back to article Start or Please Stop? Power users mourn features lost in Windows 11 'simplification'

Windows 11 users are unsure of the merits of the new Start menu, according to feedback so far. The Start menu always seems to be at the centre of controversial changes to the Windows desktop. It was a triumph in Windows 95, improved steadily up until Windows 7, then transmuted into a chunky full-screen affair in Windows 8, to …

  1. xpclient

    Classic Shell / Open Shell

    1. The Man Who Fell To Earth Silver badge

      Microsoft should just bundle Open Shell with Windows and let every user have configuring it (or not) as part of every new account first open experience.

      1. Terry 6 Silver badge

        Yes, but misses the point........

        Which is that Microsoft has systematically(?) been removing options from users, even unobtrusive options. This Win 11 Start menu removes a few more.

        Just as the Office Ribbon actually removed the option to customise the standard menus, instead leaving users with only the option to completely hide and replace each standard menu with their own versions, built from the ground up.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Yes, but misses the point........

          Maybe, but usually Microsoft has been hiding options rather than been removing them, Hence why Open Shell can make your Windows 10 start menu system look like Windows 7.

          My guess is they've not usually been truly removing a lot of configuration stuff because doing so would break too much stuff (hence Open Shell's ability to do what it does). My cynical side would say it's more because the folks in control are just GUI programmers with too much time on their hands who, if they really used Windows for serious work, would not make the changes they do to it or to Office.

        2. eldakka

          Re: Yes, but misses the point........

          > Just as the Office Ribbon actually removed the option to customise the standard menus, instead leaving users with only the option to completely hide and replace each standard menu with their own versions, built from the ground up.

          Just to set the scene, I hate the ribbon. However, that being said ...

          Having worked in support previously, I can understand this.

          If a user contacts support for help, a support person doesn't need to flail around giving instructions that the user can't follow:

          Support: "on the window menu select the 3rd button from the right which will tile the windws"

          User: "I customised my window menu and removed that button"

          Support: "Facepalm"

          At least the support person can probably at least say "activate the default Window menu ..." rather than trying to work out what mess the user has made to walk them through something, they can get them to use the 'standard' menu to provide the support, then switch them back to their custom items when they are finished.

          1. Terry 6 Silver badge

            Re: Yes, but misses the point........

            Actually, all this needs- all it ever needed- was a fixed menu item that says "Show default mode".

        3. Mage

          Re: Office Ribbon

          Ribbon so terrible I found a Classic Menu plugin for Office 2007 (works on Excel and Office at least. There are far better tools than Access and Powerpoint). Makes it about as usuable as Office XP or Office 2003. Still available recently.

        4. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Yes, but misses the point........

          "This Win 11 Start menu removes a few more."

          I wonder if by the time Windows 12 comes along, they'll have decided that even changing the "wallpaper" is a bit too onerous for users and will set it for you to something of their choice? Although by then, I suspect MS will have invented the ChromeWinBook and it'll all be in the cloud on a monthly subscription with a minimum 18 month contract and any customisation of the desktop will be seen as a contract variation starting a new 18 month minimum contract cycle.

          1. ThatOne Silver badge

            Re: Yes, but misses the point........

            > changing the "wallpaper" is a bit too onerous for users

            Certainly: It's a great place to show ads!

            1. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge

              Re: Yes, but misses the point........

              Back to Active Desktop ???

          2. Updraft102

            Re: Yes, but misses the point........

            Ever since Nadella ascended to the throne, Microsoft has been looking to copy everyone else. They copied Ubuntu's 6 month release schedule and YYMM nomenclature (and for a while they even seemed to be using the traditional Ubuntu release months, but maybe that was a coincidence), though they missed the 5-year LTS bit.

            Microsoft copied Apple's app store and/or the Google Play Store and called it the Windows Store, since renamed to Microsoft store, and they seem to want to copy the walled garden bit also (in this case, they missed that people expect different things for PCs and phones).

            Windows 11 copies MacOS' dock, or perhaps GNOME's copy of the dock, while the overall look and feel and colors used strongly evokes KDE Plasma's default Breeze theme. Why shouldn't they copy GNOME's assumption that their users are imbeciles and can't fathom how to use anything that has any features beyond the most basic? Or perhaps they're copying Mozilla, which has been doing the same with Firefox since at least 2013 (and in other news, their market share has been in freefall since about 2013, by now having lost 95% of the users they had, according to the ever-reliable [sarc] Wikipedia... but at least their CEO who has deftly overseen this slide into irrelevance has received huge pay rises).

            It's a little odd for the monopolist with 90% of the PC market share to be looking to copy everyone else out there (everyone else being the identity of everyone that doesn't have 90% of the market!), but they just seem to be throwing everything at the wall to see if anything sticks, with very little rhyme or reason to any of it.

            1. Terry 6 Silver badge

              Re: Yes, but misses the point........

              In such circumstances I kind of suspect that MS has a feeling of fear that they will miss The Next Big Thing, or at least the way forward. Because they so badly missed the coming of the internet and had to struggle to catch up.

            2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Re: Yes, but misses the point........

              "but they just seem to be throwing everything at the wall to see if anything sticks, with very little rhyme or reason to any of it."

              With apologies to Roy Castle...

              Innovation, Innovation, that's what you need

              If you want to beat the rest

              If you want to be the best

              Innovation's what you need

              If you wanna be a Market Leader.

      2. steviebuk Silver badge

        No, you want it separate. As it allows them to then update it whenever they want. It was argued that Process Explorer should be buddled with Windows and possibly replace the shit that is Task Manager, but Mark Russinovich commented on this at one of his talks years ago, that the sysinternal tools being separate and not bundled with Windows means he can update them whenever he wants.

    2. Aussie Doc


      ...along with O&O ShutUp10, just to allow users a bit more freedoms.

    3. Roland6 Silver badge

      Does W11 actually let them install and take over the Start Menu etc. ...

      Given the issues around getting them working on W8, it would not surprise me if MS will deliberately block or reduced the effectiveness of these utilities on W11.

      Will someone start a campaign to get the EU to re-open the MS Windows anti-trust case...

  2. J27

    This is going to sound really minor, but I really wish the all apps button was in the bottom left. Having to move the pointer all the way up to that top-right corner is a huge waste of time.

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      This and all Windows furniture should be user-definable, as it was with W3/WfWG...

  3. Inventor of the Marmite Laser Silver badge

    Is Windows 11 the new Vista?

    1. sharpwolverine

      No worse, ME

    2. FILE_ID.DIZ

      .... as in the Win11 Start Menu is their new UAC? :)

      Because I don't think you can do video desktop backgrounds anymore. (That feature lasted about a half-working day for me and then I became bored of it.)

    3. jonathan keith

      I think the best way of dealing with Windows is to treat every 'A' release (in the sequence ABABAB...) as a work-in-progress being assessed for a couple of years by a giant public focus-group, and every 'B' release as the effective conclusion of that process.

      1. katrinab Silver badge

        NT4 - good, if you had the right hardware for it

        2000 - good

        XP - Meh

        Vista - Not so good

        7 - good

        8 - A pile of stinky garbage

        8.1 - A pile of slightly less stinky garbage

        10 - Meh

        11 - A pile of moderately stinky garbage

        Note: ratings are scaled to Microsoft standards, and not intended for comparison with other operating systems.

        1. Pirate Dave Silver badge

          You forgot Windows Millenial Edition. I never ran it, but I understand it was complete and utter crap as an OS, but played some media decently, sometimes.

          1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge

            It was all right as long as you had Me drivers and didn't just upgrade from 98. I had a PC with Me preinstalled and it ran without problems for years.

            1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

              I upgraded my first Windows 95 system to Windows ME (using an upgrade edition of ME), and ran it for some while without problem, but then I did not have any particularly unusual hardware attached to that system, just a RIVA TNT2 video cards, but the drivers were available.

              It was mainly to extend the life of an old Socket7+ system that I had upgraded piecemeal with a new mobo and an AMD K6-2 550 as a basic gaming system so all my kids could play some multiplayer games which had dropped support for 95.

              It actually ran Half-Life, Counterstrike, Starcraft, Unreal Tournament and a couple of other games that my kids were into reasonably OK, and was pretty stable.

            2. Pirate Dave Silver badge

              Wasn't ME the one that MS decided to make un-friendly to corporate networks and leave out several very useful network components (the Netware stuff, if memory serves). Or did they start that with XP Home? ISTR there was something (or things) important they explicitly excluded, and that's why we never even looked at it where I worked.

          2. toejam++

            Windows ME could be utter crap under specific circumstances. Otherwise, it was essentially Windows 98 Third Edition, with a few new bits ported in from Windows 2K but nothing revolutionary.

