Microsoft Backup for Windows 11 has been released for accounts using a developer build of Windows in advance of a larger release. The system is a step forward for securing individual workstations, and is built in and integrated with Windows. At the same time, as an individual solution it has certain aspects that make it suboptimal for organizations.
Microsoft Backup’s features – what can it offer us?
Quoting from the Microsoft release, “Building on the app restore feature we announced last year, we are introducing additional backup and restore capabilities in this build to make moving to a new PC easier than ever and to help app developers retain users across this new PC transition. The goal of these changes is to land users on a desktop that feels familiar to them and get them back to productivity within minutes on their new PC.”
The new system is already accessible on Insider build 23466. Microsoft Backup appears to be a close relative of MacOS’ Time Machine feature, allowing files and settings to be saved and restored into a fresh machine, allowing a faster restore and getting people back to a familiar computer as soon as possible. The Backup file is stored on OneDrive.
Despite the attractiveness, Microsoft Backup has drawbacks
The most obvious is cost; by storing information on OneDrive, Microsoft requires users to have a package containing this service. The cheapest of these is Microsoft 365 Basic, which comes with a price of 2 EUR monthly (or 20 EUR annually). While this is a minimal incurred cost, it is still something to keep in mind.
Of far more importance is what is or is not captured; while Microsoft Backup uses the Backup name, it hides the fact that the captured files are not entirely all encompassing. The main focus of Microsoft Backup is saving a user-designated subset of files, user settings for downloaded applications and programs, and Wi-Fi or internet passwords. It therefore misses other aspects that an all-encompassing solution would capture.
Finally, it bears repeating that Microsoft Backup is a solution intended for individual users and individual workstations; Microsoft still lacks a native solution for enterprises or organizations, and in fact recommends that users look into third-party solutions to ensure they are covered.
Archive versus backup – which is right for who?
As a solution primarily aimed for users looking to instantly set up their workstations the way they prefer, Microsoft Backup is well designed. But for organizations that require a rolling backup for reasons of security and continuity, this approach falls flat for one main reason: accessibility.
As with other backups, Microsoft Backup allows you to revert a workstation to an earlier state; with enterprise oriented solutions, this can be writ large to cover entire servers or organization-wide networks. However, these restores take time and the data saved within them is not accessible without doing a full or partial restore – in other words wiping out the existing state and overwriting it with an earlier one.
Many organizations are beginning to see the value of archives, which overcome this drawback. While maintaining the primary selling point of a backup – keeping an earlier form of your system, files, and settings secured – archives add a major draw by keeping archived files accessible at any time, doing away with the time-inefficient full restore and instead allowing organizations to flexibly access required data when needed.
Archive smarter with contentACCESS
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