Test drive Microsoft’s Windows 11

For technical critics, criticizing a new operating system is like an absurd ritual.

It’s like being a professional home inspector who always provides reports like: Here’s what you need to know about the house you’re about to move to. It’s great, but it’s a big problem. I’m moving anyway, so I need to learn to live with them.

This is because the operating system is essentially where the digital life takes place. If you own a personal computer designed to run Windows, no matter how good or bad it is, you will probably continue to use the next version of Windows.

That’s what Microsoft felt when it tried Windows 11, which was the first major operating system update in six years. The company has marketed it as a new start for Windows with a modern, human-centric design. (It’s not new that tech companies are always reminding that their products are designed for users, not for my Labrador retriever.) This software has a lot of Windows this holiday season. Free updates on your personal computer.

New features in Windows are productivity tools such as the ability to instantly shrink and reorganize windows and support for mobile Android apps. But Windows 11 is ultimately an evolution. There are improvements, but some are frustratingly familiar.

I tested an early unfinished version of Windows 11 for a week. There are some highs like the design that makes the software behave like a mobile device, and some lows like the obsolete concept of widgets, which are essentially miniature apps that exist within the dashboard of the screen. ..

Here’s my test report, a compilation of good, well, and ugly things.

Microsoft executives call Windows 11 a new start in people-centric personal computing. Wordplay was aimed at highlighting the biggest design changes in Windows. The iconic start button, previously pushed into the lower left corner, has moved to the lower center. Also,[スタート]The button no longer loads the settings and list of apps. The app folder is displayed.

It has the same interface used on Apple and Android smartphones and tablets, with a tray of important apps at the bottom center of the screen. Still, it’s a welcome change.For previous versions of Windows[スタート]When I clicked the button, I saw a list of apps and settings that I found cumbersome to scroll.

The most interesting new design change is a feature I like called Snap Layout. In the upper-right corner of the app, hover your mouse cursor over the maximize window button to open a grid showing different placements that automatically shrink or reposition the app.

Therefore, if you want to reposition the app window so that it occupies only the left side of the screen, click the corresponding icon and snap to that position. This is much faster than moving the window and dragging the corners to the appropriate size.

Microsoft executive Yusuf Mehdi says many additional features to Windows 11, including support for Android apps, are designed to keep people running on their machines. For example, if you order Uber, you don’t have to pick up your Android smartphone to call your car, you can call it directly from the Uber app on your Windows machine.

Still, many of the new features didn’t push me into the flow.

One of them is the ability to create multiple desktop spaces, which Microsoft calls task views. The idea is that you can have a desktop screen for each aspect of your life. You can use one desktop to view shortcuts to your email and calendar apps. Second, you can focus on your personal life and view shortcuts to all the games.

All this sounds good, but splitting my life into separate desktop screens quickly felt a hassle. Finding the right app to switch to and launch on a particular screen took much longer than using a search tool to quickly find and open an app.

Windows 11 also reintroduces widgets, a concept long used by Apple and Google operating systems. Widgets are basically lightweight apps that stay open all the time, such as weather forecast apps, calendars, and stock quotes, so you can quickly see important information. To view the widgets, click the Show button to show the drawers for all the widgets running side by side.

I no longer have the habit of using widgets on my smartphone or computer because I felt I didn’t need them. This was the same on Windows 11. The widget displays bite-sized information, much like a truncated view of a calendar. Current date and next appointment. But every time I checked the calendar widget, I just wanted to open the full calendar app and see all the events for the month.

Microsoft plans to give Windows 11 users access to Amazon’s app store to download Android apps. I haven’t been able to test this yet, but I think it could break the flow in the widget. Suppose you love a great Android To Do-List app and you want to add all your tasks to it. If the same app is also not available as a widget, you will not be able to see the to-do list in the widget dashboard. Why do you care about widgets?

These are still in their infancy, as Windows 11 will be officially released during the holiday season and much of the software is subject to change. However, one of the issues that is unlikely to change is that for security reasons, Windows 11 requires at least a personal computer to contain fairly recent chips from Intel and AMD. That is.

This means that millions of computers running Windows 10 on older hardware, including those a few years old, will not be able to run Windows 11. Therefore, at some point, these users will have to buy a new computer to get stronger security benefits. New operating system features.

In other words, unlike past updates that were free, Windows 11 may mean that you have to pay for a truck to get to a very familiar home using the new window dressing. There is.

Test drive Microsoft’s Windows 11

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