            One issue was driver stability. ME made a big push for newer WDM drivers, while still supporting older VxD drivers. Good for newer hardware, especially USB devices. However, older third party VxD drivers sometimes conflicted with their newer WDM counterparts, leading to instability. So if you had older hardware, it was sometimes better to stay on 98SE.

            Another issue was the DOS subsystem. ME eliminated the DOS startup phase prior to loading the Windows kernel, as it was always a source of instability. Good for eliminating weird system freezes. However, that prevented loading DOS drivers or TSRs, including HIMEM.SYS and EMM386.EXE. Worse, ME didn't emulate Upper or EMS memory in DOS shells by default (1). That all made for huge incompatibility issues. So if you had older DOS software, it was sometimes better to stay on 98SE.

            A third issue was with the new system health features, such as system restore and system file protection. They didn't always work properly, leading to instability. The issues were mostly fixed over time, but the bad impression remained.

            If you were running Win16 or Win32 programs on a newish machine, ME was great once you applied all of the hotfixes. But if that wasn't the case, then 98SE or 2K were the better choices.

            /1 - you could enable EMS support via some keys in system.ini, but it didn't always work

        2. Youngone Silver badge

          In my humble opinion Windows XP SP3 was peak Windows.

          1. Terry 6 Silver badge

            I'm sure there will be debate on that one. Lots of people have their favourite/least hated (as applicable) versions. But XP.3 is definitely in the mix. I have a fondness for 98. But then I have a fondness for 3.11 as well.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Hah, but the launch version was hot garbage.

            Many of the fondly remembered versions of the OS had the same problem. Utter crap till SP/OSR 2+ was released.

            All windows before 3.11 for workgroups, just use DOS.

            95 (faceplant on launch, Fixed By OSR2)

            NT 4 (Rough till SP3)

            Windows 98(pretty solid, and 98SE was the preferred Os for many right up to XP/SP3)

            Windows 2000(Rock solid effort, long running legs)

            Windows ME(the trial run for XP home, Vista, and every other dumb os M$ made)

            Windows XP(hot garbage till the SP2 apology edition, solid and much loved as SP3 till Win7)

            Vista (just don't, and most of you didn't)

            Windows 7(Also excellent, but also an apology edition after the humiliating failure of Vista)

            Windows 8(Vista part 2, or "just why?" also know as the "we just didn't" edition)

            Windows 10(Rocky start, eventually solid after the worst of the launch version howlers were rolled back)

            Why waste all this space listing releases others have mentioned? Look at the list and a clear pattern emerges. There has been a through line from the horror show that was Windows ME where the design-by-committee-and-focus-group marketing people seize the reins and try to create an intentionally crippled version of Windows. Microsoft loves touting it's market research teams, and sadly, these people have gone on to infect other projects(looking at you Mozilla).

            The mistake they keep making is that based on a too small sample size, they overweight comments by users who aren't representative of broader user base. They then implement changes, if not in secret, then without soliciting enough or early feedback from the community. Vista was the poster child for this, where they kept things under wraps for a huge part of the development cycle. When people were shown the pre-release their heads kept catching on fire, but the project was already late and over budget, so they couldn't change course before release at that point.

            Windows 11 is them repeating the same mistake for the third time. Change for changes sake, with little and late review by the community. Followed by a decision that it's too late to respond to the community feedback because it came too late in the release cycle.

            Windows 10 nearly suffered the same fate, as the jarring UI changes from Win 8 and 10 scared off many people from what under the layer of bad UI design was a much improved operating system.

            The lesson is that M$ needs to leave the UI design in the hands of the people who keep "fixing" the B track releases, not the A track change-for-changes-sake marketriods who keep nearly wrecking the company.

            I'm not moving off 10 for this crap, and they can bleed red ink till they fix it, and that is fine for me. Plenty of other apes at bigger companies that will ensure that win 10 enjoys a long goodby just like windows 7 and XP before it. The question is when will M$ stop shooting itself in the foot. They seem to be afraid of making another mistake, but their plan to do that is to do the exact thing they did the last time they screwed up. Can they not see that from the inside?

            1. eldakka

              Re: Hah, but the launch version was hot garbage.

              > The mistake they keep making is that based on a too small sample size, they overweight comments by users who aren't representative of broader user base. They then implement changes, if not in secret, then without soliciting enough or early feedback from the community.

              I actually think the problem is the opposite of that.

              Visa, Windows 8, weren't based on user feedback. They were based on internal MS UI 'experts' and managment dictate. People were happy with XP/3 before Vista, and 7 before 8, but MS management/marketing wanted a new purchasing cycle, more revenue.

              For example, Windows 8 was management trying to unify the interface across mobile and desktop, and since mobile was the explosive growth area, it was the one everyone else had to unify with, totally ignoring the needs of desktop users.

              Windows 7 and Windows 10 were the result of MS listening to its users, and doing a backflip (well, a 1/2 with 10). Then they get all brave again and decide they know what's best for their users (well, their bottom line really), and release another UI 'designed by experts' version.

            2. Someone Else Silver badge

              Re: Hah, but the launch version was hot garbage.

              Something about the definition of insanity comes to mind....

          3. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

            I always thought that SP3 introduced a large number of memory and CPU hogs to the system. The systems that I upgraded from SP2 to SP3 always ran much slower after the upgrade, and were always short of memory where they weren't before.

            I even did an exercise of taking a blank system from XP original install media through SP1, SP2 and SP3, benchmarking the performance at each step, and there was a measurable drop in performance going from SP2->SP3.

            At the time, my suspicious side suggested that this was to try to encourage people to upgrade their systems.

          4. katrinab Silver badge

            2000 was peak Windows.

        3. martinusher Silver badge

          I'm broadly in agreement with this.

          The big issue for me is that while we can write whole articles about whether the 'Start' button is in a particular place, absent, upside down or whatever these are not operating system features. What I'm interested in is the actual operating system and in particular how it manages system resources.

          But then I've largely given up and 'just moved to Linux'.

          1. terrythetech


            Well yes, I get your point but most users want usability and don't really care what's under the hood. I don't use Windows any more - thankfully (it is living hidden on a partition somewhere if I really need it).

            I was concerned about moving Start into the middle but, as per article, it seems you can move it back where it belongs. Corners are hotspots, they are the easiest place to move the mouse, so Start should definitely be in a corner, and bottom left is where people expect it to be. It is, after all, where most users start from.

          2. katrinab Silver badge

            I find FreeBSD performs better than Linux on most of those metrics, except boot time. Debian is about 9 seconds faster at booting than FreeBSD on my hardware

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        At jonathan keith, re: every other release.

        In that case Win7 was the last one to be worth a damn. 8 was a UI flustercluck that 8.1 barely managed to fix. 10 is an epic flustercluck of UI, telemetry, & an eternal game of "feature roulette" as they yank some, restore others, & revamp everything else. They obviously didn't learn anything posative from 8/8.1 if 10 is any indication, & 11 looks to be doubling down on the epic heights of not giving a fuck about what the customers need versus what MS wants. I stuck with 7 in the hopes that 10 would fix the issues with 8 & I'm still waiting for them to stop throwing shit at the walls like a troop of insane monkies with the runs. =-/

    4. katrinab Silver badge

      More the new Windows 8.

      The actual operating system seems fine as Microsoft operating systems go. The problem is the UI.

    5. Updraft102

      When Windows 8 came along, I thought it was garbage. 8.1 didn't help much.

      It took the ongoing train wreck of 10 to make me think 8.1 wasn't so bad. The UI was weird and annoying, but fixable with aftermarket tools.

      Now that I see how bad Windows 11 is shaping up to be, it seems to be the same thing again. It takes 11 to make Windows 10 look like the older, saner choice.

      I've never missed Windows since leaving it behind (the process started in 2015 and was complete by 2016) for Linux. Can't say the rollout of the latest disaster is making me feel nostalgic for it.

    6. J27

      Its a perfectly good version of Windows a small segment of people grabbed about non-stop for years? Nah, it's more like Windows 8 where they changed the interface for no reason and pissed everyone off.

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Much, so much worse. That start menu is the worst so far. It is a disgusting phone OS copy. How is it possible they do not understand something that works with touch is horrible with a pointer???

      It is HORRIBLE for pointer use!!

      And the waste of screen space, I can imagine how much time I would waste every day using this UI and it makes me truly upset.

      I am WORKING on the OS, I do not want to waste time with the OS for god's sake.

      All you "influencers" need to use the that influence and make it clear to MS the that UI needs to be usable and not just "pretty"! F$&+!!

  4. elsergiovolador Silver badge


    Usually features are re-designed by people who don't use them and accepted by managers who don't understand the domain.

    1. Chris G

      Re: Designers


      And that applies to more or less everything not only OSs.

      Just have a wander around your house/office/garden/workshop and randomly choose an item, I bet nearly everything you choose has 'features' that add nothing to functionality and in a lot of cases actually impede it.

