Initial Thoughts

Windows 11 has some mighty big shoes to fill. Windows 10 is installed on over a billion active devices around the world and has done an admirable job cleaning up the mess that was Windows 8. Windows 11 comes along at a very different moment in time. It is also a fundamentally different upgrade than Windows 10 was. Microsoft’s goal with Windows 10 was to get as many people onto the new OS as possible, but Windows 11 clearly does not have that goal in mind.

While ultimately a facelift of Windows 10, Windows 11 both gives and takes away. The new interface is genuinely intuitive, well-designed, and colorful. But the new interface hides just how much customization and personalization Windows used to allow. In a very un-Microsoft stance, they are basically telling people that if they don’t like how something works, too bad. The company is known for bending over backwards to not remove functionality, but Windows 11 cuts out features with a hacksaw. Did you like the Timeline feature added in Windows 10? Sorry it is gone. Do you like your taskbar on the top? Unfortunately, you are not allowed to move it. Do you want to use a browser other than Microsoft Edge? Well, you can, but it is far more work to change the default than it used to be.

Perhaps these changes are a result of Windows losing mindshare. In the past, Windows was too big of a thing to change. With the rise of smartphones, maybe now is the first time the company has felt that they can make a clean(ish) break with the past. The new hardware requirements are also going to force a clean break, as a good number of Windows 10 devices will never be allowed to update to Windows 11.

That is of course an oversimplification. This is still Windows after all. If you really want to change something, there will be ways to do it. Buried beneath all the new UI goodies is the familiar Control Panel, as an example. Registry changes will be found. Programs have already been created to get around some of the silly customization limitations in Windows 11.

I’ve only a had a short time with Windows 11, and that is partially due to how short of a public beta that it got compared to Windows 10. Already there are some features that I really enjoy. The new interfaces are well thought out and easy to use. But for me, the true test is using a new version of the OS and then stepping back to an older version. How painful is it? How many of the new features do I miss? There is no single item right now that is a must-have, so swapping between Windows 10 and Windows 11 is not a huge deal. And that’s good because Windows 10 is going to be around for years to come still. Some of the biggest new features announced for Windows 11 won’t even be shipping until next year. Perhaps if and when they arrive that will make the difference.

Thankfully, there is no rush to upgrade. If you are interested in checking out Windows 11 and your computer meets the stringent hardware requirements, it will be available late this year as an update. For those that do not want to change, there is no need. At least not yet.

Docking And Security
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  • alpha754293 - Monday, October 11, 2021 - link

    XP WAS good. But I just tried to virtualise XP with a quad-core processor, and XP could recognise multiple cores in multi-socketed systems, but if I set my XP VM with 4 cores from my Core i7-8559U, XP doesn't know what to do with it (though I wished that it did).

    XP WAS fast, but with its age, also shows its limitations as well.
  • GeoffreyA - Monday, October 11, 2021 - link

    XP has aged considerably but it'll go down in history as a classic. Possibly the best Windows ever made.
  • Oxford Guy - Monday, October 4, 2021 - link

    ‘t looks amazing! Finally good tastes in a Windows UI.’

    A superficial coat of paint doesn’t justify a new OS, especially one that bans high-performance highly-relevant hardware.
  • Oxford Guy - Monday, October 4, 2021 - link

    ‘So it raises the question: Why now?’

    MS wants to see if it can copy Apple’s extreme planned obsolescence routine, one-upping the company by making it more egregious.

    High-performance hardware is being banned so MS and hardware vendors can shake people down.

    Windows 11 does not offer enough value to be a product for consumers. It’s a product by and for MS, with the company betting that passivity will ge enough — which, of course, it will.

    Both companies have insanely high valuations precisely because consumers are so passive. They’ll trade value for laziness over and over again.
  • GeoffreyA - Monday, October 4, 2021 - link

    I had been thinking about giving 11 a try, but of late am just not interested any more. Windows 10 works all right, so why create more headache? And 11 seems ambitious of following in the illustrious footsteps of Vista and 8.
  • Silver5urfer - Monday, October 4, 2021 - link

    Simple - MONEY.

