Overview and Use Case

The Windows 11: Readiness Pack enables IT teams to uniquely understand their device landscape readiness for a Windows 11 migration at the device, application, and employee experience level by combining both Microsoft and Nexthink Digital Experience Score intelligence to look beyond simple hardware requirements. Transformation teams can also leverage employees' Digital Experience Score scores and their use of business-critical applications to determine the most appropriate candidates for their pilot group.

Nexthink | Assessing Windows 11 Readiness | Product Demo

Pre-Requisites

Version 6.27 and above

Nexthink Experience

Changelog

V2.0.0.1 - Edited CPU category to better recognise 11th generation Intel CPU’s

V2.0.0.0 - DirectX and WDDM version detection, upgrade costs functionality and potential software OS upgrade blocker added

V1.0.0.1 - Minor enhancement to Score labels and added thresholds to hardware and software metrics

Please note that when importing this version of the pack into a system that already has the Windows 11 Readiness pack installed, you will receive the message “Some import tasks have conflicts”. It is important to select ‘Replace all’ to update all the metrics and change the score action from ‘Skip’ to ‘Replace' to update the score as shown below in the before and after screenshots:

V1.0.0.0 - Initial Release

How the pack works

The pack uses Remote Actions and Nexthink Analytics to run a set of tests against your landscape of devices which helps determine whether the hardware or the software installed allows them to be migrated to Windows 11, whether they will need an upgrade or whether they are blocked and will need replacing.

There are stringent requirements for Windows 11 from Microsoft (Windows 11 Specs and System Requirements | Microsoft), and we test for these in the remote actions as described below.

Pack Structure

The pack comprises two Remote Actions, seven categories, two scores, and metrics related to the dashboards.

The remote actions are data gathering and can be scheduled to run at a time decided by the IT department. They are required to determine the status and version of the TPM and the Secure Boot status.

The categories are required to be able to determine whether the CPU of the device is within the list of supported CPU's, to list critical and non-critical software that is to be tested for compatibility, and for testing the current OS version.

A score has been created to determine the overall readiness of the devices. Checks are carried out on the components that are part of Microsoft's compatibility criteria and the status of your software based on your entries within the categories. This is called the Device readiness score. A score of 0 for any item will deem the device not ready to migrate, but if all checks pass, a score of 10 is issued, meaning you can upgrade the device to Windows 11.

The above elements are all considered, and an overall device score is calculated to determine whether the device is ready to migrate to Windows 11.

Part of our pack helps also helps you identify pilot users who will be your best candidates to test on Windows 11 because they are the most active. With this in mind, we have included a category for you to list the applications you deem as critical, non-critical, as core productivity and core collaboration. From here, you can now measure the usage of these applications and find the most active users of them. This is an optional step should you wish to identify optimal pilot employees.

Remote Actions

The Windows 11: Readiness Pack library pack is underpinned by three Remote Actions reported within the dashboards.

The remote actions are:

  • Get BitLocker Information

  • Get Secure Boot Status

  • Get DirectX Information

The remote action, Get BitLocker Information, determines whether a TPM is present on the device and its version. Version 2.0 is required for the device to pass the hardware check. More information is available here: Disk Encryption | Nexthink.

*Please note that if you have previously installed the Disk Encryption remote action pack, you will need to select 'Replace' when prompted to receive the latest TPM check feature.

The remote action, Get Secure Boot Status, determines whether secure boot is enabled on the device.

The remote action Get DirectX Information determines the version of DirectX and WDDM driver. DirectX must be at version 12 or above and the WDDM driver at version 2.0 or above to be compatible.

Scores

The pack contains two score files. The first is used to determine whether a device requires upgrading or replacing and the second is to allow for upgrade or replacement costs to be calculated.

The score files are:

  • Windows 11 Readiness Score

  • Windows 11 asset renewal costs

The Windows 11 asset renewal costs score requires some minor modification before it can be used. The score should be exported to a file, the costs per item for Desktops, Laptops, Memory, and Hard Drives should be entered into the score file by editing it within the Scores Creator (nexthink.com) and it should then be re-imported into the pack.