      1. batfink

        Re: Designers

        I dunno. My old rake has a handle and a rakey end, and that seems to work fine.

        But TBF it was probably designed before there were such things as "UI Designers".

        1. FlamingDeath Silver badge

          Re: Designers

          Is the rake foldable? You know, so some planned obsolescence can be baked in

          Why do you think smartphone manufacturers are desperate to creat foldable phones no one is asking for.

          1. Ozzard

            I'd love a foldable phone... sort of

            As I get older and my eyesight gets worse, screen real-estate becomes more and more valuable. I'd love a device that I can fold to put in a pocket, then get out and open to tablet size so that I stand a chance of reading it. Doesn't need 400ppi, just needs lots of degrees across my field of vision with my varifocals!

        2. Chris G

          Re: Designers

          True! Old fashioned rakes were made to last.

          Mine is over twenty years old and I have only had to fit two new handles and one set of teeth.

          1. EnviableOne

            Re: Designers

            Trigger is that you?

            I'll get my broom

          2. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge

            Re: Designers

            if you managed to change the handle and the teeth, is it really the same rake?

            1. David Nash Silver badge

              Re: Designers


  5. sharpwolverine

    This whole article is just a giant reason not to use 11.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Terry 6 Silver badge

        And I'll bet they still haven't fixed the bug in the recycle bin icon.

        [If you choose your own custom icon pair you need to edit the registry and add a ...,1 to the end of path name of the new icons- not a job for the average user!].

        It's been there since Windows 9x.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Soorry, no

          The primary maintainer was having a bad day at work and took offense to the tone of your initial bug report. It was marked "Will not fix/no appeals". During the windows 2000 era an new maintainer from the NT team was assigned, and they read the bug report shortly before they were struck by a tragic heart attack. They are currently on life support, but were not technically fired, so the subsequent reports are still waiting in their inbox two decades later. It's on their todo list in exchange though, right above getting rid of the MMC interface and the rest of the old control panel.

          1. The First Dave

            Re: Soorry, no

            On the plus side: "Loss of Live Tiles" - that has to be a bonus!

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Soorry, no

              what sort of fuckwit would complain about shitty live tiles.

              what sort of twat needs live data in a fucking menu, thats what the fucking app is for!

              1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

                Re: Soorry, no

                yes , i was really delieghted when the task bar , both at home and at work decided to start broadcasting news and weather at me a couple of weeks ago.

                its especially great when it produces a massive empty grey rectangle that covers the screen and wont move or go away until its decided what the temperature is at wherever it thinks i am.

              2. ThatOne Silver badge

                Re: Soorry, no

                > what sort of twat needs live data in a fucking menu

                An ad slinger, obviously. You didn't think this was all about you, did you.

              3. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Soorry, no

                The same kind of idiot who approves these UI changes. Obviously.

          2. Updraft102

            Re: Soorry, no

            They'd be better off getting rid of Settings and bringing back the full Control Panel.

            1. Terry 6 Silver badge

              Re: Soorry, no

              It doesn't matter what they call it. As long as there's just one. How it's organised is another matter altogether. Ideally they'd make it intuitive and simple. Being MS they'll make it convoluted and dumb.

    2. werdsmith Silver badge

      I don’t use 11, or 10. They are the OS. I see it briefly when I start my apps. I couldn’t care less what the UI is doing, as I spend 1% of time on the PC actually using it. In fact often enough I just wake the pc from sleep and carry on in the app where I left off.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Welcome. You may not have realized this. but you are currently on an IT site where 90% of us here DO care about the OS because we are in charge of managing the f-ing thing so you "users" can blithely carry on doing whatever it is you spend 8 hours a day doing on (or "to") your computer.

        1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

          i dont care about the OS.

          I've got visual studio and SSMS into the start menu , the multitude of comms apps we have to use into startup folder

          dont need much else

          when i do i use keyboard shorcuts or search the start menu to avoid having to navigate it

  6. devin3782

    I don't understand how they can make such a tone deaf mess of it, oh wait... they've been on too many nights out with the Gnome developers those masters of terrible user experience although even they're only in second place behind the creator of the dock (you sir have a place reserved in hell and if it doesn't exist we'll create it for you)

    1. Updraft102

      "Tone deaf" implies that they care.

      They do not. Windows 10 demonstrated that people will take anything Microsoft dishes out. They will complain, but they will fall in line and accept it. Customer satisfaction is not only not guaranteed, but is not even a concern.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    This "feedback" is from the telemetry that every power user turns off. No wonder we end up with a dumbed down mess.

    Sounds like we are rolling back to a Win8 Marketing driven junk again... I don't understand why they keep wanting to mimic Mobile Phone interfaces on big screens.

    1. Terry 6 Silver badge

      Re: Telemetry

      That's easy. It's reasoning (I use the word loosely) that since almost everyone does their computing on a mobile device, every device that is used should be like a mobile device.

      It's the superficial logic of the total idiot. Not far removed from saying that since most people eat in fast food outlets every restaurant has be like MacDonald's.

      (And interestingly, in that regard, there's an actual restaurant/take away (Indian) near me that's actually gone down this same route that has obviously failed to make a go of it. While all the other, very successful, places near me now have a pretty sophisticated menu compared to a decade ago these reopened after it had flopped* after many successful and busy years, with a simplified menu that resembled something from the 1980s and this hasn't brought in the punters, pretty obviously, because now they have put in a fastfood restaurant style front counter with the pictures of the food above a la Maccy D etc. and have split their personality to be also a Fried Chicken outlet as well as an Indian Food one. Needless to say I have yet to see anyone waiting at that counter.

      *Flopped because it went down hill in terms of service, reliability, cooking etc. not the actual menu

      1. Updraft102

        Re: Telemetry

        "Not far removed from saying that since most people eat in fast food outlets every restaurant has be like MacDonald's."

        Since most people use Chrome, every browser has to be like Chrome... right, Mozilla? (The users haven't come rushing back for the decade or so they've been pursuing that strategy, but surely they will reach the critical mass of features amputated soon, and they will all come flooding in!)

        1. Zorba

          Re: Telemetry

          Exactly. Firefox has been in a race to the bottom with Chrome for years. Following the "decontenting" craze as started by Apple, and furthered by Microsoft; Firefox has become increasingly like Chrome, with features stripped out left and right.

    2. Nick Sticks

      Re: Telemetry

      Exactly. I posted this on The Register back in 2015:

      I'm sorry, Windows 8 and 10 is my fault, and probably yours too.

      After all I opted out of that "Do you want to participate in the Windows Customer Experience Improvement Program?" thing on Window 7 (and previous OSes too).

      I didn't want them collecting information about my PC and how I used Windows, their words.

      That means that if all the tech savvy people opted out of this what was left was the people who just read their emails and looked at Facebook.

      So why wouldn't MS think that Windows 8 and 10 was what "the people" wanted or needed?

      1. ThatOne Silver badge

        Re: Telemetry

        > I'm sorry, Windows 8 and 10 is my fault, and probably yours too.

        Nonsense! They don't need customer feedback to do stupid things, the proof is that they managed to do them just fine before telemetry became fashionable (think Vista, ME).

        Telemetry is just used to justify decisions after they have been taken. As everybody knows, first you create a theory, then you fudge the data to support it. It's the proper way.

        TL;DR Telemetry isn't the cause, just an excuse.

    3. Someone Else Silver badge

      Re: Telemetry

      Look. All the "Marketing Geniuses" (oxymoron alert!) and GUI "Designers" (probable oxymoron alert) Micros~1 hires these days are are classic ADHD-addled Millennials (and possibly some Gen Z'ers fresh outta school) who:

      1) Think they are ghod's gift to the world

      2) Think every thought that passes through their minds is The One True Way, and must therefore be right

      3) Were born with silver smartphones in their mouths, so that is all they know (see also item 2)

      So, they must make everything they encounter look like a cell phone is inconceivable to them that anything else could possibly exist.

      Almost forgot: 2a) Anything that happened before the were born doesn't exist, and therefore isn't real. (I actually had a Millennial tell me that once... and it was clear they believed it!)

  8. LenG

    Windows 10 to be the new Win XP?

    Certainly I will not be upgrading for a variety of reasons and I suspect many others will stay with the devil we know,

    So, in 10 years time M$ will still be trying to move people off Win 10 in the same way that they are still trying to persuade some users that Win XP is not a good idea.

    1. Pirate Dave Silver badge

      Re: Windows 10 to be the new Win XP?

      Equating Win10 to XP as the "great old OS" just shows the sad state of affairs MS has allowed their Windows product to devolve into.

      Not that I even liked XP. I preferred 2000 and ran it until Server 2012 came out. 2012 was actually a fairly decent desktop compared to Win8.

