Because I'm a compulsive updater, I just updated to Windows 11.
And, I don't like it. The new user interface doesn't sit right with me. It feels like biggest step back since Ballmer tried to get rid of the Start menu back in Windows 7. The new Start menu and Taskbar just seem way less functional and configurable than they had been.
Also, the new, smaller taskbar icons seem really poorly designed for increasingly high res displays. They're all a little too small.
They removed the temperature/weather widget from the taskbar and that was like the most useful new feature they've implemented in the last 20 years.
So, the really, really big problem for me is that they removed the ability to ungroup icons on the taskbar. So, to find a window, you have to mouseover the application icon and then try to figure out which of the little microwindows represents the window that you are trying to find.
This is one of those interface things that probably doesn't matter to some folks, but it is incredibly jarring and frustrating to me. It basically changed one of the fundamental interface features that's been in place since Windows 95.
There are ways to fix it, but they involve reg key hacks and third party programs.
Restored back to Windows 10. Took less than 5 minutes. That part of the experience was positive.
There are plenty of reviews out there that go through the UI changes. I'd encourage anyone to check them out before upgrading. I plan to do so eventually, but I'd prefer things like DirectStorage to be available in a game I want to play first. I can probably get used to the taskbar changes, that's not a huge deal to me. But if it bothers you, make sure you know what those changes entail before upgrading.
Computers were a mistake
The changes aren't nearly as radical as the remove-the-start-button change in Windows 8 (not 7), but I was surprised how much visceral dislike I had for them.
Windows 10 has been so great for so long and Microsoft has been doing so well in the last few years that I just assumed that 11 was going to be a bunch of positive, sensible improvements. After reading the Ars Technica review, this thing is feeling more like a Ballmer-era boondoggle.
HERE's the Ars Technica review, it's positive with some caveats. I don't see the Ballmer-era boondoggle in there...
I'm going to wait a few months until the first bugs are ironed out, but will take the plunge sooner than later.
Maybe I'm doing a certain amount of reading between the lines, but if the principle review for the flagship product for a major advertiser (and probably the most important company in the whole business tech industry) has a lot of hesitant and qualifying language, it suggests to me that the reviewer's thoughts are not exactly positive.
Again, different people interpret things differently, but it read to me like a diplomatically worded negative review.
From the conclusion:
Throughout the piece, the reviewer compares Windows 11 to 8 and Vista instead of the current operating system.
Was curious to check it out, but my 7-year old CPU isn't supported so, eh I guess.
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Both my laptop and desktop are officially supported, though both get the "Specific timing for when it will be offered can vary as we get it ready for you" message for now.
I might try it on the laptop first -- that's mostly a web-browsing and email machine, so fine for experimenting on.
DirectStorage and AutoHDR sound intriguing for the gaming desktop, except that it'd need a new graphics card to meet the hardware requirements for DirectStorage. And at this point, I still expect that by the time new graphics cards are available at a price I'm willing to pay, I'll be looking at a whole new build anyway.
Six weeks later, I got the option to upgrade both computers. I went ahead and put Windows 11 on my laptop yesterday.
I'm not impressed with the new Start menu or centering the taskbar icons (of all the things to copy from MacOS...), and I really don't get the Widgets. On the other hand, it fixed a recurring WiFi glitch. So overall, I guess it's okay.
I just noticed today that the update section of Win 10 says my computer doesn’t support 11.
Good. Now I don’t have to worry about it auto updating on me.
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The upgrade to Windows 11 was offered on my gaming laptop, and I decided to go for it. So far no issues, and I like how the GUI is more responsive. No more 2 second lag when hitting the Windows button or opening programs!
It's alright. I've had it a month or so now.
It's missing some pretty basic old time features like dragging a file to an app on the taskbar to open and some basic configuration options. That's been the most frustrating to me. Widgets don't seem that useful at this point - guess we'll see. I see a slight increase in speed and while it certainly looks better it doesn't feel like a major visual update.
I will say it's been very stable. No issues getting anything to work.
I've had it for a few months now and had no issues with it. It's an operating system - it opens my programs, and gets out of my way otherwise. That's all I need.
Computers were a mistake
Yeah, me too. I installed it when I got a few new components (CPU, GPU) late last year. Maybe if I had to use it all day I'd have more complaints, but as it is I only turn that computer on when I want to play a game and it launches games just fine.