I have been waiting for weeks since starting on this Windows 11 journey, for the first beta release by Microsoft.
I have chosen not to go into the Alpha branch, because of the importance of many articles and files that need to be kept. Time is also not on my side as I don’t have enough to go re-installing everything again.
What Am I Expecting Of Windows 11?
Based on what I have seen in previews, I definitely hope for a series of things, including:
- A more spacious and flawless design, with less edges.
- A faster working operating system in Windows 11, with more options for tasks, desktops, and lay-out of screens.
- A better equipped Microsoft Store, with big developers pushing to the max to amplify these apps.
It takes a while to update and install, but after it reboots, you immediately notice the difference during the update screen.
The font is slicker and a bit smaller, but doesn’t drop in readability – hopefully, you can change this for those with sight impairments. Even then log-in screen already looks better than before.
Once I get to see my desktop I notice the search bar is gone. It’s been replaced with an icon – which you could have in Windows 10 but had to ask for it. I see two new icons, for desktops and widgets. And as far as I’m aware, you should be able to customise them in the future.
I’m in favour of that because an Agenda widget is better than an additional app. I also want to see the integration for Android on Windows in those widgets.
The more room in my taskbar the better, because it can get clogged up and I then lack an easy to see an overview of what I have open. The design for the “Wi-Fi, date & time and notifications menu” has been completely overhauled.
The Wi-Fi, battery, and volume options are now integrated into one menu as well, which helps to read it better, but also it loads much faster than expected in a beta version of Windows 11.
Notifications are in the same menu as the clock date section now, but it’s been put on top and no longer integrated to provide more clarity.
By separating one huge menu, which it was in Windows 10, into two smaller and more readable menus makes it much easier for people to follow. It also helps people with disabilities, those who are on the autistic spectrum, or those who have ADHD to help focus on and see what they need.
My Pre-Emptive Concerns
My main concern with testing this beta version, was the same as there was with Windows Vista and Windows 10.
“Will this be another crappy version, being rushed out by Microsoft to show they’ve not lost touch?”
And in brief, it really is not. The beta version works super smoothly, without any significant problems. And that’s some three to four months prior to the first official release.
I also thought that requests made, such as integration and/or return of widgets and expansion of the desktops, was not translated well. Now that I’m able to add my agenda and other details here, it makes my life a lot easier.
The multiple Desktops in Windows 10 were quite hidden, and only expert users could find them. This new option allows novice users of the new operating system, to get their hands started as well.
I’m still figuring out the options, as I had hoped I could set a separate taskbar for each desktop. For example one for my social media work, one for video recording, and another for daily routines. Thus far, I have not been able to find that it is possible.
I have forwarded this feedback, and it would not surprise me if that will still be integrated into the new Windows 11 beta version or first release as I have seen Microsoft talk about features similar to this.
A New Course Laid In
Many companies release products every year, and Microsoft normally releases updates as soon as they have them.
Microsoft will now, and have been for a while, making the switch to a big set of updates once or twice a year. It gives developers time to create significant changes, to help bring more users to their system. It also allows for more beta testing to be done and ensuring the updates work – we all know this needs to happen.
Many users might get the feeling that Windows 11 seems more like the house style of Apple. I have to disagree.
The menu buttons remain the same, the way of opening and closing programs too, and the way you adapt your settings as well. What has changed, is that 11 is now more of a central hub, from which you can coordinate everything you do.
When you need a program like PowerPoint you can search for it in the taskbar or open Office from the Start Menu. That also acts as a new hub for all the programs on your computer, including the newly integrated Microsoft Teams. To me, that is a welcome replacement for Skype, which has been outdated and doesn’t have the technical standards and options that Teams offer.
Wishlist For Windows 11
As mentioned previously, I’m hoping that the new version will allow for separate taskbar’s for each desktop, so I can have the option to switch the tasks I need to do on a daily basis. However, if this is not possible, like on Android, the ability to bring folders or groups of programs into the taskbar would help. One folder for your apps, another for your socials, and the third for gaming for example.
I want a working Microsoft Store in which I hope developers will also help to create this into a more hybrid platform, harnessing mobile devices as well into PC – rather than haphazardly doing both and leaving the mobile side to feel worse to use.
My advice is to focus on Android as iOS is better supported by Apple. The integration with my Samsung S20 Ultra works super well so far but does have some issues.
Multiple notifications to respond to for the same app? Answer one and all your notifications for that app are gone. I submitted some feedback about it and shortly after it started working properly again – so I’d just like to say that I fixed Windows 11.
With my typing speed being double to triple of that on mobile, I can close my notifications and task lists much faster.
I feared that Windows 11 was going to be the next Vista for Microsoft.
So I’m glad they surprised me in the best possible way, with a long-term development strategy. You can notice it in the smoothness of the way things are working already – which isn’t always the case with Windows. There is no doubt in my mind, that many developers have started using this already, especially in gaming.
The new integrated Auto-HDR option for Windows 11 will contribute to the next era of PC gaming, and can enhance engines, and final products. We have already seen how well it works on the Xbox Series consoles, but good HDR implementation on Windows still has yet to be seen, this could make that happen.
I am hoping Windows 12 won’t be needed for at least the next 10 years. If Microsoft keeps on developing Windows 11 as they have done, then it won’t be.
Well played Microsoft… well played!