  9. adam 40 Silver badge

    Windows 2000

    ... is where they should have stopped.

    1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

      Re: Windows 2000

      start menu wise , yes i agree

  10. mikus

    Candy Crush in my fscking menu?!

    All people really wanted was not to be spammed with pseudo-ads in their frigging start menu with garbage ads like Candy Crush, Xbox games, and upsells for Office (um, libreoffice is free?). Really, getting rid of that would have been enough to satiate most.

    Now it's just some bastard re-envisioning of how to ape mac's taskbar (look, centralized icons!), and simple lack of feature parity due to some laziness or ineptitude in the dev cycle. Yes, this is the latest winME/Vista it seems.

    The only thing I use windoze for in the past 15 years is a hypervisor guest to run visio/project on. If wine could handle running visio/project in abstraction better, I wouldn't need windoze at all. Using Linux full-time for 15 years, it's otherwise not necessary.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Candy Crush in my fscking menu?!

      Yeah, pretty weak sauce. Due to incessant complaints by larger accounts this is only found by default in the base versions now, not on enterprise/edu skus.

      Also, like so many things, fixable via GPO/registry adjustments.

      It's funny how jumping on a vanilla windows 10/web browser feels immediately creepy and weird.

  11. Irongut

    That Start Menu does look terrible, lacks features I actually use and expands on the one feature I wish they'd remove - searching for anything other than apps. If I open the Start Menu I want to start an app, I don't want to search for documents, contacts or where to buy a kitchen sink and I definitely never, ever want to search the web. If I want to search the web I'll use a web browser.

    I guess Win11 is going to be another version for me to skip like 98 (first edition), ME, XP, Vista and 8. :(

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge


      Borkzilla is making the mistake of thinking that everything and the kitchen sink is a good idea.

      It is not. You're making an OS. An OS is made to launch the applications the user wants, not to be everything at the same time.

      Stick to your fucking job.

    2. -v(o.o)v-

      How about this: where is the recent documents list? I bet it's totally gone now!

  12. Norm A

    Windows 11 is an absolute No-Go for me

    The use of any limitations on Start Menu hopefully will be felt by all. I can tell you that with release 22000.160, I had to type into the properties panel for any non-exe file "explorer.exe" before the file name in the target to get any non-exe tp pim to start. t also does not honor icons no matter how you customize them. I had to create shortcuts in "C:users\username\appdata\roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start\Programs\" for the icons to be honored. Even this did not always work. I cannot possibly imagine why shortcuts are not entirely transparent to this new start menu. And having it so small and not easily scrollable are clear show stoppers for me. Additionally, Stardock's start menu in windows 11 has sever limits on number of pins and size of its start menu as well.

    For people who adertised that this would be familiar, welcoming and cal ming, they could not be more wrong. Windows 11 is not what I will use.

  13. Arbuthnot the Magnificent

    I don't use Windows much..

    These days I only boot into Windows when I absolutely have to (i.e. Wine lets me down), but when I do, do you know what I want? XP. I don't care what is going on under the bonnet, just make it look and work like XP and I'll be happy enough.

    1. Barry Rueger

      Re: I don't use Windows much..

      I just updated Mint on my laptop today, and it looks and feels like the last version, and the one before that, and before that.... Essentially like Windows XP.

      My computers are work tools, not toys, and an ever-changing UI is not what I want or need.

      1. Arbuthnot the Magnificent

        Re: I don't use Windows much..

        Yep, that's probably why I love xfce so much!

      2. ThatOne Silver badge

        Re: I don't use Windows much..

        > My computers are work tools

        That's irrelevant for contemporary Microsoft, clearly the only thing important now is making profit, as much profit as possible. That for the OS isn't a tool anymore, it's now a vector for ads, "suggestions", data collection, and generally making as much money out of the user as legally possible.

        That's why the OS now has to be stuffed down the throat of the user, because unlike old times where "new version" spelt "improvements", now "new version" only spells "tighter grip on the resource user's throat".

    2. Linker3000
      Thumb Down

      Win 10 treacle mode

      Likewise, just for one app that runs a chip programmer.

      I always regret it though because the first thing Windows does is start doing updates, slowing the entire computer to a crawl (Core i7 @ 3.4GHz, 16GB RAM, Enterprise-class HDD; might change for an SSD).

      Sometimes it's around 10-15 minutes before the machine is useable for browsing, email etc. I often spend perhaps 10 mins with the app and then reboot to Linux.

      It's a traumatic experience every time.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Win 10 treacle mode

        So configure your Ethernet connection to be metered and the updates won't start...

    3. Updraft102

      Re: I don't use Windows much..

      I just use a VM for those rare instances. Shutting down Linux, then booting Windows, then shutting that down (if it even lets you, without forcing another update first), then booting to Linux again? Been there, done that, not interested anymore. I'm typing this on my first PC to never have Windows installed (Dell XPS 13 "Developer edition"), and I removed Windows from one of my two other daily use machines, and I haven't had occasion to boot that for well over a year now.

      Putting Windows in a VM neuters a lot of its worst features. Windows 10 (and 11, as it seems) are unfit for purpose as bare metal installations.

  14. Terry 6 Silver badge

    Loss of the ability.....

    And here lies the core of the issue (imao).

    Microsoft still do not seem to have mastered understanding the difference between "don't have to" and "can't".

    You don't have to organise your Start menu. You may be OK with an alphabetical mish mash of programmes sorted by whatever name the publisher has chosen to give it ( "Aoemi", "Balabolka", "doPDF", "Fairstars", Dspeech", "Openshot", "VLC", and so on) with added irrelevances such as web links, especially if you are good at remembering the names of the various programs you have. Or you might only use a handful of programmes that you can remember easily, or that just sit on your desktop. Which is fine. But the option to organise the Start menu doesn't stop those people that don't need/want to use it from just ignoring it. However, stopping people who do want to use it from using it is a different matter.

    I have no interest in playing tennis- but I have no wish to bulldoze the local tennis courts- they don't do any harm to anyone.......

    1. My other car WAS an IAV Stryker

      Re: Loss of the ability.....

      "I have no wish to bulldoze the local tennis courts- they don't do any harm to anyone."

      Mr. Prosser says they're in the way of the new bypass.

      (The plans were on display... basement... locked... leopard... you know the rest. I'm off to the pub for a liquid "lunch".)

      1. roytrubshaw

        Re: Loss of the ability.....

        "I'm off to the pub for a liquid "lunch""

        Don't forget the salted peanuts ...

        Icon for the Vogons ----->

        1. David 132 Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: Loss of the ability.....

          Have a very appropriate Thumb up for the references. Oh, it’s blinking and beeping? And what are those things hovering in the sky in the same way bricks don’t?

        2. Fred Dibnah

          Re: Loss of the ability.....

          ....and make sure you have a fiver in your pocket.

        3. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

          Re: Loss of the ability.....

          Hands off my peanuts!

        4. Down not across

          Re: Loss of the ability.....

          Most importantly. Don't forget your towel.

  15. Anonymous Coward

    They're not selling to us

    The vast majority of casual Windows users just want to get to their entertainment. The vast majority of student users just want to get to Office 365 and their entertainment. Even the vast majority of office workers just want to get to the software applications they use.

    Power users are not the target audience. If something is convenient for the majority but not for those who fiddle with God Mode or run multiple virtual machines or whatever defines your idea of a power user, your views are less of a concern to Windows designers.

    And it's been that way for years.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: They're not selling to us

      There is most of an argument there, and one MS project managers have been trying unsuccessfully to make before every failed version.

      The hitch is you are right that most users aren't power users. The opinions of people who don't or barely use windows in favor of OSX/*nix/BSD/beOS/OS2-Warp don't influence sale directly very much.

      The rhetorical flaw is that those opinions don't matter as a result. These UI changes aren't "Power user only" features, they are every user features. Inexperienced users don't usually notice or can't articulate how something will annoy the rest of the user base. Experienced users often can and do.

      So before the powers that be get too comfortable ignoring experts, they should ask themselves, is this really a power user feature that only a select few ever used(java bindings to a MS office document) or is this an experts opinion on a major UI component.

      Windows 8 and Vista both failed spectacularly in the market, not because the wizardly elite held off, but because the early adopters all got burned resulting in mass rejection from the base of nontechnical end users. The wizards just saw it coming sooner.

      1. Terry 6 Silver badge

        Re: They're not selling to us

        Exactly this. I haven't bemoaned a function change simply because it annoyed me if I've thought it would be sensible for the users. After all I can switch to OO/Linux at the drop of a hat.Only when I've placed myself as a user and seen that a change would either directly make life difficult for fellow users or prevent me from making it easier for them.

