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What's new in Windows 11 IoT Enterprise?

Updated: Jan 28

This article will walk you through the latest updates for Windows 11 IoT Enterprise and what device builders and OEMs should know about this latest offering.



What is Windows 11 IoT Enterprise?

Windows 11 IoT Enterprise is the next evolution of Windows for IoT; it is the most significant update to the Windows operating system since Windows 10. It offers many innovations focused on enhancing end-user experience that is flexible and fluid. Windows 11 IoT Enterprise is designed to support today's hybrid world, and intended to be the most reliable, secure, connected, and performant Windows operating system ever.


Windows 11 IoT Enterprise is built on the same foundation as Windows 10 IoT Enterprise, so the investments you have made in tools for update and device management are carried forward. Windows 11 IoT Enterprise also sustains the application compatibility promise made with Windows.


How to get Windows 11 IoT Enterprise

Windows 11 IoT Enterprise will be delivered as an upgrade to eligible devices running Windows 10 IoT Enterprise, beginning on October 5, 2021.


For administrators managing devices on behalf of their organization, Windows 11 IoT Enterprise will be available through the same, familiar channels that you use today for Windows 10 IoT Enterprise feature updates. You will be able to use existing deployment and management tools, such as Windows Update for Business, and Microsoft Endpoint Manager. For more information, see Plan for Windows 11.


For devices that are not managed by an organization, the Windows 11 upgrade will be offered to eligible Windows 10 devices through Windows Update using Microsoft's intelligent rollout process to ensure a smooth upgrade experience.


For more information about device eligibility, see Windows 11 requirements and Getting ready for the Windows 11 upgrade.


Licensing

The licensing requirements for Windows 11 IoT Enterprise devices are identical to what is required for Windows 11 IoT Enterprise devices.


Windows 11 IoT Enterprise will only be available as an annual release. Please contact your Windows IoT distributor for more information.


Compatibility

Most accessories and associated drivers that work with Windows 10 IoT Enterprise are expected to work with Windows 11 IoT Enterprise. Check with your accessory manufacturer for specific details.


As mentioned above, Windows 11 IoT Enterprise preserves the application compatibility promise made with Windows operating systems, and does not require changes to existing support processes or tooling to sustain the currency of applications and devices.


Familiar processes

Windows 11 IoT Enterprise is built on the same foundation as Windows 10 IoT Enterprise. Typically, you can use the same tools and solutions you use today to deploy, manage, and secure your Windows 11 IoT Enterprise device. Your current management tools and processes will also work to manage monthly quality updates for both Windows 10 IoT Enterprise and Windows 11 IoT Enterprise devices.


Tip

Please see Prepare for Windows 11 for more details on infrastructure and tools nuanced differences in regards to on-premises solutions (WSUS) or Cloud-based solutions.


Servicing

Like Windows 10 IoT Enterprise, Windows 11 IoT Enterprise will receive monthly quality updates. However, it will have a new feature update cadence. The semi-annual update cadence for Windows 10 IoT Enterprise will remain, but starting with Windows 11 IoT Enterprise, there will only be one release a year.


Important servicing-related announcements and information about known issues and safeguard holds can be found on the Windows release health hub. For more information, see Servicing and support.


Note

Microsoft does not publish feature updates through Windows Update for devices running Windows 10 IoT Enterprise LTSC.


Microsoft releases new LTSC editions every 2–3 years. OEMs may purchase a newer LTSC as a field upgrade for their devices, if appropriate. Please contact your Windows IoT Distributor for more information.


New Features and Functionality Updates

With every new operating system, comes exciting new features and capabilities - Windows 11 IoT Enterprise is no different.


Windows Subsystem for Linux GUI

With Windows 11 IoT Enterprise, customers will be able to take advantage of the highly anticipated feature, Windows Subsystem for Linux GUI (WSLg), which brings Linux GUI applications to the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL).


WSL lets you run a Linux environment, and up until this point has focused on enabling command line tools, utilities, and applications. GUI app support enables you to now use your favorite Linux GUI applications with WSL. WSL is used in a wide variety of applications, workloads, and use cases to learn more, check out the announcement and blog.


USB 4.0

Windows 11 IoT Enterprise brings support to Universal Serial Bus 4 (USB4). To learn more, please review the feature documentation.


Wi-Fi 6E

Windows 11 IoT Enterprise brings Wi-Fi 6E support to IoT devices. Wi-Fi 6E gives you better wireless coverage and performance with added security. Review Windows 11 Specifications for more information.


Newly Designed Modern Interface

One of the most exciting features of the Windows 11 IoT Enterprise operating system is the new user-interface. The new design and sounds are modern, fresh, clean and beautiful, bringing you a sense of calm and ease. To learn more about the enhanced UI, check out the Windows Experience Blog which walks you through all the new and exciting improvements and capabilities.


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