Tools to support Windows 11 deployment

Published Oct 04 2021 01:00 PM 24.9K Views
Community Manager

With Windows 11 generally available, you can now begin to upgrade eligible Windows 10 devices in your organization and empower your end users with signature experiences tuned for hybrid work. This post summarizes the resources available to help you plan for and deploy Windows 11, including:

Windows 11 general availability explained

General availability means that Windows 11 is now available through familiar channels including Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) and Windows Update for Business. Windows 11 can also be downloaded from Visual Studio Subscriptions, the Software Download service (via the Windows 11 Installation Assistant or the Media Creation Tool), and the Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC)[1] .

As an organization, you control when and how you roll out Windows 11 to the devices you manage. Endpoints managed by Windows Update for Business will not be automatically upgraded to Windows 11 unless an administrator explicitly configures a Target Version via the TargetReleaseVersion setting using a Windows CSP, a feature update profile in Microsoft Intune[2], or the Select target Feature Update version setting in Group Policy.

Windows 11 available 2109.gif

Today marks the start of the 36-month servicing support lifecycle for Enterprise and Education editions of Windows 11. Home, Pro, Pro for Workstations, and Pro for Education editions of Windows 11 will receive 24 months of servicing support beginning today. For details, see the Windows lifecycle FAQ. As with Windows 10, Windows 11 will receive regular monthly quality updates to provide security updates and bug fixes.

Deployment and management tools for Windows 11

The following tools and resources are available now to support your Windows 11 adoption efforts:

  • Administrative Templates (.admx) for Windows 11– Complete set of administrative template files for Windows 11 for use with Group Policy tools for the purpose of populating policy settings in the user interface and managing registry-based policy settings.
  • Group Policy Settings Reference Spreadsheet for Windows 11 – Spreadsheet listing the policy settings for computer and user configurations that are included in the Administrative template files delivered with for Windows 11. You can configure these policy settings when you edit Group Policy Objects.
  • Windows 11 Enterprise Evaluation – This free 90-day evaluation enables you to try Windows 11 Enterprise on behalf of your organization, testing infrastructure, applications, and deployment processes alike.

  • Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (Windows ADK) for Windows 11 – Customize Windows images for large-scale deployment or test the quality and performance of your system, added components, and applications.

    Note: If you are deploying Windows 11 with Configuration Manager, the Windows ADK is a required external dependency. The Windows ADK for Windows 11 can be used with Configuration Manager, version 2107 and later.

  • Windows 11 Security Baseline – Available as part of the Microsoft Security Compliance Toolkit, the baseline is a group of Microsoft-recommended configuration settings and explanations of their security impact. These settings are based on feedback from Microsoft security engineering teams, product groups, partners, and customers.
  • Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT) for Windows 11 – As with recent versions of Windows 10, RSAT are included as a set of "Features on Demand" in Windows 11. To add this optional feature so that you can manage Windows Server roles and features from a Windows 11 device, navigate to Settings > Apps > Optional features > Add an optional feature and select View features.

    Adding RSAT as an optional feature in Windows 11Adding RSAT as an optional feature in Windows 11

In the coming weeks, we plan to release a Windows 11 deployment lab kit to help you plan, test, and validate the way you deploy and manage Windows 11 Enterprise devices. And, for those looking for help with end-user communications, deployment timelines, and workback schedules, Microsoft will offer a Windows 11 adoption kit containing templates and other helpful resources.

This post will be updated with links to these new resources once they are available.

Assessing device readiness across your estate

To aid you in identifying which devices in your estate are eligible for the Windows 11 upgrade, you can leverage the Windows 11 Readiness Status report in Update Compliance.

Windows 11 Readiness Status report in Update ComplianceWindows 11 Readiness Status report in Update Compliance

Not only does this new report provide a breakdown of capable and not capable devices enrolled in the service, it also lists the reason(s) for not capable assignments, which align to the Windows 11 system requirements published by Microsoft.

Update Compliance displaying a breakdown of reasons devices show a status of not capable for Windows 11Update Compliance displaying a breakdown of reasons devices show a status of not capable for Windows 11

In the case that the service is unable to determine readiness, the status will be shown as unknown.

