Windows 11

Share your experiences, impressions, and news you find here about Microsoft’s Windows 11 OS.

After trying again to try to get Windows 11 to cooperate for a second time, I am returning back to Windows 10. Among other things, Windows 11 has three issues that make it a no go for me to want to use it:

  1. File association management is DOA. Whoever thought it was intelligent to now have to painstakingly set each file association one by one, on and on instead of also allowing for selecting top-level default apps for general uses like default email client, music player and web browser like Windows 10 that covered a broad spectrum of file associations all in one go was nuts. Being a data hoarder by pastime and dealing with database and data integration professionally, this is totally laughably bad. Don’t get me started on the poor excuse of a file manager they have now too that has no ribbon and the dumbed down context menu.
  2. The start menu is a severe regression. It’s like going from college to preschool. There is placement, resizing, and grouping of pinned apps. Basically everything that Android and iOS/iPadOS do to make organizing app screens elegant and efficient is lost to make this into a cheap attempt at a ChromeOS copycat lookalike.
  3. The Surface Slim Pen 2 driver support (it could be the latest driver that is the problem, but as it is the only driver that adds support for the “for Business” SKUs, but I cannot roll back, so catch 22) appears to be severely broken on Windows 11. It is tricky to explain but if I first maintain full contact with the pen tip and display and and lift the pen off the display and far away but to still showing the hover cursor, and then return the pen to the display surface and attempt to make contact, it will begin to sporadically not detect pen input no matter how hard I press down. It basically turns Microsoft’s best pen experience ever into a nightmare like the unwieldy Synaptics pens I used with the Dell Venue Pro 8 and 11 which felt more like chunky crayon in a preschooler’s hand. On Windows 10, I get no such mis-detection. I bet it boils down to the new haptics (Windows 11 exclusive) and zero force activation not playing nice with pen lifts and subsequent presses that might not move far enough away from the display to clear some sort of dynamic distance tracking I figure they are performing to calculate the exact moment the tip makes contact with the display, resulting in the driver thinking the pen tip isn’t close enough yet. I have multiple Surface Slim Pen 2’s and Surface Pro 8’s to test from right now and it occurred regardless on Windows 11.

I am sure the Android app support will be a killer feature once it goes gold and this feature is distributed to the masses, but I am sticking with my old and safe and comfy Windows 10 until they get these and many other serious wrinkles ironed out. At least with Windows 8, I could deal with the Start Mean with a third party application plus they had good things like a truly lite, battery friendly browser—oh, how I miss those days!—but Start11 cannot fix the numerous other gaffes in OS functionality the management at Microsoft had made.

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The only annoyance seems to be double finger tapping when opening OneDrive folders. Otherwise, touch is okay.

I’ve fully moved to Windows 11. The rest of the company? Only one other machine has it, so far. The Phone Manager (Avaya software) doesn’t seem to function as it should when installed onto a clean installed Win11. Upgrade… works fine. There must be an issue with creating firewall rules.

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I just tried to replicate that on my SLS and could not do so. I tried Leonardo, Rebelle 5, Whiteboard, and Store OneNote. The Slim Pen 2 performed wonderfully every time.

I’m up to date with regular Win11 so maybe it’s the business version driver as you suggest, defective pen, or it’s a SP 8 thing.

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In general terms, I’m fine with Windows 11. For the most part all I do is launch an app and then I’m inside whatever the app interface is. The only real annoyance I’ve discovered so far is having to dig into settings to change the display brightness instead of swiping from the right. In SLS tent mode or tablet mode I can’t access the media keys to turn the brightness up and down and the Microsoft Sculpt Ergo keyboard I use has no such keys.

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Thanks for the experience. My new laptops have been calling me to go 11 but from your experience, I will stay with my 10 for now.

  • dumbed down file management will be a deal breaker, I use many file types ( different art program, learning some programming) and that sounds like a pain to set everything manually
  • biggest deal breaker for me is the taskbar. Losing taskbar shortcuts, and not being able to put the taskbar vertically on the side of a 16:9 16:10 screen mean losing some valuable screen space.
  • new pen haptic feedback seem bad. I wouldn’t want to break my current drawing system that I’m happy with.

Android app is probably the only saving grace of win 11, but until they fix the taskbar, I’m probably not going to touch it. Really want to try it in my older devices but Win 11 requirements is quite strict, and I don’t want to risk messing up my main rig.

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You can change the intensity or turn it off in Settings. And it’s not like it’s active in very many programs to begin with. It might take a while before developers incorporate it into their programs, assuming they ever do (the uptake for Microsoft Dial was/is pretty much nonexistent).

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I swear this is an intentional decision to keep users from switching default apps - you need to change something like a dozen file associations to switch default browser from Edge to Chrome…and they say Apple is a control freak…

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Oh, Microsoft is definitely back to their old tricks as if they ever really left them. So instead of removing the ability to set default apps, they are trying to make it prohibitively complex and difficult for basic users to ever consider switching. Of course, there are usually always user made apps to the rescue to fix monopolistic, anti-competitive old tricks like this, but that may still not be enough for Microsoft to avoid incurring the wrath of the EU and others’ regulatory bodies for such tricks. N Editions of Windows without Media Player still have to exist in these jurisdictions, after all.

