Windows 11 – A Review

Recently I thought it might be worth checking out Windows 11 – the latest in Microsoft’s desktop operating systems. I’ve enjoyed Windows 10, and Windows 7, while Windows 8 was horrible and I’m happy to forget I ever used it. Would Windows 11 be more like a W10 experience or W8? Read on dear reader for my observations.

The upgrade was easy – it’s presented to you when you update your computer if it’s compatible. Most compatability issues can be solved if you poke around on Google enough so don’t despair if your PC says “This PC doesn’t currently meet the minimum system requirements to run Windows 11”. A lot of those requirements appear to be tied up with security chips. After a substantial download and the installation process the upgrade was surprisingly painless.

First log in and the desktop is quite a bit different. The taskbar is centralised, the Start Menu looks different. There are a lot of cosmetic changes throughout the system and my opinion of those will greatly differ to yours – so check it out via the web to see if you like it. For what it’s worth, I don’t love it. I prefer the clean Mac interface or if you’re really interested – Elementary Linux’s base desktop rather than a cluttered, many coloured look. The cosmetic changes go through the system – the Start Menu differences are reflected through all the menus and consoles that fall out of it – Control Panel etc and this is a more consistent look. Cosmetics aside, what’s the performance like pre and post upgrade?

It’s fair to note that I installed this on a fairly high end HP ProBook laptop – with an i7 processor and lots of RAM so even if Windows 11 had been a fairly hungry beast I might not have noticed it 🙂 Putting that aside, it all seemed pretty much the same to me. Word opened fast, Outlook opened fast, Edge worked as I liked it too – all pretty much the same. So performance wise, no real difference. There are some very technical articles out there with comparisons based on CPU and Memory impact but that’s not the point of this post. See PCMag or similar – they have in depth performance comparisons and Windows 11 is slightly quicker according to their metrics than Windows 10.

From a slightly more technical perspective there are still a lot of new features in Windows 11 that aren’t accounted for by Intune or other management software yet – so I’d advising waiting before deploying across 5000 company laptops. Also test in a small controlled setting with a variety of end users before committing. We’ve messed around with it at work and have no real compelling reason to push it out across everywhere yet. Certainly from a security perspective it’s not mature enough yet to deploy via Intune and be assured you can lock the thing down.

In summary, for a general home user I’d stick with Windows 10 for a bit longer – let Windows 11 mature while the big games in town mess with it and complain to Microsoft about what doesn’t work. That being said, if you’re an enthusiast or you just want something a bit different to work on day to day, then upgrade. I found no glaring problems or significant issues what would stop me from using Windows 11 – I just didn’t like the look and feel: and this is a significant part of the new OS’s marketing potential. New and shiny! Widgets on the desktop! Ooh! Would I put this on my significant other’s computer? Probably not at this stage – Windows 10 is end of life on October 14th 2025. Likely it might get a little bit longer to live, but we’ll see. At any rate, you’ve got 3 years to decide. Pop along to Officeworks or Harvey Norman to see it live on a new computer and then make a decision – it’s not that easy to go back to Windows 10!

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