Keith Smith - My Blog

My Windows 11 evaluation

Friday, April 1, 2022 - by Keith A. Smith

In short, the OS has potential, but isn’t quite ready for the business world.

From January to early March of 2022, from a system admin and technical project management perspective, I personally ran tests.

1.    Pros
a.    Resource usage has the same friendly demands as compared to Windows 10.
b.    The new OS does have some TPM (Trusted Platform Module) tech needs to be mindful.
c.    Can sideload Android APK files – handy for those System Admins that are supporting Android devices.
d.    Widget friendly for those that want the feature.
i.    Me personally, I have no desire to know the weather, news, and trendy topics on my business machine – feels like commercials that distract focus.
e.   More options to those working with multiple screens and snapping windows into multiple partitions.
f.    For those AI-users, there are additional controls with Google and Amazon AI’s. Cortana is still there, but must be installed.
g.   Edge browser works just as snappy and friendly as Chrome, but that’s to be expected since the new Edge operates on the Chromium engine.

2.    Cons
a.    Start Bar Grouping is Removed (Limit to showing only 18 apps).
i.    As a system admin that uses many applications, this forced more mouse clicks and keyboard touches to find my desired app. I’m not a fan of using a desktop shortcut for every app I use.
ii.    If one currently desires to have this feature back…there’s an app for that. Look up Start11 by Stardock. Yes, that’s right, MSFT decided to remove a native feature and now we need to pay for use.
b.    Task Bar Grouping Granular Options are Removed
i.    Example: Outlook and all active email items (email, meeting invites, etc.) are nested in the Outlook toolbar icon. I am a technical project manager that schedules multiple meetings and can have 10-plus Outlook items open at any given time. For me to see my active Outlook objects, I must click on the taskbar icon and then my ten Outlook objects will expand (Um…which one of the ten is the meeting invite I need?). This is a massive inefficiency gap.
ii.    Same as above, you’ll need Start11 by Stardock to restore previous native function to ungroup your taskbar icon.
c.    When upgrading to Windows 11 from Windows 10, there are only 10 days to revert. After that, it is a full reinstall.
d.    Windows Hello is Forced Heavily

i.    These features can be fully disabled via local and group policy, but it was overly frustrating to disable these features. The intuitiveness of the process is in question.
e.    Microsoft has many areas that must be disabled to limit/stop Microsoft from “knowing” you. Disabling identifying information takes time but appears to be straightforward.
f.    OneDrive Enterprise SharePoint Sync sites are grouped into “shared” OneDrive paths. OneDrive operated beautifully until the February 2022-2 cumulative update.

i.    If you are a heavy OneDrive user for individual use and SharePoint Online TeamSite use, you will likely spend part of your days and weeks hunting for and resyncing your data…even then, I wasn’t able to get OneDrive to play nice like it does in Windows 10.
g.    The MSFT Store requires use of a personal MSFT account to download certain apps. Work and School domain accounts do not function as acceptable access to the store for many apps…why, just because.

Windows 11 started out great in January 2022, but the February 2022-2 cumulative update caused MS Teams and Office365 to operate rather “buggy” (dropped calls, audio driver issues, Teams calls crashing, Office365 apps crashing, etc.). This was the final indicator that the new OS has a ways to go for the business world.

My take, the design for Windows 11 is focused on the average Windows user or those that desire to have multiple desktop icons on their screen (think mobile phone). If you are an organized user that requires multiple start menu groups to locate apps in the least number of clicks/touches, Windows 11 is not the OS you are looking for….move along.

The new OS has potential, but the MSFT product mangers seem to have forgotten those of us that have used Windows as a business OS for the last 25-ish years. Sure, the UX on the surface is utterly gorgeous and sleek, but form must still follow function.

How many businesses and agencies implemented Windows 8 despite the initial lack of the start button?


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