      2. Updraft102

        Re: They're not selling to us

        To GNOME, a text entry field in a file picker dialog (for file load) is a power-user feature. Regular users are supposed to use the mouse to navigate through the tree every time. The same GNOME team was poised to make it impossible to launch executables through the file manager, since file launching is done through the application menu ("Start menu").

        The problem with this philosophy is that nearly every so-called power user feature is used by a certain percentage of regular users. Most regular users don't use any one given power user feature, but they use another one, and if they remove all of the power user features, all of the users end up the worse for it.

  16. vistisen

    starting Task manager change is a disaster

    The taskbar bar is a total disaster. But the single biggest problem is that staring task manager from a right clikk on the task bar is gone. People keep telling me on feedback hub about CTRL-SHIFT-ESCAPE. But how to you do that on nested remote desktops in remote desktops.

    So testing customers experiences on workstations running on VMs started via a VPN that is itsself running on a jumpstation... No way to start task manager

    1. David 132 Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: starting Task manager change is a disaster

      I agree, but FYI, can you not just run taskmgr.exe directly, or put a shortcut to it on the desktop of the target VM?

    2. Dave Null

      Re: starting Task manager change is a disaster

      Just right click on the Start button, or press WIN-X.

    3. Pirate Dave Silver badge

      Re: starting Task manager change is a disaster

      "starting task manager from a right click on the task bar is gone."


      That's the number of days I have left until retirement. I've never had a need to calculate that number before, but now I have. Thank you, Windows 11, for opening my eyes to the future.

  17. Anonymous Coward

    What about the Workers?

    You know - those people who use PCs to get work done and are not technically-minded or just don't have time to waste on tweaking the OS?

    For these people, UI changes (and particularly messing with the Start Menu and Taskbar) are a big deal: all they want is to be able to find their files and the applications they're used to, and to get on with doing what they're paid for.

    A colleague of mine, who has had to get to grips with Windows 10 after being very happy with Windows 7, was moved to say:

    "It's like you've lost your star pupil and you're having to work with a moron"

    God knows what she'd make of Windows 11.

    1. DiViDeD

      Re: What about the Workers?

      This is a perennial issue with Microsoft. I still remember the retraining exercise I had to put together when the accursed Office Ribbon reared it's slightly confused & annoying head.

      Secretaries and office bods who could no longer find simple indents in Word, or couldn't see why named ranges suddenly came under Formula, or couldn't set a print range with a straightforward select & single click.

      Not to mention the developers whose custom menus that had to be rebuilt and called with entire new procedures across multiple workbooks.

      All in the name of making it easier for Sales Managers to 'share' and find that one file out of the 400 or so they'd saved on the desktop.

      And don't even get me started on the "you've chosen to close this file without saving, so we'll take up some disc space to hold on to a copy - just in case you're being terminally stupid"

      1. Terry 6 Silver badge

        Re: What about the Workers?

        In my case- a dozen desktops that had Office (WORD) menus that were customised so that frontline staff who didn't have a lot of time in our admin base could quickly locate the menu items they needed grouped according to where they could expect to find them - and without the distraction of stuff that just cluttered the screen and would not be used anytime before the heat death of the universe.i.e. anything to do with editing assessment reports could be found under Edit. And stuff to be used in creating, I dunno hyper-linked web pages or some such specialised function would be removed or shunted into a "misc stuff" menu. In edge cases where those things would be needed there would have been a reason and a plan and it was easy to restore the required items. I don't think I'd ever needed to though.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Guessing the 11, in Windows 11 represents two dominos...

    i.e. Windows 11 is going to fall flat on its face.

    Can't help feel that more than 80%+ of the computers being condemned by Microsoft as 'not worthy', could run this version of Windows (11), if Microsoft weren't so pig headed about TPM 2.0, secure boot, dropping Bios support in favour of UEFI.

    Instead, it's likely to be just 10% (as a ballpark figure) of the current billion+ computers actively running Windows 10, that will support Windows 11.

    That's some amount of landfill Microsoft are about beholden to the world. Good luck, explaining that one, to your children. Panos Panay, is going to struggle to look his daughters in the eye as they grow older, for signing off on that decision.

    Do the right thing Microsoft, don't copy Apple.

    Make it a 'soft block', not a 'hard block' for older kit, otherwise you've just signed Windows 11's death warrant. With a hard block, there is going to be a lot of decently spec'd PC's (and intel Macs) out there that can't run Windows 11, but can run Linux perfectly fine.

    And given the current roadmap of Microsoft, it's pretty clear where this is all going, it's all about locking down the personal computer, so it's no longer personal, but a corporate controlled device, only able to run what Microsoft wants you to run.

    1. jim465

      Re: Guessing the 11, in Windows 11 represents two dominos...

      I think the fact that 80% of computers not being able to receive this update is fantastic. It means fewer people have to put up with it and can stick with Windows 10...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Guessing the 11, in Windows 11 represents two dominos...

        Yeah, remember the nightmare that was the Windows 10 upgrade nag screen? 80% of us won't have to work around that this time.

        1. David 132 Silver badge

          Re: Guessing the 11, in Windows 11 represents two dominos...

          Oh, sweet summer child.

          There’ll still be nag screens, but they’ll be along the lines of “This version of Windows will soon be unsupported, and your PC is too old to run the amazing Windows 11. Here’s some full-screen, unskippable adverts from Dell, HP, Lenovo…”

    2. Zorba

      Re: Guessing the 11, in Windows 11 represents two dominos...

      "Don't be Apple"...

      Yep. Anything older than about 2 years is anathema to the entire Apple infrastructure. Perfectly good software won't run, this year's hardware won't interface to last year's hardware, etc, etc, etc. I'm "over" both Apple and Microsoft. I don't own a smartphone, consider them worse than useless so I sure don't want my computer to be crippled like one, or mimic its "look and feel". I don't want "Apps" on my computer either, and lets NOT install "XBox" and other smartphone junk either...

      As for "peak Windows" - As far as I'm concerned, that was Win 7. XP was an unstable, buggy pile of crap. The Win 8.x fiasco was Balmer's smartphone religion nonsense, 10 is as ugly as home made sin but works, performs well, and is pretty stable - tracking nonsense not withstanding.

  19. Mage

    research showed people. . .

    Either MS ignores usability research, or asks the wrong people or has rotten researchers. Going backwards since about 2002.

  20. Duncan Macdonald

    Easy way to block Windows 11 upgrade

    When Windows Update tries to force people to Win 11, an easy way to prevent it is to disable Secure Boot in the BIOS - Windows 10 does not care if it is enabled or not so disabling it seems to have no effect on Win 10.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Easy way to block Windows 11 upgrade

      That's assuming you are able to bypass the nag screens to keep using Windows 10 (full screen nags are already in place when the current version of Window 10 reaches end of life). The older version next in line for the chop is Win10 2004 on 14th Dec 2021.

      Or worse, that Windows 10 itself, is hard blocked/fully disabled once Windows 10 itself, reaches end of life on Oct 14th 2025. It might end up being a situation that the nag screens start a year before, on Oct 14th 2024. We just don't know, and that's part of the problem too.

      Certainly could be the case for the versions of Windows 10, controlled by a cloud based Microsoft Account, at login, rather than a local admin account.

  21. Matthew "The Worst Writer on the Internet" Saroff

    Really Stupid

    Desktops and laptops are largely production systems, while phones, and to a slightly lesser degree tablets, are consumption systems.

    These different functions SHOULD drive different systems, but Microflaccid and it's delusional designers keep trying to unify two very different tools.

    1. MysteryGuy

      Re: Really Stupid

      >'s delusional designers keep trying to unify two very different tools.

      I thought the Windows 7 interface (while nowhere near perfect) did a much better job of satisfying both types of users.

      Production workers could get their stuff done and so could more 'consumption' oriented users.

      Then Windows 8 came along and decided we should all have a version of a phone interface instead...

  22. aerogems Silver badge


    Some of the things people are complaining about are no longer necessary. Like creating program groups isn't really necessary anymore because you can just search for an app name. You can embrace your inner lazy slob and just toss things anywhere because you can have the computer search for what you want. It really is worth the time and effort required to unlearn the old habits and learn new ones. Even better is you can search for specific settings instead of the old method of going to the control panel, trying to remember which module held a specific setting and usually getting it wrong two or more times before finally finding it. Now, even if it's two layers deep, you can go directly to it with the search. MS has also added this same functionality to its Office apps which can be a real time saver as well when you can't remember which tab a setting is on, or it's something that isn't on one of the ribbon tabs, requiring you click the tiny little button in the corner for the full list of options.

    It's important for us to remember that people reading tech sites like El Reg are a significant minority of all computer users everywhere, and Microsoft knows it's a lot easier for us to figure out a new way of doing something than it is to train a less tech savvy person how to perform some complex process.

    1. Terry 6 Silver badge

      Re: Eh...

