Windows 11 - First look

plat1098

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Sep 13, 2018
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From Beta yes, from Dev, usually not. This time Microsoft is giviing this opportunity by keeping the same build in both Beta and Dev.

Did anyone else get an email saying you can choose between DEV and Beta channels without any further actions except for changing your channel in the system Settings? I think for now I'm going to stay in the DEV since Windows 11 already seems more stable than not. I mean, you can always transfer to the Beta channel at a later time, can't you? It's a little bit of a gamble though.

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Gandalf_The_Grey

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Closer Look: Search in Windows 11
Overall, there is a lot to like about Search in Windows 11. The performance seems better, the search results are better, whoever added the "hints" on hover should be given a raise, and the UI is much cleaner. That said, there is still room for improvement. Personally speaking, I would prefer that the white space in the UI is better utilized or reduced, the Search in the Start menu be baked in to the component better, and the search bar in the "hints" to work directly in the smaller window instead of blowing up to the full UI. The good news is that we're still a few months away from general availability so if you have some nitpicking to do as well, please let us know in the comments section below and report it to Microsoft via Feedback Hub.
Closer Look: Widgets in Windows 11
Overall, I appreciate the changes that Microsoft is making to widgets in Windows 11 and adding new capabilities that take advantage of information from your Microsoft account, I do feel that there is a ways to go before I consider integrating widgets into my regular usage, come Windows 11. In the same vein, if you have feedback for Microsoft too, consider reporting it to the company via Feedback Hub and let us know in the comments section what you think about widgets as well.
 

SeriousHoax

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Did anyone else get an email saying you can choose between DEV and Beta channels without any further actions except for changing your channel in the system Settings? I think for now I'm going to stay in the DEV since Windows 11 already seems more stable than not. I mean, you can always transfer to the Beta channel at a later time, can't you? It's a little bit of a gamble though.

Yeah, this email made me question whether should I switch to the Beta channel. Switching to Beta from Dev wasn't possible in Windows 10. Now Microsoft needs to make it clear to us if the upcoming unstable Dev builds which won't align with the release version anymore will still have the option to go back to more stable Beta builds.
 

mlnevese

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May 3, 2015
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I went back to beta as soon as the option was made available. I'll probably keep to it as historically you rarely had problems with it in Windows 10 unless you installed drivers from Windows Update.
 
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valvaris

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Hi friends, how is Windows 11? Anyone using it daily? Can you use it on a daily basis? And are the main antiviruses compatible? I think I will join the beta channel
Just installed Windows 11 over the Weekend over a InPlaceUpgrade and everything seems fine. No issues and everything works as intended. System feels more responsive btw

Sincerely
Val.
 

mlnevese

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Hi friends, how is Windows 11? Anyone using it daily? Can you use it on a daily basis? And are the main antiviruses compatible? I think I will join the beta channel
Using it daily since the first day of release in Dev channel. There are still some random bugs here and there and the occasional graphical glitch. But it's clearly faster and more responsive than 10. Do not upgrade before performing a backup first, just in case something goes wrong.
 
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Reiner

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Jan 26, 2021
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Thanks for the personal feedback, today I'm going to do a clean install of 11, very curious :cool:

And another question, my Windows 10 is Home, when I do a clean install of 11 do I have to put Home or can I choose Pro? Choosing Pro will it not activate since my activation is from Home?
 
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mlnevese

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Thanks for the personal feedback, today I'm going to do a clean install of 11, very curious :cool:

And another question, my Windows 10 is Home, when I do a clean install of 11 do I have to put Home or can I choose Pro? Choosing Pro will it not activate since my activation is from Home?
If your activation code is recorded on your motherboard it will install as home automatically. Choose Home anyway to avoid problems.
 

Gandalf_The_Grey

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Windows Report exclusive survey: Windows 11 will be adopted rapidly, a lot of users going for touch devices:
Here are the top five takeaways from what users think of Windows 11, after almost two months since the unveil:

  1. More than half of users polled will actually update to Windows 11 right away, despite the wave of denial online.
  2. Microsoft’s system requirements fall heavy, as a quarter of users don’t pass the official test.
  3. A third of respondents are willing to switch to a touch-based device, once Windows 11 gets out. When it comes to Windows 7 users, that percentage jumps to 46%.
  4. The centered Start Menu is actually liked by more than a third of users.
  5. Windows 11 convinced 17% of respondents become Microsoft insiders just to test it out sooner.
 

