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Microsoft Windows 11: it’s Windows, but Elevener

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Microsoft Windows 11 was officially released, and reviews of the new operating system were posted on the Internet. Collective opinion is somewhere between a yawn, a shrug, and an approving nod.

Windows 11 is a bit of an odd duck compared to previous versions. Microsoft announced the operating system in late June and shipped it in early October. That’s a three-month window compared to the typical 12-14 month timeframe Microsoft gives for a new version of the operating system. The pre-launch conversation largely focused on who can and cannot switch to the operating system due to unclear messages from Microsoft. The company has yet to say whether it will provide security updates to users who install Windows 11 on older systems, for example.

However, the operating system is bigger than a controversy around its hardware requirements, so we won’t go into those issues just yet. Evaluated more generally, Windows 11 is pretty good. This is a moderate UI redesign and refresh rather than a drastic change from Windows 10.5. Paradoxically, this makes it harder to know what to say about it. As PCMag notes, “A lot of the new stuff is stuffing and rearranging the furniture. “

Windows Start menu 11. Image of PCMag.

Some features of the Windows 11 user interface, such as improved window capture options and revamped right-click context menus have been praised. Critics have called the flexibility of the taskbar a negative and no one thinks much about the new widgets, but feedback to the operating system is generally muted. Engadget found the new user interface frustrating in some ways, but concluded with “Windows 11 is inevitable”, which seems pretty accurate.

However, as the inevitable go away, this one is pretty slow. For most people, the negatives aren’t strong enough to be worth avoiding, and the positives aren’t great enough to make this a must-have upgrade in the short term. Gamers, in particular, may not want to upgrade to Windows 11 just yet due to performance slumps in some titles.

Windows 11 is clearly intended to integrate the end user more closely into Microsoft’s product ecosystem. Widgets only use Microsoft Bing, regardless of the user’s browser preferences. The browser preferences themselves are even more difficult to change than in Windows 10. Windows 11 Home users must have a Microsoft account and Wi-Fi access to set up their PCs, and although the user account type can be changed after login, Microsoft is aware that most people will not do this. Since most people use Windows Home, it’s a safe bet that end users who haven’t created a Microsoft account yet will be doing so in the near future. Watch for Microsoft’s public relations explosion over how people embraced “the option” at one point in time.

I feel like I should so I can find more to say about Windows 11, but I haven’t managed to muster any enthusiasm for it. Aside from the potential impact of a new scheduler on Alder Lake, the launch feels like a non-event. I don’t plan on running it on my own system anytime soon, which isn’t unusual for me – I only upgraded to Windows 10 after the Anniversary Edition in 2016, and gave Windows 11 an extra year to cook seems like a good idea.

Windows 11 doesn’t seem likely to follow in Vista or Windows 8’s footsteps, if only because it doesn’t take enough risks to do so. Love them or hate them, Vista and Windows 8 have made significant changes to the underlying Windows experience. Windows 11 is more of a UI reskin with a few extra features added, and none of the changes are fundamental enough to inspire a lot of backlash – or an adoption boom, aside from what’s going to happen through natural adoption. , since the operating system will be offered as a free update for eligible machines.

So, should you consider upgrading to Windows 11? Not unless you want to. If you’re an enthusiast who has built your system around Windows 10, there aren’t any short-term features or capabilities that would warrant an upgrade, especially if you don’t want to enable Secure Boot and enable TPM.

Should you avoid buying Windows 11? Again, not unless you want to. Windows 10 still has four years of life. Features like DirectStorage are supported in Windows 10. Gamers will need to be aware of some special settings that can reduce performance – even general-purpose users can lose a few percentage points in performance here – but these are issues that Microsoft will probably correct in short order. It’s not very unusual for a new version of Windows to be a bit slower than a previous one while the driver issues are resolved, and Microsoft 11 will be rolling out to users in the coming weeks, not all at the same time. time.

So far, the defining characteristic of Windows 11 is how non-event this launch is. It has something of the feel of a contractually obligated film that the studio and the movie star were required to make. It’s not bad, but it’s also not the complete break with the previous Windows UI design that some had hoped for.

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