Windows 11 readiness status by device in Update ComplianceWindows 11 readiness status by device in Update Compliance

To ensure that the readiness status of your devices is computed and reported in Update Compliance, Microsoft recommends that you update devices with the most recent security updates. This report will be available in mid-October.

As announced in September, the Work from anywhere report in Endpoint analytics also offers Windows 11 hardware readiness insights for all Intune-managed and co-managed devices in Endpoint analytics, as well as devices enrolled via tenant attach with Configuration Manager, version 2107 or newer. For more information, see Understanding readiness for Windows 11 with Microsoft Endpoint Manager.

Windows readiness insights provided by the Endpoint analytics Work from anywhere reportWindows readiness insights provided by the Endpoint analytics Work from anywhere report

For those not using Update Compliance or Endpoint analytics, or for those using a version of Configuration Manager older than version 2107, a Hardware Readiness PowerShell script is available as an interim solution to help you determine if your devices meet the Windows 11 minimum system requirements.

Windows 11 application compatibility support

Windows 11 offers the same compatibility promise as Windows 10: a 99.7% compatibility rate for enterprise organizations, including line of business (LOB) apps. If you run into a compatibility issue, App Assure can help. For application vendors, Test Base for Microsoft 365 enables you to onboard and validate apps for Windows 11 in a managed environment. For more information, see Microsoft extends application compatibility promise to Windows 11.

If you are developing an application for Windows, read today's post on the Windows Developer Blog and bookmark the Compatibility cookbook for Windows 11 for guidelines on validation steps specific to the changes made in Windows 11.

Windows 11 documentation

Guidance to help you plan and prepare for Windows 11 across your organization can be found in the Windows 11 documentation. As the majority of deployment processes remain the same from Windows 10 to Windows 11, we are updating the "Applies to" tags across our Windows client deployment documentation library and highlighting differences where applicable.

Example of how Windows documentation will show if it applies to Windows 11, Windows 10, or bothExample of how Windows documentation will show if it applies to Windows 11, Windows 10, or both

Timely information on the status of the Windows 11 rollout, details on any known issues (including the status of those issues, workarounds, and resolutions), and other important announcements (such as those related to lifecycle updates or upcoming readiness events) are available on the Windows release health dashboard. There is also a new Windows 11 release information page offering important information about the Windows 11 servicing lifecycle, current versions, and—beginning with Update Tuesday later this month—monthly quality updates.

Note: As it is being released in the second half of the year, the version number for this original release of Windows 11 is 21H2.

Evaluate Windows 11

As noted above, if you are interested in trying Windows 11 Enterprise on behalf of your organization, you can download a free 90-day evaluation. For early access to new features and capabilities for future releases of Windows 11, join the Windows Insider Program for Business and run Insider Preview Builds on individual devices, virtual machines, or across your organization.

Learn more

In case you missed any of today's announcements in support of Windows 11 general availability, here's a quick recap:

Finally, among the new capabilities available with Windows 11 today, check out Power Automate for desktop, which enables you to automate repetitive desktop processes and provides hundreds of prebuilt drag-and-drop actions so that you can automate workflows from your Windows desktop across the tools that you interact with every day. Sound cool? It is! Learn more by reading Getting started with Power Automate for desktop in Windows 11.

I hope you found this post helpful. For the latest updates on new releases, tools, and resources, stay tuned to this blog and follow us @MSWindowsITPro on Twitter. To connect with other IT professionals planning for and deploying Windows 11, join the conversation in the Windows 11 Tech Community.

Editor's note (10.7.2021): Links to the administrative templates (.admx) and Group Policy Settings Reference were added.

Editor's note (10.6.2021): The footnote about VLSC availability was updated with new availability information.

[1] Downloads will be available the week of October 11th in the VLSC and similar channels across all products, markets and languages.

[2] Or other mobile device management (MDM) solution.


I can't generalize the image!




Another bug!

Microsoft Edge Application Guard does not open.





New Contributor

Following the exact same steps in the first GIF, produces the error


{"error":{"code":"","message":"The request is invalid.","innerError":{"message":"profile.FeatureUpdateVersion : The field FeatureUpdateVersion must be a string or array type with a maximum length of '20'.\r\n","date":"2021-10-05T00:03:34","request-id":"1c27c886-389d-4f7b-960f-90c83bb26cf3","client-request-id":"3a5feb18-e50e-4720-acd3-a8f1a36eb052"}}}

Super Contributor

21H2 you say. What is the exact build number of GA Windows 11 version?