      "Some of the things people are complaining about are no longer necessary. Like creating program groups isn't really necessary anymore because you can just search for an app name. "

      Bollocks! That only works if you can remember what the dratted thing was called, when you last used it. (Or even that you have a programme for that job or have more than one). And since some programmes may only get used once or twice a year - and many have damn fool names that give no clue to their function for doing a search, I wish you luck with that if you use more than a handful of regular programmes. And even then, being to remember a programme name and being able to instantly recall it are two very different things.

      And that's apart from it being a roundabout way to replace clicking on a programme's name from an easily located group.

      And saying that some/many/most even people don't need a given function is still a bloody stupid reason to take it away from the remainder who do. Most people don't use libraries or theatres- but that is still a bloody stupid reason to close them.

    2. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Re: Eh...

      I have several programs that I use once a month at most - expenses and the like.

      I have NFC what they're actually called, because I hardly ever use them. Some of them have "real" names (as found by Search) that bear no resemblance to the task or the name in the titlebar when it's running.

      I have a few where I've got multiple versions. I have to keep multiple versions because customers send me drawings and documents in those versions, and I can't force them to upgrade.

      All the versions have the same name of course, they're just in a Start folder with the version.

      I have several (dunno how many) where the Start link sets important command line options. I only know this because I had a peek - a normal user wouldn't have a clue

      1. ThatOne Silver badge

        Re: Eh...

        That might be, but then again you're clearly not the user Microsoft expects or wants, which would be a person running Office 365, period...

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Eh...

      Maybe it's me, but MS Search on the taskbar often has trouble finding a text file I just saved or an app I just installed.

      Maybe that's because I lock down my user directories/settings in Windows 10, after they added the user's Downloads folder (emphasis there on the word 'user's') to the Windows System file Clean Up Tool, and lazily didn't even bother to inform users that the Downloads directory had been added to the list of options. (Users defaulting to 'Select All', had the 'added feature' of deleting the contents of the user's Downloads folder).

      1. Mike_in_Oz

        Re: Eh...

        My life changed since I installed the Everything search utility! Instant gratification as opposed to a slow crawl with sometimes mysteriously empty results.

    4. keith_w

      Re: Eh...

      For most office denizens, the entirety of their computing experience is spreadsheets, word processing and email. A small portion will use specialized software such as an ERP. Each of these will have an icon on the task bar or desktop. In general they will not care about the menu system. Yes there will still be plenty of others who have a huge list of programmes they frequently use but for the most part most office people will use those 3 or 4 items.

    5. Getmo

      Re: Eh...

      "creating program groups isn't really necessary anymore because you can just search for an app name."

      Uh... that's not how human beings work though. It's a lot easier for our brains to remember things like color, position, and icon shape than a strict name. Mainly thanks to our ape brains evolving in the physical world, the spacial reasoning section of our brains is much more developed than the language processing. Mainly because in the real world, if you leave something in a certain location, for the most part it's still there when you come back for it. If you need a special tool, it's a lot easier to remember which drawer or box or bag you left it in, then trying to recall the exact name. For one, recalling the exact name won't help you find that tool at all. If in the real world you could immediately summon whatever you're looking for just by speaking it's name, our brains would've evolved to work better that way. But we didn't evolve that way. We evolved in physical spaces, with colors, shapes, and locations.

      The Win8 & Win10 Start Menu "tiles", while a nightmare to set-up and arrange, are really useful to ALL users. I'll bet that a much larger percentage of long-term Win10 users, power-user or not, actually use the tiles they arranged in their Start Menu than you think.

      Plus, Win 10 could already do search like this! You press the windows key and start typing, and it'll automatically search for apps, files, folders, etc.... they haven't added anything. They've removed functionality. Every dev should know, even if you think a feature should be deprecated, and you want to turn if off by default for everybody, you should at least leave it as an option in settings for picky users to turn back on. You've already invested the work to design the feature; don't delete it, make it optional.

      Plus, as has already been mentioned, maybe I use that app once a month, or once a year! I can't remember the name, the name isn't descriptive, but because I have to use it regularly I left it in a special group at the bottom of my start menu. So the only thing I have to remember is, click start, scroll to the bottom until you recognize the icon & color, click & done. If it's a multi-step task, I can keep all related apps in that group together. But if I can't remember the name, I'd have to either sit there daydreaming until I remember it, or go full brute-force and open the All Applications list and keep scrolling until something looks familiar. Again, goes back to how our brains work. You can't even protest, "get good at remembering names then!" if it's a symptom of all humanity.

      1. Terry 6 Silver badge

        Re: Eh...

        Agreed. Mine are grouped Win 3 style according to function. I want to edit a sequence of video clips? I just look in my "video" group that has Openshot as well as VLC and some camera apps in it (I just looked). My "Office" group has the MS and LibreOffice icons, as well as ABBY and several PDF utilities of one kind or another. I would not be able to actually name any of those PDF programmes, and sometimes I replace one with a better one ( Or just add it). I even have a group called "uninstallers" where I move all the "uninstall <programme name>" links at the same time as I move the substantive link into its new home and delete its original installer created folder (and included cruft).

      2. ThatOne Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Eh...

        > It's a lot easier for our brains to remember things like color, position, and icon shape than a strict name.

        So true! The "Search Shell" paradigm is totally counterintuitive, in real life we only "search" for stuff we've lost, that is things we have forgotten where we have put them. The rest we know where we put them, and there was often a reason we did so (cell phone on the desk and not in the laundry, despite being of the same brand as the washing machine).

        On the other hand it is true that file management is hard to code, so instead lets put files all over the place and have Search find them, it's so much easier to code... I guess/fear the future of Windows is to end up like a phone OS, without a user-accessible file structure.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Eh...

      So you want me to keep switching between the keyboard and the mouse even more? I use track point exclusively and it still wastes time. I pity the mouse users...

      Look, if I'm pointing around my hand is on the pointer. It is faster to point and click, instead of switching to keyboard and back.

      If I'm using keyboard, sure, I'll search.

  23. Robert Grant

    > A design video states that when asked to place different desktop components using scraps of paper, users "always saw search, files and applications together."

    This might work well if people hadn't learned the Start Menu as a concept in itself for the last 20+ years.

    1. Getmo

      The greatest irony is they keep changing shit in the name or "usability" or being more "intuitive"... ignoring the fact that, for 99% of the people who need to use a computer today, this isn't the first time they've touched a computer. Meaning, they've already been trained how to use it, and what to expect.

      One of the best ways to make something "intuitive" is to make it familiar to people, make it like something they've used before already. So if people have already been trained to use computers a certain way, and expect certain things, the most "intuitive" thing to do is keep it as similar to the last version as you can.

      "Let's keep changing all the things to be more 'intuitive'" = forcing all your users to re-train themselves everytime = direct opposite of "intuitive".

      1. Terry 6 Silver badge

        More to the point "intuitive" means putting something where you'd go looking for it. Each successive version of Windows seems to make it less likely that anything will be where common sense would lead you to expect it to be.

  24. Jamesit

    "perhaps advertising."

    NO. NO. NO. We don't need advertising everywhere.That's a terrible idea don't give them any more.

    1. Brad16800

      I'm sure it's somewhere in the T&C's but yea I don't recall telling M$ they could spam ads from the taskbar when I open it. Speaking from a home PC that is, locked it all down at work. Still it's a pain and I wonder if it's anti competitive baking it in to the OS.

  25. Piro Silver badge

    Basically all UI changes could be rolled back..

    ... to Windows 7, and it would be better.

    It really says something when Microsoft haven't done anything good with the UI in over a decade.

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Re: Basically all UI changes could be rolled back..

      Win10 (finally) handles mixed-DPI screens, Win+Arrow snapping, and I like the taskbar-on-all-screens options.

      Erm... think that's it. Can we roll back the rest?

      To be honest I'd be reasonably happy with the new-style Settings/Control Panel if it was all there, but even now it kicks me into the old one half the time.

      1. Warm Braw

        Re: Basically all UI changes could be rolled back..

        kicks me into the old one half the time

        I think that illustrates the problem the best. Even Microsoft knows it's just going through the motions so it has something different to announce as "innovation" even though no-one cares. They can't persuade their dragging, weary feet to reach the end of the road and finish what they've started. We've reached the washing powder stage of "new and improved".

      2. Piro Silver badge

        Re: Basically all UI changes could be rolled back..

        The win+arrow window snapping was brought in with 7, so that's one more off the list. Win+shift+arrow even moves between screens.

        Taskbar on all screens can be a useful one, I'll grant you that, although there were 3rd party applications to achieve that.

    2. Mage

      Re: Basically all UI changes could be rolled back..

      I used NT 3.51 with the Explorer Shell Preview. That's what every NT since should have been like. A win9x desktop, no graphics or print drivers in the Kernel.

