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Windows 11 - First Impressions

Upgraded mah OS last week. It's the third time I'm reminded my computer's capable of it, and in the spur of the moment - after some quick Googling just to see there were no notable downsides or compatibility issues uncovered since last I checked - I went for it.

First impressions? I love it.

Though compatibility is... 99.9% OK.

All program menu bars don't look great, but they'll get updated I'm sure.

I love the new UI otherwise. It's simple and smooth. I love the new folder icons. Icons overall feel more fun. The style feels like a throwback to the old days when that's what an OS was all about. Fun! Progress = innovation = creativity and creation. The good stuff.

Regarding the 0,1% compatibility issues?

Classic Start Menu doesn't work so well with Windows 11 - and the program's no longer supported officially so it probably never will.

When you pin items to the new start menu of Windows 11 they appear in the classic start menu as well, and if you remove them there they disappear in the new. There seems no way to keep these lists separate.

On a fresh installation/upgrade of Windows 11 the old start menu icon placement goes over the Windows 11 widget button too - which I quickly deactivated anyway since widgets now require an account to use, and I don't want my OS linked to anything. That was easy to fix.

The classic start button's however also not vertically aligned in the menu anymore, and it doesn't seem any manner of adjustment changes that.

Desktop icons are a little oddly aligned on the right edge of my screen too, but I can't say for sure that's new or no. Maybe my screen always had a slightly odd aspect ratio that made this a thing.

But overall I love the new!

I'm happy with the new menus. I love the rounded corners (though I wouldn't have minded a little less - like a 5 px radius instead of 10 or whatever it is they have right now). A bit more padding would've been nice around open windows too. Menus don't get the space they deserve outside the Windows menus, or around the new start menu.

The new start menu looks neat. Nice upgrade.

I'm not really a fan of the centered docking bar though. When you open programs it grows wider, and this makes it difficult to pinpoint individual programs, unlike say the Mac OS Launcher it's designed to mimic, where docked icons are static, and easy to reach/click/keep a tab on.

It's functional with directly visible tabs for each individual program window you open in Windows - it's a central feature of the OS after all - but not as functional when they expand from a centered location, which I assume is really just a visual choice to mimic the Mac.

Maybe it's not. Maybe there's a purpose to this too.

I'm not a fan of the centered docking though. I wanted to align it to the left, like you used to do in earlier versions.

But the classic start menu I've been using is on the left, and since that program isn't compatible with Windows 11 aligning items to the left (I do appreciate that it's actually possible to do via the OS itself) runs the new start button over the classic one, and thus also the menu.

So I did some Googling. I found Start11. I'm running a trial of that now. The Classic Start Menu I've been using on Windows 10 the past few years is no more. Start11? It works... really well. Plenty of further customization alternatives available with it too. But it ain't free.

Apart from this little thing the Windows 10 > 11 upgrade went seamlessly. Took maybe half an hour. Maybe a little more. Maybe not. It bugged out a bit upon startup: I couldn't open menu items, or right-click menus, but I restarted, and since then all seems well.

*knock on wood*

It's not that drastic an upgrade neither visually nor functionally, and so far the changes in both areas actually do seem for the most part to my liking.

Maybe not compared to Windows 7, but definitely compared to Windows 10. I like the direction they're taking this! It looks good. It's functional. It's streamlined, but not lacking features or finesse. It feels fun again too, but it probably would've been more fun if they'd added in a bit more gadgetry, like they used to have. New games. Experimental features. Something you can play around with; not just functional upgrades and menus to go through.

Maybe they do have some of that too; I've just yet to find 'em.

Would've been cool with some presentation of the new OS upon startup too, but it seems there is an intro app if you want it, it just doesn't pop up by itself. Which is good I guess. Just a little surprising. If this is a big thing. A new OS. Something deserveth of an intro, y'know? Maybe it's more a facelift and functional mod after all.

So go my first impressions.

I'll keep y'all posted.


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