To do this:

  • Open Finder and go to the Scores section

Right-click the Windows 11 asset renewal costs score and select Export → Score to file… and save to a location where you can easily find the saved file

Browse to Scores Creator (nexthink.com) and click on ‘Load score…’

Select the Windows 11 asset renewal costs score file that was saved earlier and click Open

A confirmation will be displayed saying the score has been loaded. Click OK

The score file is now loaded

There are four leaf score items that will require that you enter a monetary value for, they are:

  • Replacement desktop costs

  • Replacement laptops costs

  • Memory upgrade costs

  • Disk upgrade costs

Taking Replacement desktop costs as an example, if the cost of a new desktop costs $1000, you will need to enter this figure into the Replacement desktop costs leaf score item. To do this, click on Replacement desktop costs which will display the values. Enter 1000 in the field ‘From (Score)’ next to the field ‘From (Value)’ that has the value 0 as shown below:

Do the same for each other leaf score making sure to enter the correct monetary value for each one.

Once complete, click on ‘Save score…' to save the new score file. The file will be saved to your default save folder (normally Downloads).

Return to the Scores section within the Finder and right-click the Windows 11 Readiness folder and select Import-->Scores from file…

Browse to where your newly created score file was saved to, select and click Open

A conflict message will be displayed, click on the drop-down menu and select ‘Replace

Click Apply

The new score file is now loaded with the new values.

Categories

Categories are used to determine device compatibility and capture the relevant information for the migration, such as excluding servers and VDI devices from the overall view.

The categories are:

  • Windows 11 Readiness - Compatible CPU's

    • This category contains the list of the currently supported CPU's as determined by Microsoft. The list is correct as of 01/10/2021.

    • Should Microsoft amend the list of compatible CPU's (as recently was the case when Microsoft added three more CPU’s to the compatibility list), you will need to add these CPU's to the list. To do this:

      • Find the Windows 11 Readiness - Compatible CPU's category and double click to edit it

      • From the list of keywords that opens, find the CPU's family the CPU is going into and highlight. In this example, we will use Intel i9 CPU

      • Click on 'Click here to add a new condition

      • Enter the new CPU name in the last field

      • if you wish to remove any CPU's from the list, click on the bin next to the area you want to remove:

  • Windows 11 Readiness - Excluded devices

    • This category contains the devices that you wish to exclude from the readiness check. Servers have already been added, but if a business-critical device, for example, a workstation running a critical application, needs to be excluded from the readiness check, it should be added to this list.

  • Virtualization type

    • As virtual devices are not part of the scope for the migration pack due to the vastly different configurations on customer premises, the category Virtualization type which is part of the Digital Experience Score pack is utilized. Within the category, there is the ‘Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI)’ keyword where the Auto-tagging conditions must be edited to match your environment.

  • Windows 11 Readiness - Critical package readiness*

    • This optional category contains your list of critical packages that have been tested on a test Windows 11 device. Within the category, you have Critical application compatible; Critical application requires upgrade and Critical application incompatible keywords with associated lists. As you test your critical packages, you will add their name to this list should they prove to be compatible, incompatible, or requires an upgrade. Any package tested and not added to one of these lists is deemed as compatible and working ok. It is acceptable to leave this category empty if required as, by default, all packages are considered compatible.

  • Windows 11 Readiness - Non-critical package readiness*

    • This optional category contains your list of non-critical packages that have been tested on a test Windows 11 device. Within the category, you have Application incompatible, and Application requires upgrade keywords with associated lists. As you test your packages, you will add their name to this list should it prove to be either incompatible or needs an upgrade. Any package tested and not added to one of these lists is deemed as compatible and working ok. It is acceptable to leave this category empty if required as, by default, all packages are considered compatible.

  • Windows 11 Readiness - Operating systems

    • This category is used to determine the version of Windows that is currently installed on the device. No alterations should be necessary to this category.

  • Windows 11 Readiness - Applications pilot candidates

    • This category is used to list the applications to be monitored to determine the most appropriate pilot users. The keywords that have been determined are Critical applications, Non-critical applications, Productivity applications, and Collaboration applications. The applications entered within this list will be reported upon listing the most focus time users and should be considered possible pilot candidates.

*Before proceeding with the software status testing, you need to add the software you wish to test within the Windows 11 Readiness - Critical package readiness and Windows 11 Readiness - Non-critical package readiness categories. To do this (using the Windows 11 Readiness - Critical package readiness category as an example:

  • Find the Windows 11 Readiness - Critical package readiness category and double click to edit it

  • The list of keywords will be displayed

  • Select the keyword you wish to populate. The keywords available are 'Critical application compatible,' 'Critical location requires upgrade', and 'Critical application incompatible’ For this documentation, 'Critical application compatible' will be selected.

  • Make sure that 'Name' is selected in the first field and 'is' is selected in the second field. In the field 'TYPE SOFTWARE NAME HERE', start to type the name of the compatible software, and the system will begin to auto-populate the field.

