Since Microsoft announced Windows 11, IT teams managing IT Assets in large enterprises have been under pressure to devise a plan of attack. To roll out the new OS, they'll need a quick and cost-effective Windows 11 readiness check to identify machines that are eligible -- and ineligible -- for the upgrade. Our research shows that over 42% of workstations are not capable of being upgraded.
Lansweeper's Windows 11 Readiness Audit
While Microsoft changed its stance, allowing anyone to manually install Windows 11 regardless of the CPU, an automatic upgrade is only possible if three critical components of the computer -- the CPU, the RAM, and the TPM -- meet the requirements necessary to execute the upgrade. Additionally, future Windows 11 updates are not guaranteed if you do not meet the system requirements. Lansweeper data based on an estimated 30 million Windows devices from 60,000 organizations reveals that on average, only 57.26% of the workstations are eligible to receive the automatic upgrade. The rest would be ineligible.
Specifically, only 57.26% of CPUs for workstations tested met the system requirements for upgrading to Windows 11, while 42.74% did not. The majority passed the RAM test (92.85%). However, only about 65% of the workstation TPMs tested met the requirements, while over 15% failed and 20% was not TPM compatible or did not have it enabled.
Windows 11 Readiness on Virtual Machines
For virtual machine workstations, the forecast is less optimistic. CPU compatibility is slightly lower at 55.7% our research shows that only 67.1% has enough RAM. For TPM the news is grim, only 1.33% of all virtual workstations have TPM 2.0 enabled. This isn't completely a surprise. TPM has never been required for Windows. While TPM passthrough (vTPM) exists in order to give virtual machines a TPM, it is rarely used. This means that most VM workstations will need to be modified to get a vTPM before they can upgrade to Windows 11.
TPMs on physical servers only passed the test 2.35% of the time, which means about 97% would fail to upgrade if Microsoft creates a server operating system with similar requirements in the future. For virtual servers, again there are almost no TPM-enabled servers.
Compared to 2021, there are some good signs for Microsoft. The percentage of devices that meet the CPU and TPM requirements have gone up by roughly 12%. The RAM requirement moved up every so slightly by 1.8%. If this growth continues, theoretically all devices should be Windows 11 compatible by 2026. Although this does fall short of the Windows 10 end-of-life on October 14, 2025.
Windows 11 Adoption Rate
Additional Lansweeper data research, focused on Windows 11 adoption rates revealed some interesting data. So far, only 5.47% of users have made the jump to Windows 11. However, that does show a growth of 2.86% since October 2022, which means the percentage of Windows 11 users has doubled since our last snapshot.
For the moment, Windows 10 (80.45%) remains the most popular by a long stretch. Windows 11 adoption has overtaken all the other options with Windows 7 (2.50%) showing the most decline. Together, Windows 11 and Windows 10 make up 85.92% of installations. Combined with the numbers for Windows Server, this means that 91.8% of users are using a supported Windows OS.
In late April 2023, Microsoft confirmed that the current version of Windows 10, 22H2 will be the final version. This means that when 22H2 goes end of life on October 14, 2025, Windows 10 will be fully out of support. Running outdated operating systems like Windows 7 or Windows 8 has its cybersecurity dangers. They no longer receive any bug fixes, security patches, or new functionality. This makes any user - personal or enterprise - significantly more susceptible to malware attacks. The infographic below shows the OS distribution of Windows devices:
Windows 11 System Requirements
Given these findings, it's clear that a lot of work will need to be done to achieve Windows 11 readiness. The new operating system will have more stringent system requirements than its predecessor. With modern hardware that improves security and over 1,000 new management controls, older management systems like Group Policy can start fading away.
To install Windows 11, devices must have a 1 GHz processor (or faster) with two or more cores on a 64-bit processor or SoC. They also need 4GB of RAM and at least 64GB of storage. Automatic upgrades to Windows 11 have additional system requirements like secure boot capable and TPM 2.0 enabled which make upgrading even more challenging. Devices that fail to meet these requirements simply can't be updated.
For enterprises with thousands of Windows machines, preparing for the Windows 11 upgrade would be a massive task without automation -- and even worse without an up-to-date IT asset inventory. It would be impossible to find all the devices using manual, paper-based processes, as many organizations have abandoned IT assets that are sitting idle but still connected to the network. The reality is, you can't update machines you don't know you have.
While Microsoft does offer some tips on preparing for a smooth Windows 11 migration and had a PC health check tool intended for assessing the compatibility of PCs with Windows 11. Without complete visibility across the IT estate, organizations could potentially waste hours and significant budget manually inspecting machines -- not to mention the risk of missing outdated machines they don't know about.
Assess Windows 11 Migration Readiness with Lansweeper
Fortunately, organizations using Lansweeper have access to a breadth of data that Microsoft's health check tool can't provide -- and IT teams can leverage that data to prepare for the Windows 11 rollout. With Lansweeper, IT teams can identify all connected Windows machines with little effort, and gain access to all of the data they need -- in minutes.
Lansweeper combines market-leading scanning technologies to scour the network and collect detailed information about every connected device. Using agentless deep scanning technology, it scans all devices and provides granular information about system configurations, software versions, users, and more, and creates a comprehensive IT asset inventory. This makes it easy to pinpoint machines running old software and make an action plan to either update or retire them.
Lansweeper combines its passive scanning 'Asset Radar' technology with Credential-free Device Recognition (CDR) to detect assets the moment they connect to the network. CDR recognizes a machine's OS during the initial scan, without the need for agents or credentials. Administrators receive results in near real-time -- without wasting hours and resources on manual processes. Learn more about Technology Asset Intelligence.
Our experts created a Windows 11 Readiness Audit Report that you can run against the asset inventory to check for machines that are eligible for the Windows 11 upgrade. The report presents all the information in a visual, digestible format, making it easy to create a migration plan.
Having this information on hand will simplify and accelerate the rollout. That way your teams can use their time to focus on upgrading or retiring machines that don't meet the new requirements, saving significant time and costs. Plus, it will reduce the risk of leaving outdated machines connected to the network.
Don't wait until it's too late. Get prepared now!
Windows 11 is expected to provide a host of new features and benefits to users, including an improved UI, support for efficient multitasking, better gaming, productivity apps, and more. Still, the transition will certainly strain IT teams as they scramble to update devices before the Windows 10 EOL. Lansweeper customers will benefit from rapid access to all the information they need to take action while saving time and resources as they prepare for the organization-wide migration to Windows 11.
Stay tuned for information about Windows 11 and try Lansweeper for free to run this report in your environment to see the results for yourselves.