Gandalf_The_Grey

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The Windows 11 Start Menu is barely usable:
Microsoft's upcoming Windows 11 operating system has a Start Menu that is barely usable in its current form. Windows 11 will be the third operating system in succession with a Start Menu redesign. Windows 8 introduced the fullscreen Start interface and Windows 10 live tiles among other features such as different tile sizes for shortcuts.

Windows 11's start menu comes with just a single new feature: a short list of recently opened files and installed apps. In fact, one of the main characteristics of the start menu is the removal of features. The Live Tiles of Windows 10 are gone, but that is just one of the many features that Microsoft removed.

The default Windows 11 Start Menu displays a search at the top, 18 pinned tiles above the fold, more when you scroll, and recommendations below that. A link to "all apps" is available to display all Start entries in alphabetical order. You find options to lock the system, switch to another account, sign-out, or change the power state of the PC at the bottom.

Folders, that can hold multiple icons, are gone. Groups, which you could use to organize Start Menu shortcuts, are gone. The option to display the all apps listing and the pinned items on the Start Menu at the same time is gone as well. Different tile sizes are not supported anymore either, and you cannot expand the Start Menu's size anymore.

What you can do, is use drag & drop to move pinned icons in the Start Menu around, or use right-click operations to remove pinned items. Applications can still be added to the interface by right-clicking on them in Explorer or elsewhere and selecting the pin to start option.

The Pinned and Recommended areas of the Start Menu have fixed sizes. While you may hide all recommendations or reduce the number of pinned items below 13 or 7 to free up rows, doing so does not make room for other content in the Start Menu. You are left with empty space that has no function whatsoever.

Ultimately, what you get right now is a launcher with 18 shortcuts, the option to scroll to display more, an option to display the all apps listing, and a short listing of recently used programs/files and new applications, which you may expand as well.

Since the Windows 11 Start Menu is so limited, one has to wonder why it should be used at all. You could put the shortcuts on the desktop or taskbar, and launch them from there without ever opening the Start interface. You could also rely on search for that, even though Windows Search is far from the best option when it comes to search on Windows.

As far as the recently used or installed listings are concerned, these may work in work environments, but since the listings default to just three items each, they may not be that useful in home environments. As soon as you open more than three files during a session, you won't see all files opened during that session under recent anymore. Since all file types may be listed there, it is just the matter of opening three photos, video files, text files or any other file type to push out items from the recommended section. Windows 11 does display a "more" button in that case, which you may activate to display a larger listing of opened files sorted chronologically.

Lack of customization options

The Windows 11 Start Menu lacks customization options. While that may reduce issues that users may experience when using Start and is thus beneficial for Microsoft, it at the same time reduces the usefulness of the Start Menu.

Even basic options, such as the removal of the Recommended section if you turn it off, is not supported. There is a slim chance that Microsoft is going to change that before the final reason, but if past decisions are anything to go by, it is more likely that the Start Menu of the preview builds will be the menu that users get when the operating system is released to the public.

Closing Words

Windows users who rely on the Start Menu may replace it using third-party apps such as Start11 or Open Shell, among others that will be released in the future. These bring back classic start menus to Windows 11, which you can customize to your liking.
 

oldschool

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The Windows 11 Start Menu is barely usable:

This is no surprise based on early user reports and reviews. It appears W11 is just a facelift with reduced functionality in its design. I won't be rushing to "upgrade" to this mess! M$ botches another opportunity to increase its consumer appeal. :( It's sad, but no surprise.
 

Gandalf_The_Grey

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Windows 11 - first round of desktop usability tweaks
Conclusion
If someone tells you "embrace the change", "move with the times", or "learn new ways", remind them that fads come and go, and that you can also learn new things working in a penal colony in the sub-arctic, that does not mean it's a useful way of spending one's time. Measure efficiency. That's all. Perhaps people who embrace the whole "inspiring" "modernology" may have nothing better to do with their lives, but if you are keen on being productive, you need dem tweaks.

I am sad and angry to even have to write this guide, but hey. The bigger problem remains the Janus personality of Microsoft development. Some truly awesome and state-of-the-art stuff, like say EMET or Exploit Protection or Visual Studio, side by side with some rather useless stuff, like these desktop shenanigans. I loved Windows Phone, I loved my Lumia phones, but then NONE of the solutions used there work on the classic PC. But it's okay. Let Microsoft make money off the normies and their low-IQ needs, I'll enjoy my dividend some day, and everyone will be happy. For the time being, we've got these tech tips to keep the experience sufferable.
 

amirr

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Jan 26, 2020
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I went back to beta as soon as the option was made available. I'll probably keep to it as historically you rarely had problems with it in Windows 10 unless you installed drivers from Windows Update.
You went back to Beta from Dev? Why?
 
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