      Also install of programs written by people clueless about NT security should have been blocked. Programs that needed you to be logged in as an Administrator. Part of the reason was because Win9x was really no more a real 32 bit OS than Windows for Workgroups with Win32s, 32 bit MS TCP/IP (option on both) and all the 32 bit disc & media stuff wrapped up. So no named pipes on Win9x or Wim3.1. No local security or concept of Administrator on Win9x or Win3.x, the log on was only for network resources.

      Win9x essentially broke NT 4.0, Win2K and XP installations resulting in the later UAC kludge by making it hard for IT to setup NT users without Admin rights for programs like accounts and payroll.

      Me should never have happened. A broken version of Win98 SE

      Win9x should never ever have been sold to businesses. It was designed with porting DOS games in mind, so originally no OpenGL. It NEVER had any security features. It ran DOS and Win16 programs natively (NT used NTVDM and Win16-32 ApI Thunk) so killed the Pentium Pro.

      The marketing, install base and win applications with no security programming crippled NT. They blocked release of NT4.0 USB drivers to boost NT 5.0 = Win2000 sales.

      XP was really the finished version of Win2K (NT 5.1).

      Then they totally lost the plot with Vista design. It got so big and complex that the "unseen" design improvements got scrapped in favour of Eye Candy. But at least you could turn off junk on Win2K, XP, 2003 and Vista and have a Win9x/Win2K GUI.

      Since FOREVER (NT 3.1 to Win10) they by default have too many services running instead of install time silent admin options and a suitable wizard for manual install.

      Also too easy to end up with USA keyboard, Letter Size paper etc. No suggestion based on Timezone?

      So the Win9x success sowed the seeds of NT destruction and "artistic" people and marketing and stupid arrogance (Ribbon, menu item hiding, unified GUI for phones, tablets and Desktop) ignored the usability research from 70s to 90s, though there wasn't that much GUI change from 1970s Xerox, 1980s GEM, Amiga, Risc-OS, Apple Lisa and Mac to the Win9x.

      Win10 is the worst GUI since 1993. Win 11 sounds worse. But Amazon Kindle, Kobo, Android are all going backwards on GUI.

      WinCE was stupid in the opposite direction, a Win9x GUI on as little as 320 x 200 in many cases.

      Even Win7 had some really stupid changes in Explorer, even though it should have been free to Vista Users as it's really a Vista SP.

      Win8 was only suitable as WinCE replacement for phones (and tablets with no keyboard or mouse).

  26. Dagg


    I stayed with W7 and skipped 8 and 8.1(9) until W10 was able to provide something close to W7. Looks like I'll be doing the same with W11. Bring on W12.

  27. Adelio

    I have been using Classis Shell for many years. The disaster that is Microsoft start menu is so bad I did not have an option.

    Like so many people most of the changes to the windows UI since windows 7 have been badly designed and implemented and frankly a waste of time. Why change what works?

    Fix bugs by all means, make it run fast, please.... But a lot of it seems to be like Nero playing his Violin whilst Rome burns.

    I have been using computers since the early 80's and when windows came out (3.1) I was happy, each new version seems a genuine improvement. (I exclude Vista) then Mircrosft brought out Windows 8, I do not own a touch screen PC, or a touch screen laptop and I use dual 24" monitors. So why would microsoft think that defaulting to a touch screen and assume that people are all using 5" screens to look at stuff.

    I am fed up with developers, especially web ones but you are ALL culpable trying to cram as little as possible on to each screen. At one time for any particular application you would have a few screens for all your information. Now the practice seems to be, well just show 2 or 3 controls per screen, yes... that makes so much sense. I presume that this is because they assume that people are using phones, which have small screens!

    Well I am NOT. In my latest company "pay" application, which is web based, i cannot even see my entire payslip. I just presented with 4 values.. the ONLY way to view my payslip in it's entirity is to download it as a PDF and open it.

    Please, please, please, people, go back 10 -15 years back and see how the UI worked, and GO BACK TO IT.

    I do not want pretty pictures or moving graphics. I just want screens that work well..

    Everything new is not always good. Who thought that changing to a flat display with things like scroll bar hard to see and use as a good thing?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Google's new Privacy opt-out page is a case in point, spread over 2 screens deliberately.

      YouTube and Google's new privacy dialog is certainly an improvement over the 31 clicks and scroll bar movements/back button presses, required to opt out of the previous privacy opt-out dialog design, but the number has since increased again since the first release of the new 2021 Google Privacy opt-out dialog control, by adding an extra screen with 'Customize' or 'Confirm', with these options below the page on the second screen (requires a scroll down, though clearly depends on the resolution of the laptop/display).

      Even though the first iteration forced users to scroll down, anyone would think Google's first attempt was working a little too well at letting users opt out, and they backtracked to make it harder.

      There is an urban dictionary technical term for the over complication of user interfaces in order to elicit the default opt-in response, if only I could remember it.

  28. batfink

    What's it for?

    I'm still baffled as to why this is being sold as a new version. It's basically just a skin change - there seem to be no significant changes under the hood, apart from the TPM/UEFI restrictions, and that's not enough of a change for a whole-number increment.

    Start Menu changes? DGAF. If MS eventually get around to forcing me to upgrade, I'll just continue using Start11/OpenShell/whatever, like the OP.

    1. FlamingDeath Silver badge

      Re: What's it for?

      Every franchise gets milked, Call of Duty, Battlefields, Starwars, Windows

      Its a brand, its a name, its more of a hackers paradise than an (secure) OS

  29. The Onymous Coward

    There's a reason...

    ...that users had to have Windows XP prised from their cold, dead hands.

    Does anyone actually use Windows outside the office and gaming anymore? I have to use it at work and get things done *despite* Windows, not because of it.

    1. ThatOne Silver badge

      Re: There's a reason...

      While I agree with you, please keep in mind that the vast majority isn't actually using computers for anything "outside the office and gaming" (if you add "social networks" to "gaming", where they belong).

    2. Dagg

      Re: There's a reason...

      Windows XP pried from their cold, dead hands

      Yep it just worked! Form fits function!

  30. Dave Null

    This entire thread is a dumpster fire

    Building Windows is like making pizza for a billion people. Some people are always going to moan. If the most annoying thing you've read today is a slight change to the Start menu then you probably need to take a long hard look at yourself.

    I'm also willing to bet that most of the moaners haven't tried W11 and are just sounding off.

    1. Adelio

      Re: This entire thread is a dumpster fire

      I have and th first thing i did was install classic shell

    2. The Onymous Coward

      Re: This entire thread is a dumpster fire

      It's a good analogy, but they have managed, in the past, to make pizza that a billion people enjoyed.

      Then they started to ask people who will eat literally anything what they want on their pizza, and they said they'd prefer it without any cheese, oh and if it could be shaped like an amphibious landing craft, that would be really cool. And they listened.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: This entire thread is a dumpster fire

      "I'm also willing to bet that most of the moaners haven't tried W11 and are just sounding off."

      Many here commenting will have tried Windows 11. In fairness, you don't have to install it, because if you just use Windows for 'doing the drudge' as most people do, Windows 11 offers nothing new, just makes things more frustrating, and adds restrictions, forces new hardware.

      Many can just see that from using Windows 10, and where this is all heading. "Drudge is drudge", and it's the only thing anyone uses Windows for today.

      i.e. things that still have to be done in Windows, either due to legacy applications or just because that's the way it's always being done and no one is willing to spend the money to make the change.

      But restrictions like TPM 2.0, secure boot, could change all that, people could well look to Linux to do the drudge instead, it's certainly capable. The biggest problem Linux has, is it doesn't have the big budgets of Microsoft to spend on advertising to tell everyone how wonderful Linux actually is.

      Microsoft as ever, will throw a massive amount of cash on the advertising budget for Windows 11, and drown out any alternative view, away from Windows to Linux.

    4. Updraft102

      Re: This entire thread is a dumpster fire

      It's true, I haven't, but I have tried Windows 10, and that was enough to make me leave the OS that I had used for a quarter century and move to Linux. I haven't seen a thing that would make me think 11 is any better.

  31. thondwe


    So first thing I diid was kill Widgets - don't get em - have a phone, have a tablet - don't need on a desktop/laptop.

    Other than that - MS mostly removing stuff I don't use - Start - don't care - pin most apps to taskbar. New task bar limitations are annoying - and switching audio device used to be easy. Windows Snap is nice feature, re-arranging Windows across Multiple desktops seems to have changed for the worse.

    AND personal Teams - no, stick with Skype - it's just a better branding.

    Bottom Line - UX guys need to change something I guess, otherwise they are unemployed?

    1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

      Re: Widgets!

      trouble is with customising all that shit is , you have to do it on multiople computers ,

      then one one needs a rebuild , then you get a new one ,

      or you borrow someones pc , or go to it to fix it

      then they change the fking OS again ..

      i just dont bother customising or id be continually doing it

  32. The Central Scrutinizer

    "Roger Sir, dumbin', it down".

