Main Menu Dept. of Technology Services Search

Windows 11 Adoption

 

Overview

Windows 11 is the latest operating system from Microsoft. Its Windows 10 predecessor is now facing the proverbial chopping block on October 14, 2025. That date might feel like a longtime from now, but as Michael Altshuler once said; “The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.”

Adoption Plan

Primarily, the State will adopt Windows 11 via attrition. Many machines will refresh in the next couple years, and as they do DTS will replace them with Windows 11 machines. DTS has been testing Windows 11 across agencies – and for Agency IT Directors that are comfortable with the level of testing, new computers can be onboarded with Windows 11 starting immediately. Agency IT Directors should coordinate this decision with the DTS Edge team as soon as they are comfortable with onboarding new machines with Windows 11.

Secondary to attrition will be in-place upgrades. For compatible machines that are in warranty and not slated to be replaced anytime soon, DTS will perform scheduled, in-place upgrades. DTS has already started testing this process in the agencies and can formally adopt this path whenever the Agency IT Director deems their agency ready for adoption.

Because the State doesn’t want to get anywhere near the Windows 10 end date, DTS is setting a target of December 31, 2024 to complete the adoption of Windows 11. Ten months ahead of the cutoff. This means that Agency IT Directors will be expected to communicate upgrade paths well ahead of December 2024. A formal deadline to complete this communication has not yet been set and is forthcoming.

Agency Assistance Required

DTS will need assistance from Agencies on which machines they intend to refresh and which ones they plan to upgrade in-place. A Windows 11 Readiness dashboard has been prepared for DTS Agency IT Directors where they can view Agency readiness. The data is exportable so that Agencies can identify replacements vs upgrades and report back to DTS on the preferred upgrade path. DTS will rely on Agency IT Directors for this part of the adoption in order to make it a success. Again, an official deadline for deciding the upgrade path of agency machines is forthcoming.

Assess Agency Readiness

Agency IT Directors can access the following DOMO dashboard to assess Agency readiness. This dashboard provides insights into how many machines need to be replaced vs which ones will qualify for an in-place upgrade. The dashboard can also help identify testers in the agency who can upgrade right now and test agency applications. https://utah-gov.domo.com/page/165665617

Windows 11 – Notable UI Changes

If you’re wondering how different Windows 11 is, it’s actually not a wild change. Most of the codebase is still Windows 10 which bodes well for compatibility. In fact, in DTS’ testing of Windows 11 we have yet to identify any compatibility issues.

The most noticeable change in Windows 11 is the UI. Here are the top five changes a user is expected to notice while using Windows 11.

  1. The taskbar
    1. The Windows button and quick launch icons are now located in the center of the taskbar instead of on the sides.
    2. Application windows combine on the taskbar and cannot be uncombined.
    3. Right-clicking the taskbar no longer presents taskbar options, but rather a link to settings.
    4. Wi-Fi, Sound, and Battery icons in the task tray have been combined into a task tray hub.

       

  2. The start menu has been refreshed. It consists of a search bar followed by two sections – “Pinned Apps” and “Recommended”. Recommended will display recently used applications or documents.

     

  3. Snipping Tool has been updated to Snip & Sketch. Functionally, when you snip something the snipping editor will no longer automatically appear. Instead, a thumbnail of the snip appears as a notice above the taskbar clock. Clicking the thumbnail will then open the editor.

     

  4. The Settings app is where personalization is controlled and has been refreshed for Windows 11. There are fresh new options on how to personalize your experience.

     

  5. Snap layouts are a new feature, allowing you to control how application windows are organized on your screen. Users can snap application windows into a variety of pre-built layouts simply by hovering over the maximize button of their window. Windows 11 will also remember your layouts when you undock and then re-dock your machine with an external monitor.