Back To The Future
I think many of you would be disappointed with the direction Windows has taken in recent years, I know I am. While I can certainly understand the threat from mobile devices, as perceived by Microsoft, Windows has always primarily been a desktop operating system and, in my opinion, should have stayed that way. Microsoft’s foray into the mobile market proved to be disastrous with both its smartphone and Microsoft Mobile failing badly. That attempt to take some ground off both Apple (iOS) and Google (Android) in the mobile market cost Microsoft millions but, unfortunately, the mobile threat has continued to influence Microsoft’s decision-making regarding its desktop operating system.
Has anyone used, or tried to use, the new Mail app that first shipped with Windows 10? What an absolute waste of space it is. To think that we’ve somehow managed to go from the excellent Outlook Express and Windows Live Mail email clients to something that is about as useful as an ashtray on a motorbike. That, my friends, is the complete opposite of progress. In fact, does anyone ever use any of the so-called “apps” that ship with Windows 10 and 11? I don’t. I’m running a desktop and whenever I’m looking for a particular program, I want something that’s full-featured with at least some semblance of professionalism… not some cut-down, half-assed facsimile.
In short, Microsoft’s preoccupation with mobile and attempt at satisfying both the desktop and mobile markets has seen Windows regress from what has been a great desktop operating system to a hybrid that is great at neither. I believe most would agree that Windows 7 was an excellent operating system and it is no coincidence that the process of regression began with Microsoft’s flirtation with mobile during the Windows 7 era.
Windows 10 vs Windows 11
I’ve been running Windows 11 for around six months now alongside Windows 10 on the same machine so I am in a position to make a firsthand comparison. Windows 11 was rushed out to consumers incomplete and with certain user interface elements migrated over from the now-abandoned Windows X project, and it shows. A fixed taskbar position, the inability to drag and drop items onto the taskbar, and the worst Start menu ever, are just a few of the retrograde steps.
Developers have actually produced software to cover Windows 11’s shortcomings. StartAllBack, for example, includes options to position the taskbar at any edge of the screen (top, bottom, left, and right), drag and drop to the taskbar, plus choose a Windows 7 style Start menu, and much more. The very fact that this type of software is popular speaks volumes. When users need to install third-party software to get Windows working the way they want, there is something very wrong.
Windows 11 is buggy too. Admittedly, I am running a Beta Insider build which is not expected to always be 100% but it is, nonetheless, supposed to be near enough, certainly a lot more stable than on the Dev channel. Since the very beginning, I’ve experienced issues with Windows Explorer which, admittedly, are easily fixed with a simple restart. However, several new builds later and the exact same issues persist. I said right from the get-go that Windows 11 was released as a work in progress and my experience to date has only served to confirm that initial assessment. I have little doubt that, given time, Windows 11 will mature into a pretty decent operating system – the question is… when?
I guess, to a certain extent, comparisons between Windows 10 (which is now a fully mature operating system) and Windows 11 (which was only released some 7 months ago) are a tad unfair. But, seriously, Windows as a desktop operating system should always be moving forward, not going backward.
Microsoft needs to forget about mobile (the company is never going to make inroads in that area) and get back to concentrating on producing the fine desktop operating systems that have seen Windows dominate that particular marketplace for many years. In a way, I guess, that very domination is the end user’s worst enemy. So many aspects – software, drivers, hardware, etc. – have revolved and evolved around Windows for so long, it has essentially become institutionalized. Plus, of course, the lack of viable alternatives does not help.
What do you think?