Here's why your work laptop won't get Windows 11 any time soon

Man using laptop and smartphone
(Image credit: / GaudiLab)

Updating your business devices to Windows 11 may prove a serious headache for many companies, according to a new study which found many are simply not prepared for the move.

Research from Nexthink found that less than half (40%) of business computers are ready to be migrated to Windows 11, despite the fact that the software will become Microsoft's primary OS by October 2025.

Among those who did have applicable devices, the situation was less than ideal, as over 35% reported not being ready for the upgrade, with the remaining 25% "almost there".

Windows 11 update time?

Examining 3.12 million anonymized devices across 457 organizations, Nexthink also found that the move to Windows 11 should not prove too disruptive for many businesses, with the average upgrade time set to take around 15 minutes per task. 

And although the October 2025 deadline for Windows 11 primacy seems far away, Nexthink estimates it will take 4,212,000 manual hours to prepare those devices that are not ready for the move.

“Upgrading to Windows 11, like any digital transformation, can be viewed as a double edge sword for companies who want to take advantage of the innovation but are concerned about the effort that comes with checking compatibilities and ensuring the upgrade happens without risk,” said Yassine Zaied, Chief Strategy Officer at Nexthink.

“As a result, often these upgrades get delayed, costing organizations valuable time and money. While the upgrade to Windows 11 is tricky, our research confirms that with the right understanding of every employee’s digital environments, the selection of the best pilot scope, and an exact understanding of what is needed to be done prior to upgrading – companies can more quickly take advantage of the innovation and without risk.”

Much of the legwork in upgrading to Windows 11 will also involve getting employee buy-in for the move, the company noted, with educating workers another key step.

A recent report from Lansweeper even claimed that there are more PCs running Windows XP than Windows 11.

Mike Moore
Deputy Editor, TechRadar Pro

Mike Moore is Deputy Editor at TechRadar Pro. He has worked as a B2B and B2C tech journalist for nearly a decade, including at one of the UK's leading national newspapers and fellow Future title ITProPortal, and when he's not keeping track of all the latest enterprise and workplace trends, can most likely be found watching, following or taking part in some kind of sport.