Over the next few months, DITS will begin the deployment of Windows 11 to DITS maintained PCs and laptops, working together with all departments to support their Windows 11 migration plans. Windows 11 is the latest operating system from Microsoft which brings a fresh look, improved features, better accessibility, and enhanced security. Take a look at the benefits and the new Windows experience on Meet Windows 11.

When will the upgrade happen?

DITS will be upgrading academic departments and professional service teams between June 2024 and October 2025, when Windows 10 reaches its end of life - after which Microsoft will no longer provide standard support. Much like the previous upgrades, we will push out Windows 11 to compatible devices automatically within a scheduled time period.

What is different about this upgrade?

The Windows 11 upgrade poses two significant challenges that are different to previous upgrades.

Firstly, when the University migrated to Windows 10 in 2018, most staff were using desktops connected directly to the network, enabling the upgrade to be rolled out seamlessly. This time, and in a vastly different working environment, we need to factor in hybrid and at home working.

Secondly, Microsoft has introduced minimum hardware requirements. This means we will need to replace a significant amount of hardware across the University before October 2025.

How will I know if my equipment will be replaced?

If your department or team has fully migrated to SWAE, you won’t require any hardware replacements as SWAE devices are fully compatible with Windows 11.

For any department or team that has not been migrated to SWAE, we have already been in contact with your Digital IT Asset Managers or Department Managers to identify the equipment that we will need to replace. If you have any queries about how this might affect your equipment, please get in touch with them.

What support will there be?

DITS will provide support for each department or team during their scheduled upgrade period through a Windows 11 upgrade clinic. This will be on campus, but staff may also log a support request via our IT Helpdesk Portal and we’ll be able to help you remotely.

Following a department or team upgrade, you will have continued support from the Windows 11 upgrade clinic for two weeks. Any queries after this time, will be managed by the IT Helpdesk.

What you need to do now

  1. Make sure your data is backed up. We strongly recommend you use university-supported Cloud storage for your back up as we cannot guarantee there will be no data loss. OneDrive will form part of the Windows 11 upgrade and you’ll receive further details about this in the coming weeks.
  2. Familiarise yourself with Windows 11 and take a look at these handy tips and tricks.
  3. Essential training for Windows 11 is available on our LinkedIn Learning path. Use your Essex account details to log in.
  4. Look out for communications from DITS. We will be in touch regarding your upgrade timeslot and to discuss any hardware replacement, if any.

The Windows 11 upgrade applies to Windows based PCs or devices only; Apple Macs are not affected by this rollout..