The funny part is how Apple goes on committing the same naughty things as Microsoft but never gets slapped with fines for doing these same naughty things and only eventually does it get around to doing things when it is on their own terms. Just look how long it took for Apple to allow changing the default email client and web browser in iOS and iPadOS. And even then, they only allow web browsers to use their own web engine WebKit (sorry, Chromium) and they still restrict the default map app to their own. If Microsoft did that on Windows, they would be hauled to court in a heartbeat for trying to repeat the NetScape debacle.

Good news on that front, iirc they’re reverting that soonish. I recall seeing that mentioned in an Insider Build discussion.

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While we’re complaining about Windows 11, let me quote a post from oldTPCR:

Things to fix on a fresh Win11 install

Partly a “note-to-self”, but maybe useful to others as well: Windows comes with some default settings and behaviors that are not to everyone’s liking. Here’s my short list of fixes so far. Disclaimer, tinkering with Windows can break stuff, so use at your own risk!

Windows 11 annoyances fixes

  • turn off Web search results on start menu with the group policy editor and regedit: step-by-step
  • disable the entire left-swipe widgets + news menu by typing winget uninstall “windows web experience pack” in an elevated cmd prompt.
  • disable Windows tips: go to settings > System > Notifications and disable ‘get tips’ all the way at the bottom.

For those who don’t mind paying a few bucks, Start11 fixes a whole bunch of start menu and taskbar related stuff. Stardock’s been around long enough that I’d trust them to not do anything shady at this point.

Bonus: fixes for Edge annoyance fixes

  • fastest solution: install Firefox form the windows store, or alternatively:
  • turn off coupons, travel tips, donations etc by going to edge://settings/privacy and toggle them off under services
  • turn off Edge tips by going to edge://flags and disabling “Show feature and workflow recommendations”
  • disable showing Bing rewards in Edge here edge://settings/profiles/rewards
  • avoid showing any bing/msn nonsense on your new tab page by adding 0.0.0.0 ntp.msn.com to your hosts file.
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■■■ - is Linux our only potential refuge from OS manufacturers profiting off of advertising and shilling in their OS’ (looking at ALL THREE OF YOU - MS, Apple, and Google)???

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If SteamOS gets things working, we might be able to run all our favorite Windows programs there.

I think Apple is relatively innocent of this right? But yeah, MS is getting pretty blatant about this kind of stuff, and I hate it…

Tap on the battery icon in the taskbar. It gives you a shortcut to the screen brightness, volume setting, and a shortcut to Settings among other items.

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So this is an annoying “feature” that I don’t recall seeing with Windows 10.

I was at a small customer this morning and I noticed that three of their PC’s hadn’t downloaded the January cumulative update yet. So while I was there, they downloaded and installed.

After reboot though the systems wanted to go through a portion of initial setup again. Specifically, the portions with linking your phone, saving files to OneDrive and enabling office.

So in this customers case they choose not to use OneDrive (they use dropbox)

So this isn’t the first I’ve heard of it, but it is the first time I observed it.

Possibly/likely the actual explanation is some poor coding on MS part, but the cynic in me wonders if this isn’t a not so subtle way to pitch one drive and the phone link again…

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I don’t remember either, but that sounds mildly annoying to have to go through all those cycles again.

As it so happens, I just switched back to Windows 10 after a struggle with it on my Surface Pro 8 and I also immediately noticed something else: an obvious uptick in battery life. I made no difference in workflow with my typical plugins and tab counts on my web browser and the usual array of remote computing, terminals, and other applications happily chugging away. If anything, I have more apps running in the background now whereas I felt like I had to consciously cut back on Windows 11, turning down brightness and feeling compelled to consciously police my open apps to try to eek out decent battery life.

Here I am easily getting around 6 hours total screen time (not including connected standby) versus the 5 hours or so on Windows 11 and with less application management and higher screen brightness to boot. Supposedly Windows 11 is to improve battery life with a better scheduler and purportedly more efficient OS framework but that has been totally the opposite of my most recent experience with it as I just shared. I will revisit Windows 11 once Android application support has gone gold but I am far from impressed with it in its current state to say the least.

Android apps coming to Win 11:

Windows 11 is getting Android apps, taskbar improvements, and more next month - The Verge

Let’s see if Microsoft follows through!

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Interesting. We already know from direct experience that the Go 3 specifically has lower battery life than the Go 2 when in theory at least it should be about equal.

And we are starting to get more anecdotal evidence that Windows 11 is negatively impacting some users battery life. I can’t speak to the Pro 8 yet as all of ours and our customers Pro 8 systems are running Windows 11.

I had made mention earlier in the Pro 8 thread that we have directly observed that Windows 11 is a lot more active in moving stuff between the page file and active RAM. This is by design according to MS and has some predictive AI smarts behind it allegedly, but they also tout that Windows 11 will give some users especially with 10th gen or later processors better battery life.

And we have some anecdotal evidence that’s true, though the improvement is fairly small (single digit percentages)

So that leaves us with the working hypothesis that something is misfiring in power management, either firmware, software or likely both.

We do know that the Go 3 got a small firmware update a few weeks back. The official release notes just cite bug fixes and stability enhancements, but one of our customers was told verbally by a support rep that it should improve battery life on the Go 3, though no idea of how much.

@Hifihedgehog have you been able to quantify the battery life difference on your Pro 8 between 10 and 11?

EDIT: @Hifihedgehog never mind ny question, I just saw over in the Pro 8 thread thay you are seeing an hour improvement with 10. Very interesting…

Well, I can see how things improve with the update that was just announced today that will have Android support. I will run the battery report in both cases once that comes out in the next month or so and hopefully come back with a data point for my specific use case anyway.