  • Select the application from the drop-down list

  • You can now click on ‘Save and close' or click on 'Click here to add a new condition’ if further entries are required.

  • Enter the details of the new software as described above.

  • keep adding software and click on 'Save and close' when complete

  • The remaining keywords are completed in the same manner.

Dashboards

Device readiness summary

This dashboard gives you an overview of how ready your devices are to migrate to Windows 11.

Device readiness summary

These widgets give you an overview of how ready your devices are to migrate to Windows 11. Several factors are taken into consideration when determining the device's readiness. They are the Microsoft compatibility criteria, the Device readiness score, the current Digital Experience Score of the device, and whether critical or non-critical software has been defined within the Windows 11 Readiness - Critical package readiness and Windows 11 Readiness - Non-critical package readiness categories.

  • Total devices
    The total devices within your estate seen within the last day

  • Devices ready to migrate
    The devices within your estate do not have any software that requires upgrading or is incompatible. The hardware has been tested by Nexthink and has passed all the required hardware component levels that Microsoft has defined in their Windows 11 standard (Windows 11 Specs and System Requirements | Microsoft). The digital experience score of the device also has to be greater than seven.

  • Devices not ready to migrate
    The devices within your estate that have software that requires upgrading or is incompatible or the hardware has failed part or all of Microsoft's criteria and has therefore received a device readiness score of 0.

  • Devices ready but with low Digital Experience Score
    Devices that have passed all criteria checks and have received a Device readiness score of 10 but have a low Digital Experience Score. Investigations should be carried out to discover why.

  • Devices ready but no-account activity
    Devices that have been identified as ready for migration but have not been used recently could help with the upgrade as there is no need to schedule an outage with the user while the upgrade takes place.

  • Total packages
    As well as the packages defined within the Windows 11 Readiness - Critical package readiness and Windows 11 Readiness - Non-critical package readiness categories, all other packages are also counted within your estate. This can help give an overall inventory so that there is an easy way to understand how many applications exist in a particular part of the hierarchy so that Windows 11 compatibility testing if required, can be arranged.

  • History of device readiness
    The line chart shows you a historical trend of how well you are moving your devices from non-migration ready to migration ready.

  • Readiness by region
    The total count of devices per region that are ready for migration will help you to plan and track the readiness for each country or region to give local support teams a view of their readiness.

  • Readiness by department
    The count of devices by the department that is ready for migration will help you plan and track each department's readiness to give local support teams a view of their readiness.

Hardware and OS readiness

This dashboard gives you a breakdown of how ready your hardware and the current operating system (Windows) are to move to Windows 11.

Hardware readiness

Total Devices

  • The total devices within your estate seen within the last day

Hardware ready

Hardware needs upgrading

  • These devices have been tested by Nexthink and have been shown to require an upgrade to the hardware component levels that Microsoft has defined in their Windows 11 standard (Windows 11 Specs and System Requirements | Microsoft), such as the memory or the available hard drive size.

Hardware not upgradable

  • These devices have been tested by Nexthink and have been shown to fail the hardware component levels that Microsoft has defined in their Windows 11 standard (Windows 11 Specs and System Requirements | Microsoft), such as the TPM version not being version 2.0, or the CPU is not supported.

History of device readiness

  • The line chart shows you a historical trend of how well you are moving your devices from non-migration ready to migration ready.

Hardware readiness by region

  • A breakdown of the status of your hardware readiness per region will help you pinpoint areas where more attention is required due to hardware requiring upgrades or is incompatible.

Hardware readiness by model

  • A breakdown of the status of your hardware readiness per model will help you pinpoint areas where more attention is required due to a particular hardware model either requiring an upgrade or is incompatible.

Hardware that requires an upgrade

  • Hard drive

    • The count of devices that require an upgrade of the hard drive to meet the Microsoft Compatibility Criteria

  • Memory

    • The count of devices that require an upgrade of the internal memory to meet the Microsoft Compatibility Criteria

  • Enable secure boot

    • The count of devices that require that secure boot is enabled to meet the Microsoft Compatibility Criteria.

Cost to upgrade devices

  • Hard drives

    • The cost of replacing the hard drive in devices that can be upgraded

  • Memory

    • The cost of replacing the memory in devices that can be upgraded

Cost per location to upgrade

  • A breakdown of the costs to upgrade all devices that can be upgraded

Hardware to be replaced

  • To replace

  • Desktops to replace

    • These devices have been tested by Nexthink and have been shown to fail the hardware component levels that Microsoft has defined in their Windows 11 standard (Windows 11 Specs and System Requirements | Microsoft), such as the TPM version not being version 2.0, or the CPU is not supported.

