Windows 11: will your printers etc work?
- Created: Tuesday, 31 August 2021
- Written by Paul Grigg
When planning an organization’s upgrade to Windows 11 you’ll need to assess whether peripherals are compatible and actually supported on Windows 11. From past experience we know manufacturers are often late supporting new operating systems. You won’t want to discover a device isn’t working only after an upgrade as it will impair the organisation’s operations. There may even be critical peripherals, e.g. printers, X-ray machines, or CAM systems that will bring your organization to a halt if they’re not operational.
Here is an outline of the process we go through with our customers during this phase:
Step 1 - ascertain which peripherals are supported, which aren’t supported now but will be in the future, and which will never be supported.
Step 2 - determine how critical each peripheral is to the organization
Step 3 - for any peripherals that will never be supported, or the date is too far in the future, calculate the cost to replace
If all the peripherals are supported, or the future supported date fits in with the plans, or the cost to replace is within the budget then we can move on to the next planning phase.
If not, there are a few options:
Keep all computers on Windows 10
- Pros: Consistent experience for all staff.
- Cons: None of Windows 11’s benefits. Only viable until October 2025 when Microsoft stops supporting Windows 10. It will be difficult to get new computers with Windows 10 in the future.
- Operate in a mixed environment - Upgrade to Windows 11 on the computers that don’t use the unsupported peripherals, but keep computers that do use the unsupported peripherals on Windows 10.
- Pros: Some staff get Windows 11’s benefits.
- Cons: Inconsistent experience between different staff and computers. Only viable until October 2025 when Microsoft stops supporting Windows 10. It will be difficult to get new computers with Windows 10 in the future.
- Budget for, and replace unsupported peripherals, then upgrade to Windows 11.
- Pros: Get Windows 11’s benefits. Consistent experience for all staff.
- Cons: Potentially large capital expenditure.
What can you do if you can’t afford to replace unsupported critical peripherals before October 2025?
- Microsoft ends free support in October 2025. Previously it has been possible to pay Microsoft to carry on support, for Windows 7, it cost £70 per device for the first year, and doubled each year after. Microsoft have not yet published their plans and pricing for Windows 10 but it will likely be similar.
- Run Windows 10 unsupported and mitigate the security risks. One option would be to segregate it from the rest of the network and prevent it from accessing the internet e.g. using VLANs and/or firewall rules.
Telanova has been providing IT support for more than 25 years. We know the many challenges that organisations face when a major Operating System upgrade is rolled out having been through it with Windows 2000, XP, Vista, 7, 8 & 10 and we leverage that experience to make sure our customers have a smooth transition.
Talk to us about making sure your upgrade to Windows 11 goes smoothly.