, cloud-powered File Explorer makes it easier to locate files by allowing users to see all files in one centralized place. Users 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, Microsoft is also introducing new intelligent meeting features for Windows 11 powered by AI. Users can connect with each other through their devices and with new features like Voice clarity, Automatic framing, Portrait background blur and Eye contact making the experience more personal.
Empowering IT with streamlined Windows management
Microsoft introduced its new intelligent managed service, Windows Autopatch that can help reduce the load on IT by automating updates for Windows, Microsoft Edge, and Office. Microsoft will be bringing Autopatch to customers at no additional cost, as part of the Windows
Enterprise E3 subscription.
With Windows 365, Microsoft is extending 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. Additionally, Microsoft’s top customer-requested feature — Azure AD Join support for Cloud PCs — is coming to general availability in May 2022.
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, Microsoft wants 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. Microsoft is enabling employees to securely access company resources from their personal Windows device, while maintaining security and privacy.
Microsoft is also announcing a new era for Microsoft Endpoint Manager that will bring together mission critical endpoint and security management tools into a single, cloud powered solution. Over time, Microsoft 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.
Microsoft is also launching remote help. The first of its premium endpoint management add-on to Endpoint Manager Remote that addresses a major need for hybrid work, by safely helping employees with their day-to-day IT needs with secured, helpdesk-to-user connections no matter where they work.
Removing boundaries between the PC and the cloud
Microsoft 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 Cloud PC and Local PC with a single click, Windows 365 Boot to be able to boot straight to Windows 365 Cloud PC in just one step, and 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 Windows and Microsoft cloud integration.
Device Partners Make More Possible
A key element to hybrid work is ensuring devices are modern and secure. Microsoft’s ecosystem of partners provides 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 joint customers. This innovation includes secured-core PCs, 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 more.
“Over the last two years, the organizations that thrived were those that embraced digital transformation,” said Panos Panay, EVP, Chief Product Officer, Microsoft. “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 organizations to embrace whatever comes next. Windows 11 and Windows 365 are ready to take us all into the next era of hybrid work. We are building Windows for the future, to support the future of businesses, offering organizations the most secure, manageable, and productive Windows experience on the planet.”