  • Laptops to replace

    • These devices have been tested by Nexthink and have been shown to fail the hardware component levels that Microsoft has defined in their Windows 11 standard (Windows 11 Specs and System Requirements | Microsoft), such as the TPM version not being version 2.0, or the CPU is not supported.

  • CPU incompatible

  • TPM incompatible

Cost to replace devices

  • Desktops

    • The cost of replacing all desktops that have been determined to have an incompatible CPU or TPM

  • Laptops

    • The cost of replacing all laptops that have been determined to have an incompatible CPU or TPM

Cost per location to replace

  • A breakdown of the costs to replace all desktops and laptops that have been determined to have an incompatible CPU or TPM on a regional basis

Operating systems ready to migrate

  • These devices have a compatible Windows 10 operating system that will allow for an in situ upgrade of the device to Windows 11

Operating systems requiring upgrade

  • These devices have an incompatible Windows operating system and therefore cannot be upgraded in situ to Windows 11. These devices will either have to be upgraded to a compatible version of Windows 10 first or a complete wipe and fresh install of Windows 11 will be required.

Packages, applications and stability

This dashboard gives you an overview of how ready your devices are to migrate to Windows regarding the installed packages, applications, and the overall stability of the devices.

Packages

Device package status

  • Devices ready
    These devices do not have any software that is incompatible requires upgrading and have been tested by Nexthink and have passed all the required hardware component levels that Microsoft has defined in their Windows 11 standard (Windows 11 Specs and System Requirements | Microsoft).

  • To upgrade
    The device(s) being tested have been found to have software installed defined within the Windows 11 Readiness - Critical package readiness and Windows 11 Readiness - Non-critical package readiness categories as needing to be upgraded. The software will therefore need to be upgraded to make it Windows 11 compatible.

  • Not upgradable
    The devices(s) being tested have been found to have software installed defined within the Windows 11 Readiness - Critical package readiness and Windows 11 Readiness - Non-critical package readiness categories as being incompatible with Windows 11. The package vendor would need to be contacted to determine whether a new compatible version will be released or whether the software should be discarded.

  • History of package readiness
    The line chart shows you a historical trend of how well you are moving your packages from non-migration ready to migration ready.

Devices ready

These devices have been tested by Nexthink and have been shown to pass all the required hardware component levels that Microsoft has defined in their Windows 11 standard (Windows 11 Specs and System Requirements | Microsoft) and are ready to migrate with the installed software as defined within the Windows 11 Readiness - Critical package readiness and Windows 11 Readiness - Non-critical package readiness categories.

A hierarchical view is displayed, which will help determine which areas are more ready for migration and which areas require further work on the estate.

Ready with critical package

Total devices

  • The total devices within your estate seen within the last day

Ready to migrate

  • These devices do not have any software that is incompatible requires upgrading and have been tested by Nexthink and have passed all the required hardware component levels that Microsoft has defined in their Windows 11 standard (Windows 11 Specs and System Requirements | Microsoft).

  • The devices that have passed the hardware check and have critical software installed that are deemed as compatible.

Ready without critical package

  • The devices that have passed the hardware check and do not have any critical software installed.

Device not ready

A breakdown per region of the devices that are not ready to migrate with the software installed as defined within the Windows 11 Readiness - Critical package readiness and Windows 11 Readiness - Non-critical package readiness categories.

Total devices

  • The total devices within your estate seen within the last day

Not ready to migrate

  • The devices that have failed the hardware check and are not ready to migrate. Investigations will be required to find out why the device(s) failed the check.

Not ready with critical package

  • The devices that have failed the hardware check and have critical software installed that are deemed as compatible. Investigations will be required to find out why the device(s) failed the check. Care should also be taken as the device(s) in question have critical software installed as defined within the Windows 11 Readiness - Critical package readiness and Windows 11 Readiness - Non-critical package readiness categories.

Not ready without critical package

  • The devices that have failed the hardware check and do not have any critical software installed.

Application performance

It's important to maintain an accurate view of your application estate and the resources they require to run successfully. This dashboard gives you an overview of your most resource-intensive applications, which will help you decide whether to carry out any upgrades to devices to accommodate these applications better.

Applications that have experienced issues with crashes or freezes are shown and should be investigated. An application crashing on the current device with Windows 10 is likely to continue to crash on Windows 11. This will provide a poor user experience and a poor impression of the new operating system and migration process.

