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Microsoft says internal upgrade process to Windows 11 was among 'smoothest' its seen

Surface Laptop Studio Hero
Surface Laptop Studio Hero (Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft has updated 190,000 of its PCs to Windows 11.
  • The company said the upgrade process was "largely considered the smoothest" it's had.
  • An unspecified number of Microsoft PCs were not upgraded to Windows 11.

Windows 11 started rolling out last year, and Microsoft has been hard at work getting its own systems to run the new OS. The company recently shared details about its upgrade to Windows 11, including the fact that 190,000 of its PCs are now running on the operating system. Microsoft's Lukas Velush explained that the upgrade to Windows 11 was "largely considered the smoothest" that Microsoft has ever had.

Velush credits the seamless transition to a few factors: good app compatibility, not requiring a large number of disk images, and the use of tools that were refined and improved during the rollout of Windows 10.

While over 190,000 of Microsoft's PCs were upgraded to Windows 11 in five weeks, an unspecified number have not been upgraded. "Windows 11 has specific hardware requirements, and a percentage of our devices were not upgraded," said Velush. "The employees with these devices will continue to run Windows 10 in parallel and get a Windows 11 device at their next device refresh."

The upgrade process within Microsoft was automated using Windows Update for Business deployment service. The tool allowed the organization to opt out of updates when needed and to manage exceptions. Microsoft could also roll back systems to Windows 10 if needed.

"We count our upgrade to Windows 11 as a strong success story," said Velush. "We had no increase in support tickets, we had broad adoption across the company, and it was our fastest deployment in company history."

Microsoft did not specify how many of its PCs were unable to upgrade to Windows 11. The operating system has a strict set of minimum requirements, so some older systems are unable to upgrade. Of the systems that qualified for an upgrade, the path was 99 percent successful, according to Microsoft.

Sean Endicott
Sean Endicott

Sean Endicott is the news writer for Windows Central. If it runs Windows, is made by Microsoft, or has anything to do with either, he's on it. Sean's been with Windows Central since 2017 and is also our resident app expert. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com.

4 Comments
  • A less self-serving testimonial from another large company would have been better. MS probably has a large captive Surface base other companies would not have. 190k relative to what--how can one make a value judgement on ease of upgrade not factoring in what couldn't be upgraded since that is the harder part? Marketing fail.
  • The post I cited wasn't a marketing post. It was a Tech Community post offering help for organizations transitioning to Windows 11.
  • Blogs are another form of marketing/influencing potential customer behavior. One can even make the case that marketing goes out of their way to encourage and promote such things.
  • Funny thing is, I knew about this transition four weeks ago. Attended a session conducted by Microsoft where they disclosed this.