  33. oldstevo

    Loss of Live Tiles in Windows 11

    That's no loss, that's a gain, IMHO!

  34. TopCat62

    From the article... "and it was redesigned (as was Windows 8) by taking inspiration from smartphones,"

    This is the fundamental problem. A PC isn't a fucking smartphone. It's a device used by people that want to do actual work.

    1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

      was about to post same .

      the huge advantage a pc has over a smart phone is a big scree n and mouse abd keyboard to navigate with , and they want to cripple the pc via the menu, to take that functionality away!!

      like the article says they tried that in W8 - fking disaster

      why do it agian??

      1. Zorba

        Smartphones are the worst thing to ever happen to IT. Completely useless beyond playing (some) games and watching yootoob videos - and they're sub-optimal for that. I DO NOT want my computer to look like, act like, or have the limitations of a smartphone. I'll go back to CP/M before I'll use a smartphone, or anything that looks/acts like one. Crippled UI, brain-dead OS, fugly block graphics in primary colors that would look crude on an Atari 2600, crippled "Apps" that mostly can be replaced with a simple webpage in leu of "Software" or even "Programs".

        No thank you.

  35. Zippy´s Sausage Factory

    "Recommended" content

    I'm wondering how long it is before nearly all the "recommended" content is behaviour-based advertising?

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    that the company as large (and rich) as MS, can't get something right on such a basic level as 'user experience'. With all those years of practice, they seem to, constantly, fuck up things in new! creative! revolutionary! breakthrough! ways, as if they try to win the world's big corp competition of 'who can piss off their users most. They do seem to be a regular winner in this :(

    1. Updraft102

      Re: ironic

      They can get it right. They have in the past. They just are not interested in serving the user's interests. Why should they? The users will take whatever Microsoft dishes out. They learned the lesson of Vista... if you make a substandard Windows version, people won't choose to upgrade. I would have hoped the lesson they would learn would be to stop making substandard Windows versions, but what they actually learned was to stop giving people a choice. Vista failed because Microsoft didn't force them to take it. Win 8 failed because MS didn't force people to take it. Windows 10 succeeded because they did force people to take it, if they wanted to stay on the Windows platform that MS has spent decades making sure is the only game in town.

  37. teknopaul Silver badge

    application launcher

    People dont want to use Windows: they want to use their applications that run on Windows.

    The startmenu should takes you with minimal effort to your applications.

    It should not be usted to embed an internet browser,or show adds or redirect you to Microsoft properties appstore or whatever their latest darling is.

    Fortunatly there is Launchy, so personally I never have to use windblows start here thing(tm) they can change it as often as they like.

    my next work laptop will be IT dept supported Linux on Dell, at long last.

    1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

      Re: application launcher

      they want to use their applications that run on Windows.

      um, how are you goingto use those on your I.T. supported Linux?

  38. Charles Calthrop


    Loss of ability to have small icons in the Taskbar

    No way to move the taskbar to the top of the screen

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    HCI - we've heard of it

    'Loss of the "hot corner" in Windows 7, 8 and 10. The bottom left corner of the screen was always the spot to launch the Start menu, now it is a variable spot at the left of the centred row of icons.'

    What is going on with UI designers? Apple and Microsoft both seem to be hellbent on producing interfaces where elements move around arbitrarily or where everything is hidden behind hamburger menus so that there's no chance to develop muscle memory or get work done quickly. They're making things harder - WHY?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: HCI - we've heard of it

      "They're making things harder - WHY?"

      Because Hell may get crowded and they want to make sure to have a spot.

    2. Updraft102

      Re: HCI - we've heard of it

      Because minimalistic user interfaces are so coool and user friendly to people who try the thing out in the Apple store (and because MS just copies everyone else these days). Why, it has no controls at all! That's so friendly and non-intimidating looking! I must have it!

      It's the same philosophy as GNOME. Assume every user is an imbecile who is afraid of computers and has exactly zero experience using anything electronic. Design everything around this person, and ignore that the person will stop being a complete neophyte soon after procuring the device and will spend the rest of their life as a non-neophyte that finds the "unintimidating" UI hopelessly sparse.

    3. Newold

      Re: HCI - we've heard of it

      Win 11 - from the people who made Minesweeper...

  40. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

    its not all bad

    best thing about current W10 start menu:

    you can search it just by typing and avoid havid to look / navigate its hideousness

    worst thing:

    its entirely fucking random wether you will be able to "attach to start menu" any given shortcut or file

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I really don't care how they organize it, just stop bloody well moving everything every time.

  42. Binraider Silver badge

    So what is all that telemetry being used for, if not to improve the user experience?

    I thought MS were collecting telemetry on user interface usage, and as such would have all manner of information on what options people use in context menus?

    Hiding menu options used all the time behind a "more settings" menu, including customisable context menus; is madness. Put the necessary items on the menu, and job done.

    The Apple/Gnome hybrid UI design fails to be windows, but also fails to be Apple or Gnome. It kind of is it's own thing, a mishmash of ideas; which may or may not work. Throw stuff at the wall and see what sticks. I can't speak from reviews as to whether I will like it or not, but as neither apple, gnome or (recent) windows UI are particularly likeable I am not holding my breath.

    I do like the cmd shell update. Tabs and hypertext support are mostly good things.

    I have said it before and again, power users that must have Windows should seriously look at Server 2019 as a desktop. It probably *is* what you are looking for out of a sequel to Win7. Obligatory closing comment. Try something else entirely. There are lots of good options available!

  43. dmartin

    And W11 has lost the the ability to move task bar to SIDE of screen

    Did many folk know that was even possible?

    Yes it is, and works well on W10.

    Esp with wide screens - enables full height of screen available to apps.

    Unfortunately (very) it is not in W11.

    Another MS shot in the foot.

    1. Mage

      Re: And W11 has lost the the ability to move task bar to SIDE of screen

      I had taskbar & start on the side of the screen on XP.

  44. js6898

    It's not about the start menu. What's the one thing that has changed? Well you **must** use a microsoft account ie no more local accounts for setup

    Why? Not that difficult to work out why.

    1. Binraider Silver badge

      The "pro" version apparently still permits local accounts. Though proof will be in the pudding of the copy released to retail.

      As above, Server 2019 as a desktop recommended - and very definitely does not have MS account dependency.

    2. ThatOne Silver badge

      > you **must** use a microsoft account

      Because they need to put a name and address on the telemetry collected. Without those it's pretty much worthless.

    3. Mage

      use a microsoft account

      Been true for home editions on the GUI for ages. But open a console and the net user command can create local users.

      Variations of it since NT 3.1 and I wrote a VB program in late 1990s for NT 4.0 to add hundreds of users from a csv file using "net use"

      Totally abusive behaviour to remove GUI elements from settings and sell the crippled home editions. There should be only workstation and server editions. Absolute greed.

    4. Zorba

      Never mind that this is a COMPLETE security hole! I don't know about now, but at one point, M$ was encouraging the use of PINs for logins! Friggin' PINs! Every black hat hacker out there just LOVES PINs!

  45. EarthDog

    They asked what the user wanted

    But didn't ask what needed change or to be taken away.

  46. sipke

    As long as the UI designers (who probably use Macs) are pleased...

    Microsoft has been getting some terrible advice, since back when they were planning the ruination of the Windows 7 / Server 2008 R2 UI. Do the people who come up with these "improvements" actually use Windows for anything beyond launching a browser?

  47. Tron Silver badge

    Faustian pact proposed.

    Dear Microsoft. We will use any version of Windows you want us to as long as it can be skinned to look and work exactly like W7.

  48. Colonel Mad


    And no seconds display in the task bar.

  49. Kev99 Silver badge

    I think it has nothing to do with "a cleaner start menu" and everything to do with the coders wanting to show off or make work.

    1. Zorba

      This is entirely possible. I don't know about the Windows team specifically, but as a (now retired) professional programmer, its obvious to me that many/most of these "coders" didn't pass CS-101 - and a large subset of those didn't even *take* CS-101. And yes, I can think of some examples from M$ that showcase this phenomenon.

      You see it all the time in embedded systems, that - despite having multi-gigahertz processors and scads of memory - still exhibit not just buggy behavior, but latency, latency, latency everywhere! I see crap all the time that I would have been fired for - justifiably so - if I had written something that bad. I could get better responsiveness out of a 2 MHZ 8080 processor than these code monkeys get out of modern hardware!

  50. This post has been deleted by its author

  51. AC1123581321345589
    Black Helicopters

    Speculative helicopters

    Hypothetically if you could install Windows 11 on any Android phone that meets system requirements perhaps a lot of people might use it?

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