Most deployed applications

  • A list of the most used applications within your estate will help you identify highly used applications that may be required if not defined within the Windows 11 Readiness - Critical package readiness and Windows 11 Readiness - Non-critical package readiness categories.

Most deployed applications average CPU usage ratio

  • Applications that consume a high average CPU ratio should be investigated before the migration is carried out. An application using a high usage CPU ratio on the current device with Windows 10 is likely to continue on Windows 11. This will provide a poor user experience and a poor impression of the new operating system and migration process.

Biggest memory footprint

  • A list of applications and the average memory they consume will help you determine whether a device should receive a memory upgrade as part of the migration to accommodate applications that consume a large amount of memory.

Application stability and deployment

Most deployed application crashes

  • Applications that have suffered crashes should be investigated before the migration is carried out. An application crashing on the current device with Windows 10 is likely to continue to crash on Windows 11. This will provide a poor user experience and a poor impression of the new operating system and migration process.

Most deployed application freezes

  • Applications that have suffered freezes should be investigated before the migration is carried out. An application freezing on the current device with Windows 10 is likely to continue to freeze on Windows 11. This will provide a poor user experience and a poor impression of the new operating system and migration process.

Potential software OS upgrade blockers

This section allows you to target specific software that has been identified from initial internal testing as potentially preventing the device from upgrading to Windows 11.

Two examples are shown. The first shows devices where the version of ConfigMgr is below a certain exe file version, which can prevent the upgrade.

The second shows devices with the VMWare Workstation or VMWare Player application installed which again, depending on the version, can also prevent the upgrade.

The metrics related to these examples are:

  • Windows 11 Readiness - ConfigMgr

  • Windows 11 Readiness - VMWare

These metrics can either be edited to point to the application or exe file that has been discovered as incompatible during internal testing or copied and added to the Packages, applications and stability dashboard as additional widgets.

Pilot candidates

This dashboard gives you a breakdown of the employees and their use of critical, non-critical, productivity, and collaboration applications to determine the most appropriate candidates to be used as pilots for the migration to Windows 11.

This is a critical step in your analysis as migrating an unsuitable pilot set of users with a key set of applications runs the risk of receiving no feedback, so assume all is ok.

You run the risk that you impact production once migrated because they may simply not have been using the applications beyond a simple cursory task.

By using focus time, you understand who your most significant users are of your critical applications, non-critical applications, productivity, and collaboration users. These users can be targeted as potential pilot candidates to move to Windows 11. You will be safe in the knowledge that the chosen candidates are heavy users of these applications and will provide you with a high level of confidence that they will provide feedback that will be relevant and comprehensive.

This dashboard uses the Windows 11 Readiness - Applications pilot candidates category, which needs to have the applications to be monitored added to this list.

To add applications to this list:

  • Find the Windows 11 Readiness - Applications pilot candidates category and double click to edit it

  • The list of keywords will be displayed

  • Select the keyword you wish to populate. The keywords are 'Critical applications', 'Non-critical applications', 'Productivity applications' and 'Collaboration applications’. For this documentation, 'Critical applications' will be selected.

  • Ensure that 'Executable name' is selected in the first field and 'is' is selected in the second field. In the field 'EXECUTABLE NAME HERE', start to type the name of the .exe that is considered a critical application, and the system will begin to auto-populate the field.

  • Select the application from the drop-down list

  • You can now either click on ‘Save and close' or click on 'Click here to add a new condition’ if further entries are required.

  • Enter the details of the new software as described above.

  • keep adding software and click on 'Save and close' when complete

  • The remaining keywords are completed in the same manner.

Focus time top users critical applications

  • A breakdown of the users with focus time greater than four hours of your critical applications as defined within the Windows 11 Readiness - Applications pilot candidates category.

Focus time top users non-critical applications

  • A breakdown of the users with focus time greater than four hours of your non-critical applications as defined within the Windows 11 Readiness - Applications pilot candidates category.

Focus time top users productivity applications

  • A breakdown of the users with focus time greater than four hours of your productivity applications as defined within the Windows 11 Readiness - Applications pilot candidates category.

Focus time top users collaborations

  • A breakdown of the users with focus time greater than four hours of your collaboration applications as defined within the Windows 11 Readiness - Applications pilot candidates category.

Focus time by region

  • A breakdown of the users with focus time greater than four hours on a regional basis using the applications defined within the Windows 11 Readiness - Applications pilot candidates category. By understanding your regional breakdown, a particular team could handle a particular application in a region where it is heavily used.