    Intel has new BS biglittle copycat on x86 to combat the AMD and Apple processors and they have a huge say in the x86 world simply because of how their Server Marketshare is, 90%+ And now note how Win11 SAC is no more, it's AC, basically Win10 is Semi Annual Channel releases and Win11 abandoned it for Annual releases. A big relax for the MS, yeah users are beta testers for a long time but this helps them and that secures their new Win11 licensing systems.

    Now there might be a question why the new systems and all, x86 products that Intel sells are more in Laptop BGA trash ware not DIY, and Servers are top ofc. With these new thin and light devices selling in volumes, remember how Chrome OS and Chromebooks had a huge boost ? People are getting dumber and dumber so they are fine with yearly trash refreshes of Smartphones for $1000 and same for laptops, shiny new toy.

    And finally Windows team at M$ was abandoned long back in 2018 itself, the guy who was at MS responsible for the division was laid off and then Office / Cloud teams took over it, they started adding without any direction, which became the abomination called Win10 a mish mash of garbage new UI and solid Win32 both shoved together. M$ wants to get rid of all that baggage, so they made Panos Panay the dumb idiot who barely even knows what is an OS as head because Surface garbage to combat Apple tablets and other touch screen ecosystem. Remember this is highest volume of x86 shipments.

    Ultimately because of that new UI was made, watch the video of the fools who worked on it, basically when MS orphaned Windows team internally it was fractured heavily with all that Win10X Windows S and other garbage so the reason why it looks so garbage and anti desktop because the people who worked on the management and directing this dumpster which kills all Taskbar behavior and so many Win32 features removed are simply and they all are addicted to Apple mediocrity and poor dumb UX, that bled to Win11 UX. But Nadella focus is to make money, so they had the Xbox Gamepass and others, which is why the Store had a revamp and massive focus to make it centralized Win32/UWP repo, Windows have decentralized system of software distribution which makes it superior to Linux in my eyes, no BS dependencies to download or anything, simply can be found on internet due to Win32 flexibility.

    Final piece of puzzle TPM, why ? Again money, Intel and AMD and other OEMs can mint money due to the offloaded cost to Consumer citing new DRAM DDR5, Big little marketing (Intel) and others and get Win11 licensing, on top their entire Office suite is as a Service, basically everything is as a service. They even announced the DaaS. Now the TPM, with Win10 extensive propaganda level push GWX, forced updates on everyone and constant spying and nagware MS got all the data they need for NSA and Patriot Act in US and world wide data mining. Who controls the data controls the world - MS, Amazon, Google, Apple, FB the giant goliaths. So now they do not need the old husk of machines simply break them officially by introducing the TPM hard requirement. It's using Secure Boot and TPM when both combine Windows Defender can even scan the BIOS, check Defender ATP page, they give this exact requirement to get BIOS scanning. Oh also they will abandon CSM on BIOS side, it was scheduled for 2020 got delayed, now I bet no Z690 and X670 boards will have CSM anymore, more UEFI licensing by MS, no more Windows 7. Plus TPM gets them even more data and control. Win11 home doesn't even work without MS Account.

    This POS dumpster OS should be avoided by any sane person. Win10 is better esp if you can get hands on LTSC and debloat it to basics, there's a new 2021 LTSC also coming for Win10 stick to the Win10 it's better. Win11 RTM will be broken garbage and there's absolutely no need to install it either.
  • flyingpants265 - Monday, October 4, 2021 - link

    I agree with most of this. In a few places I had no clue what you were talking about, but it sounds about right. Microsoft is just some company from the 90s, it makes no sense that they should have a global monopoly on operating systems or their user interface.

    I like the Windows interface. They have billions of dollars. They can improve it, make it work faster, better, more organized, and add more features. They are in a perfect position to do something good, but they just don't want to.
  • GeoffreyA - Tuesday, October 5, 2021 - link

    I think this is a pattern with Microsoft: a disappointing OS, followed by a first-rate one. ME, XP, Vista, 7, 8, 10. By this logic, Windows 12 should be worthy of applause.
  • TheinsanegamerN - Tuesday, October 5, 2021 - link

    But 10 was a major dissapointment for most. 11 shoudl have been the good one.
  • GeoffreyA - Thursday, October 7, 2021 - link

    I hated then grew fond of 10 after using it at home, aided by customisation and keeping "Settings" locked up in the attic.

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