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Windows 11

(article revised 1/24/2022)

Here's what I know about Windows 11 so far.

I don't like it, and I probably won't ever use it, but unless you want to pay $1,069 for the server version of windows that works like we want it to, or switch to Mac or Linux or ChromeBook, you'll eventually have to go to it. Windows 10 will be obsolete 10/14/2025.

 

Advantages:

- The Start Menu seems to be faster, and the live tiles everybody hates is gone.

- Some of the trash apps are no longer forcibly installed, such as Cortana, OneNote, Paint3D, 3D Viewer, and Skype. These can still be manually installed. Unfortunately, OneDrive and Teams are still installed by default, and both run every time any user logs into windows.

- Tablet mode is gone. To this day, I've never seen anybody use tablet mode on purpose. What I HAVE seen, many times, is people accidentally enabling tablet mode and getting frustrated because they don't know what happened or how to reverse it. Now if they would just disable the ability to turn the numlock off, and the ability to rotate the screen!

- Better window tiling. Window tiling is where windows will snap to the sides or corner of your screen, consuming an exact fraction of your screen so all the windows fit together perfectly without gaps or overlapping. Windows 7 and 10 does it too, but Windows 11's tiling has more layout options.

- There's a new program called Windows Terminal. 99% of users won't ever use it, but command line warriors like myself are probably going to appreciate it. For you fellow command line warriors that don't already know, imagine cmd and powershell and bash all in the same window with tabs!

- Ability to run Android apps? Microsoft claims this will be possible, but I'm guessing it's not going to work good enough to be used for anything important. As an Android app developer and Windows program developer, and I can't imagine how Microsoft could ever make this work.

- Auto HDR. Basically, it makes the colors look better in games that don't have native support for HDR.

 

Disadvantages:

- Changing your default browser setting from Edge to Chrome requires like 50 clicks. This is an obvious evil attempt by Microsoft to prevent people from using Chrome. I don't understand how this is legal. This is exactly the type of games they were playing in the 90's when they lost the class action lawsuit over trying to force Internet Explorer on everybody. There is no technical reason this can't be 1 click. It was 1 click in Windows 7. They have even made it impossible for programmers to write programs that automate this process. The registry setting that controls the default browser is protected by an secret algorithm that has to be calculated by the operating system, and Microsoft does not expose this interface to non-Microsoft programs. Any attempt to change the setting without going thru the 50-click method will result in Windows changing the setting back to Edge. All we can do is hope somebody will figure out a way to sue Microsoft again and win again. Switching your default PDF viewer from Edge to Adobe Reader continues to be about 10 clicks, and too hard for the average user to figure out, which is a shame since Microsoft sets it back to Edge every 6 months without asking or telling, and also makes it impossible to change programmatically.
[update 12/4/2021 It looks like Microsoft has decided to undo the new 50 click method. Source]
[update 1/24/2021 Microsoft is changing the defaults back to Edge/Bing without asking or telling the user. Source]

- The Start Button is no longer in the bottom left corner, which means we can't blindly throw our mouse cursor to that corner to click it anymore, and there is not setting to control its location. Also, it is already hard enough for people to find the start button when I say "all the way in the bottom left", now it's going to be even harder. I miss the old versions of Windows that actually had the word "Start" on the start button... Now, get off my lawn!

- The taskbar can no longer be customized. I hope you like your taskbar icons wadded up and nameless. There is a registry hack that restores the win10 taskbar, but when I tried it on my testing computer, the Start button no longer responded to left-clicks or right-clicks, and the date/time disappeared with no apparent way to enable it. Setting another hidden registry key that is supposed to restore the win10 start button did not fix it.

- File Explorer (aka Windows Explorer) sucks more. The right-click menu no longer directly shows options from 3rd-party programs such as 7-zip. Those menus will be hidden behind "show more options". Folder icons will no longer show thumbnails of the files inside, and empty folders will look almost identical to non-empty folders.

- Buggy. Basic functions have major problems. For example, I was unable to take a screenshot with the snipping tool. All it would do was crash with a useless error message. [update: This turned out to be a temporary global outage.] The "Open With" option on the new right-click menu did not function properly in my testing, but "Open With" on the classic right-click menu did. I had all the updates installed. This shows that Windows 11 is still a toy at this time.

- Unrealistic hardware requirements. Windows 11 will not install easily if your hardware does not support UEFI and TPM 2.0. These are security features that 99.9% of users won't even benefit from. This is just another attempt to force people to buy new computers. These requirements can be bypassed, but it's not easy enough for the average user to do.

- There's a new widgets panel. I'm listing it as a disadvantage because Microsoft does not allow 3rd party programs to create widgets for it, and the widgets have to be managed thru msn.com, which is a website that makes me projectile vomit every time I view it. I'm sure Microsoft will terrorize us with this new widgets panel trying to get us to use it, just as they have been terrorizing us in Windows 10 with Live ID accounts, which also make me projectile vomit.

 

Should I upgrade?

NO. For business users, I recommend you contact all your software vendors, and ask them if the version of their software you are using is compatible with windows 11, but I still do not recommend upgrading at this time.

 

Programs that will NOT work on Win11:

- Quickbooks 2021 and older is not officially supported on Win11. This doesn't mean it won't actually work, it just means Intuit won't help you if you call them.

- Office 2013 or older. Once again, it might work, but it's not officially supported.

- Internet Explorer. A lot of not-so-old camera systems require ActiveX, and Internet Explorer is the only browser that supports ActiveX. Thankfully, there is a "IE Mode" in Edge.

- Any 16bit program. 32bit Windows 10 can run 16bit programs, but there is no 32bit Windows 11. You'll need to use a virtual computer to run 16bit programs now, or just keep an old computer around forever and hope parts are available for it when the hardware fails.

 

To start the upgrade:
click here

 

To return to windows 10:
- Click Start > Settings > System > Recovery > Go back