Windows 11 has been available since October 5, 2021. As the successor to Windows 10, which was released in 2015, Microsoft’s latest operating system has to tick many boxes to prove itself worthy in the eyes of users, business owners, and IT professionals.
To meet a variety of different needs, Windows 11 is available in two main editions: Windows 11 Home and Windows 11 Pro. As their names suggest, the former is aimed at regular home users, while the latter is geared toward professionals.
In this article, we’re taking a closer look at Windows 11 Pro and its numerous features to explain why businesses should choose it over the Home version.
Core Windows 11 Features
Some features are available in both main versions of Windows 11. These core features set Windows 11 from Windows 10, and they include the following:
- New design: With the release of Windows 11, Microsoft introduced a new design language, called Fluent Design. Characterized by its round corners and soft animations, the new design is supposed to evoke a sense of calmness and balance.
- Widgets: One of the most missed features of Windows 7 is back in Windows 11, allowing you to place widgets such as weather, Bing maps, news, and others inside a dedicated widgets panel, which can be invoked with a simple click.
- Snap Layouts: To help users keep their windows organized and maximize screen space utilization, Windows 11 makes it easy to get windows into specific positions thanks to a feature called Snap Layouts.
- Improved virtual desktops: It’s now easier to create and manage virtual desktops, each of which can be dedicated to a specific task or project. Multi-monitor support has also been improved, with Windows 11 finally remembering where applications were opened.
- Microsoft Teams integration: The popular business communication platform is integrated into the dock, so replying to messages is even faster and easier than before.
- Redesigned Microsoft Store: Microsoft redesigned its app store to make it more intuitive. Win32 applications can now be downloaded from the Microsoft Store as well, and they receive automatic updates just like Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps do.
These and some other features are what all users who upgrade to Windows 11 get to enjoy. However, those who choose Windows 11 Pro over Windows 11 Home can look forward to even more features.
Features Exclusive to Windows 11 Pro
Most features that are exclusive to Windows 11 Pro and make it such a great choice for businesses of all sizes revolve around security and device management.
The most important security-related feature that’s not available in Windows 11 Home is BitLocker device encryption. This full volume encryption feature is designed to protect user data by providing strong encryption for entire volumes.
When a BitLocker-encrypted Windows computer gets stolen or lost, the files on its hard drive remain safe and inaccessible. As such, this feature can go a long way in helping prevent costly data breaches and extortion attempts.
Another noteworthy Windows 11 Pro security feature is Windows Information Protection (WIP). The purpose of this feature is to protect business data against leakage through third-party apps and services, which typically happens when an employee makes a careless mistake.
WIP is designed to provide separation between personal and business data without requiring employees to switch environments or apps, making its deployment straightforward.
Unlike the personal computers purchased by regular home users, business computers are commonly managed in a centralized fashion. Windows 11 Pro is the only version of the operating system that supports the necessary business management and deployment features, including Active Directory/Azure AD, Group Policy, Dynamic Provisioning, mobile device management (MDM), and others.
Windows 11 Pro can become a Remote Desktop Session Host (RD Session Host), allowing remote users to connect to the computer as clients from anywhere in the world. In practice, this feature makes it possible for remote employees to use their work computers and access the data stored on them regardless of where they’re located.
Included in Windows 11 Pro are sandboxing and virtualization features like Hyper-V and Windows Sandbox. These features make it possible to run multiple operating systems on a single machine and safely run applications in isolation.
Last but not least, we should mention that only Windows 11 Pro can be activated without an internet connection and a Microsoft account. Windows 11 Home doesn’t officially support offline activation.
Windows 11 Pro is the best version of the operating system for virtually all businesses thanks to its security and management features. If you’ve decided to upgrade to it, make sure to familiarize yourself with its requirements because not all PCs capable of running Windows 10 and earlier can also run the latest version of Microsoft’s operating system. Contact us at BCA if you have any questions regarding Windows 11 Pro.