What’s New in Windows 11 for Hybrid Work

Posted on June 24, 2021 by Paul Thurrott in Windows 11 with 18 Comments

Not surprisingly, one of the big pushes with Windows 11 is the hybrid work reality that was first forced on us by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“If the past year has taught us anything, it’s that organizations must be resilient, and technology has been more critical to that resilience than ever before,” Microsoft general manager Wangui McKelvey writes. “Hybrid work and learning are here to stay, and that means your organization needs an operating system that enables your people to work or learn at home, in the office or at school, and everywhere in between. It also needs to be easy for IT teams to manage, and it must provide advanced security to address the increasingly complex cybersecurity environment.”

Here are the new hybrid work features in Windows 11 that Microsoft is highlighting.

Modernized user interface. The new UI in Windows 10 is “a more streamlined, more personal computing experience that doesn’t compromise performance, security, and manageability,” Microsoft says, but it also maintains a familiar feel.

Microsoft Office integration. Microsoft Office will match the Windows 11 theme you choose so that you can “experience the visual refresh in whichever Office theme you prefer, including Dark mode, white, colorful, or dark grey.”

Microsoft Teams integration. New integration with Microsoft Teams will make it easier to mute or unmute your mic or share your desktop or even a single application during a meeting directly from the Windows 11 taskbar.

New remote learning features. Expanded gestures, voice controls, and pen interactivity will let students write with their voices and digital pens in almost any app. And background movement can be blurred in video interactions to minimize visual clutter.

Simple IT deployment. Windows 11 will arrive just like a Windows 10 feature update and it uses the same management and deployment tools.

Support. Windows 11 will be updated annually with 24 months of support for Home or Pro editions, and 36 months of support for Enterprise and Education editions. No more Windows as a Service nonsense!!

Application compatibility. If it works in Windows 10, it works in Windows 11.

When? Windows 11 will be available for testing via the Windows Insider Program “in the coming weeks.”

Join the discussion!


Don't have a login but want to join the conversation? Become a Thurrott Premium or Basic User to participate

Comments (18)

18 responses to “What’s New in Windows 11 for Hybrid Work”

  1. LT1 Z51

    This is exciting, for once.

  2. rickeveleigh

    first item 'the new UI in Windows 10'...

  3. cnc123

    Hopefully the Teams integration fixes its slow performance.

  4. locust_infested_orchard_inc.

    A new feature introduced with the integration of Microsoft Teams into Windows 11, is the ability to send SMS directly from a desktop/laptop (without the need of a smartphone).

    This feature was highlighted earlier today by MS's Corporate VP, Yusuf Mehdi, in conversation with TechCheck's Jon Fortt at CNBC.

    • bettyblue

      I would love to see more about this. So far any attempts made by Microsoft have depended on an Android phone.

      This is a killer feature in the Apple world with iMessage in the Mac/iPhone.

  5. JVarde

    Why is there a video about dried and fresh herbs in the middle of the discussion of Windows 11?

    • locust_infested_orchard_inc.

      Because Windows 11 in one's life aids the wellbeing of the user in amongst the usage of the torment and chaos of Android and iOS. The analogy to herbs is therefore apt.

  6. mattbg

    This is starting to look like an October release, rather than a July one.

  7. chuckop

    Support. Windows 11 will be updated annually with 24 months of support for Home or Pro editions, and 36 months of support for Enterprise and Education editions. No more Windows as a Service nonsense!!

    This seems important. No more twice-yearly updates?

  8. spiderman2

    When? Windows 11 will be available for testing via the Windows Insider Program “in the coming weeks.” next week

    at least Panos said so

    • lvthunder

      Where did he say that? I don't remember it in the video, but I missed parts of it.

      • dftf

        Yeah, I did watch the entire video but there are loads of things that have been mentioned by Paul or site users which I don't recall being mentioned, such as the end of 32-bit kernel support and requirement for Windows 11 devices to have a TPM chip and Secure Boot. Where did these come from?

        • spiderman2

          Sorry I guess I read it here, and I'm quite sure also some where else:


          And next week, we’ll begin to share an early build of Windows 11 to the Windows Insider Program 

  9. solomonrex

    Ahem. There will be silent, background updates. I assume the not-annual security updates?

  10. lvthunder

    I think there are going to be many in my office that are going to want Windows 11 for the Teams integration.

  11. thewarragulman

    OMG finally no more Windows as a Service bullshit! Once a year is perfect, makes perfect sense given that both Apple & Google give major updates to their platforms annually as well. 24 months is also fine for support, as this hopefully won't force users to update to the latest Windows 11 version every time a feature update is released, forcing them once support is ended is fine, at that point they had two years to update so I don't see much of a problem with it.

    This release just got more exciting to me as both an IT pro and a UI/UX snob. With the UI polish they're giving it and the corrections to the stupid servicing model that made Windows 10 feel half-assed as well as a pain to manage, they're on the right track to making this an awesome release.