Windows 11 is Finally Here! But Did They Significantly Improve the Operating System or Not?

Microsoft has been the King of the operating systems industry for a while now. Cultivating a business to become the largest software company in the world is no small feat and should be respected. However, Microsoft is not the only big dogs in the industry, and because of this. we will take a look at previous versions of Windows and how the current versions compare with Windows 10, Windows 7, and Apple Mac products.

What Did Windows Change in Windows 11? Is Anything Removed from Windows 10?

Right off the bat upon first use of Windows 11 you will notice the improved visual design. The software definitely has improved how appealing the overall interface is. This is great! I have been looking for Microsoft to overhaul the drab design of Windows 10 for something more visually striking. I feel that Apple has had a significant edge in visual appeal for years and it’s great to see Microsoft starting to improve on that front.

However, the most important feature of any operating system is how well it functions. So, how does the current operating system stack up with its predecessors? Windows 10 definitely has a lot of features that Windows 11 does not have on Day 1 including a more customizable Start menu.

So, let’s get into details below.


Windows 11’s Improved Visual Design

Windows 11 has a much improved visual design overhaul to make it a more modern look and feel. Much of the interface has been simplified and the settings menu is much improved over Windows 10 making it easier to find and sort through settings. The taskbar can be set to display icons in the center (which I like a lot, actually) or in the traditional left corner of the screen like in previous version of Windows (Windows 10 and earlier).

The famous Start Menu in Windows is visually impressive and overall, the animations are a nice look. Transitions appear to have a much more fluid look and feel and it makes using Windows more enjoyable than previous iterations.+

Windows 11 - A Decent Upgrade or Not Worth It? - NWD
Figure 1-1 – Widgets Offer Windows 11 Users the Ability to Customize Their News Feed

The Windows 11 Taskbar is Actually Really Good

Although the Windows 11 Start Menu needs a lot of updates before it can reach the quality of the Windows 10 Start Menu, the taskbar is actually much improved over the original Windows 10 design. The ability to center it is actually very good looking and, believe it or not, a useful feature when navigating many windows because the location allows the same amount of movement to find your icons whether your cursor is on the right side of your screen or the left.

I really like the disappearing taskbar option because it makes the entire screen visible at all times. An all full screen setting was something I loved about Mac and Windows seems to take that and do wonders with it.

In fact, with this option enabled it truly feels like a big Windows upgrade. Especially with the app dock in the center of the taskbar and auto-hide the taskbar option selected at the same time.

Windows 11 - A Decent Upgrade or Not Worth It? - NWD
Figure 1-2 – Virtual Desktops Allows Better Organization of Windows by Giving the User the Option to Move Entire Windows to Another Desktop and Switch Quickly Between Them.

Lost Battery Optimization Page Drives Me Nuts on Windows 11

As a guy who uses laptops as his primary work device it is incredibly important I can fine tune my mobile power usage. Of course to make life frustrating Windows 11 does not include one of my favorite settings screens for mobile power management, the background app screen.

On the background app screen I was always able to make adjustments as to which apps can run in the background conveniently all in one area. Microsoft has scrapped this screen entirely in Windows 11 for a much more confusing process.

To change the battery optimization of certain apps a user would have to navigate to the apps page and individually select whether the app is capable of running in the background. This means a Windows user would now have to manually find each app in the all apps section of the Windows Settings and modify it individually.

Why even bother? It’s so troublesome it’s such a waste of time.

Windows 11 - A Decent Upgrade or Not Worth It? - NWD
Figure 1-3 – Snap Layouts Provide Much More Options for Customizing Your Snap View but Are Not Able to Be Used in All Apps

Lost Features Mar an Otherwise Great Upgrade

The migration from Windows 11 appears great at first but when looking under the hood certain features not appearing seem strange. Why would a better Start Menu lack the customization that made Windows 10 so great? The purpose of improving the operating system does not seem fulfilled when they had to scrap popular portions of Windows 10. In fact, it makes no sense to market Windows 10 as an improvement to Windows 11 if Windows 11 is actually less of Windows 10 to some degree.


The Improved Organization of Windows 11

Windows 11 vastly improves the ease of window management. Makes sense since it’s in the name, LOL! Although Windows 10 is better in window management than Apple, Windows 11 takes it to a whole other level with snapping Windows that Apple just can’t match.

Being able to manage multiple Windows is key for many developers which is a big reason why Windows is considered by many superior for app development than Mac OS. This has been the case for over 10 years now but it’s even more prominent with Windows 11.


The Settings Screen & Improved Sound of Windows 11

The settings screen is nicely organized with everything easy to find. It offers some new features Windows 10 does not including better options for displays and multiple monitors.

Audio is new and enticing. The sound is much more enjoyable to listen to than previous iterations of Windows and feels more modern.

Windows 11 - A Decent Upgrade or Not Worth It? - NWD
Figure 1-4 – Microsoft Teams is Fully Integrated in Windows 11 by Default and Accessible in the Taskbar on First Boot

Use Android Apps on Windows 11

Android Apps will be coming to Windows 11 in future updates. Soon Android apps will be available for use by downloading from the Microsoft Windows App Store.


Virtual Desktops on Windows 11 Allow You to Better Manage Your Windows and Content

Again, Windows is the BEST at managing many things at once and it’s another great feature of Windows 11. Allowing the option to move entire app windows to another desktop on the same hardware makes using Windows 11 much more organized and work becomes so much easier when there is less clutter on one screen.


Snap Layouts Improve Windows 10 Snap by Allowing Multiple Grids to Choose From Plus the Ability to Save Favorite Layouts for Later Use

Snap is much better in Windows 11 and allows for the user to save open windows for later retrieval. This is also called Snap Groups and is new to Windows 11.


Many of These Features Would be Great if They Were Native to All Applications in Windows

After using Snap Layouts I discovered Windows 11 does not allow native support for many of these new features which makes many apps like Firefox completely unable to use Snap Layouts without an update. This makes Windows 11 half-baked at launch without the ability to fully use any of the new features without everything being a Windows app.

It may be just me but it seems like another attempt to make Windows subtly monopolize the industry. Back in the 90s Microsoft was under fire for attempting to run out of business other web browser companies. Right now they release a Windows 11 environment that just happens to not include many features unless you use Windows products. How strange?

Either way these will undoubtedly be released in future updates. Whether Microsoft makes Windows use these across all apps or not at some point 3rd party developers who make apps for the Microsoft Windows platform will offer it as a feature. it is really only a matter of time before Microsoft Windows 11 becomes the OS it was truly meant to be.


Score & Summary

Because Windows 11 is not fully compatible with most Windows hardware at launch, has great features that are not fully realized to their true potential, suffers performance issues on powerful hardware, and removes great features from Windows 10 I am unable to give it a score I wish I could. It is definitely a capable operating system and shows true potential. But, this is one of those operating systems that we will have to just wait and see it updated before that true Windows 11 potential becomes a reality.

Features: 8
Ease-of-use: 10
Performance: 7
Compatibility: 4
Improvements: 7

Total Score: 72

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