Senior Member

22000.194 @Oleg K 


@Joe Gasper Please try it again, this does not result in an error for me.


@Gabriel Luiz I am able to open Application Guard window in Edge. Please open a ticket if you still can't.

Valued Contributor

I wish there was on-premise tools like to install on the Windows Server to check for Windows 11 readiness across the organizations for those who don't have ConfigMgr or MEM license. Sometimes companies wanted to do to on-premise check due to the privacy and internal policies of their organiations.


Hi @Reza_Ameri There is a hardware readiness script that you can send to the devices that are either not managed by ConfigMgr/Intune, or are using an older version of ConfigMgr. You can read about the script in Zach's blog here: Understanding readiness for Windows 11 with Microsoft Endpoint Manager - Microsoft Tech Community

Valued Contributor

Hi @Joe Lurie , you are correct and this script is the best alternative , however it would have been nice to have a simple solution to do this with a nice GUI similar to the one in the Endpoint analytics. 

Senior Member

There is a typo in the HardwareReadiness.ps1 script.

Line 468 should be:

if ($supportedDevices -contains $modelOrSKUCheckLog){

Note the removal of the double $ on variable modelOrSKUCheckLog

; - )

Occasional Visitor

Not seeing Windows 11 in the VLSC under downloads & keys...only seeing Windows 10 and below still :(…what am I missing for getting the Enterprise ISO for Windows 11....or do we need to grab that 90-Day trial for MDT etc...doesn't seem like that should be the way to do it :)


@Faraz Shaukat As noted in the footnote, VLSC times vary across markets and languages. You should expect to see it soon, if it's not there already.


@Kevin Severud Thank you! Flagging for @Heather Poulsen to see where this is best reporeted.

Occasional Visitor

thanks @Joe Lurie - lol that should not be a foot note ;)….been refreshing since yesterday...just need to be patient I guess :)


@Gabriel Luiz Re: the sysprep error, please file a Feedback Hub report so we can track this. I'm unable to repro in my own lab.

New Contributor

@Joe Lurie The Intune issue resolved as I checked this morning and I was able to create a new feature deployment policy.

So what about Administrative Templates for Windows 11?


@Gabriel Luiz These should be released shortly. In the meantime you can use the ADMX file from a Windows 11 device and save it in the Central Store Create and manage Central Store - Windows Client | Microsoft Docs

Regular Visitor

@Gabriel LuizI resolved the sysprep issue in my environment by running


Get-AppxPackage -Name Microsoft.OneDriveSync | Remove-AppxPackage


prior to running the sysprep command, or MDT running it. It appears to be an issue with the OneDrive appx applying to the single user.

Occasional Contributor


ADMX Templates for Windows 11 October 2021 Update [21H2]



Thanks, @Tero Alhonen !!

Community Manager

I've updated the post with links to the ADMX templates and GP settings reference.


@ohickmott and @Gabriel Luiz that sysprep issue with the OneDriveSync fix is a known issue that the teams are looking into. Removing OneDriveSync is more of a workaround than a fix. A fix will be deployed as soon as its available.

Occasional Visitor

ADK for Windows 11 and ADK for Windows Server 2022: VAMT does not work anymore - Microsoft Tech Community


VAMT update soon ?

Occasional Contributor



It is not possible to use the "Install Roles and Features" step on MDT with Windows 11 and Windows Server 2022 : those operating systems are not including within the list of available operating systems. Tested with Windows 11 ADK.




Could you release an updated version of MDT to fix this ?



Regular Visitor

Please may I just ask if anyone has successfully applied a start menu layout to apply via GPO in Windows 11?

I'm running some Windows 11 tests, especially GPO.

I've tried configuring the Windows 11 layout using a .JSON and .XML file without success.

I also tested enabling DNS-over-HTTPS (DoH) by GPO, without success.

As an MVP, I'm already working behind the scenes to report bugs directly to the Windows 11 product team.

I will continue with the tests, of the most used GPOs in corporate environments.

I have a blog,, although the content is in Portuguese it has a lot of information about IT pro.

As you test the GPOs and they are working or publishing the articles.

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