back to article Former Microsoft UX boss doesn't like the Windows 11 Start menu either

The one-time director of user experience at Microsoft has added his voice to the ongoing chorus of Windows 11 users who are criticizing the design and usability of the latest operating system's Start menu. In a series of tweets this week, Jensen Harris, who was UX director at Microsoft for almost six years, took swings at his …

  1. The Man Who Fell To Earth Silver badge
    FAIL

    Open-Shell

    Just use Open-Shell and let Microsoft's GUI designers, who clearly have nothing productive to do all day, screw around until someone with a brain at Microsoft realizes they can save money by letting them all go.

    1. Skiver

      Re: Open-Shell

      I'm using startallback to fix the start menu and that irritating right click behavior.

    2. Piro Silver badge

      Re: Open-Shell

      Pretty much. I've been using it (well, and its predecessor, classic shell) since I touched a post-7 machine.

      The search in the start menu has been broken since 8, but classic shell fixes it, so it works perfectly again.

    3. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Open-Shell

      Last time I tried to make Open-Shell work on Windows 11 for someone (tell me, why did you bother to update to W11 in the first place?), the smaller Open-Shell menu icon kind of floated above the real W11 menu icon and it was a 50-50 chance which one got clicked (this was with the W11 start menu aligned left).

      I tried to make a transparent PNG but the size and position is scaled oddly and I couldn't get it right. I also tried to copy the W11 start menu logo and again I couldn't get the scale or position right either.

      Please Open-Shell people, just make an option which makes a suitable start menu icon for Windows 11 next to the other three start menu icon options.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Open-Shell

        Supposedly Open Shell 4.4.170 is Windows 11 compatible, although I don't use Windows 11. There's also "fixes" you might try if Open Shell is having issues on Windows 11.

        https://www.thewindowsclub.com/open-shell-not-working-in-windows-11

  2. Snake Silver badge

    I believe I see what is going on

    From the outside it appears as if Microsoft is constantly taking the "underdog" stance, that they need to play 'catch-up' with other designs, rather than accept their stance as the de facto industry leader (with the largest market share) and comfortably accept their own design legacy. They seem to constantly believe that someone "else" is doing it better, leading the charge towards State of the Art, and therefore they must change and grow to meet this competitive demand.

    It is a stance of paranoia, it seems. Instead of saying "Yes, our Start button is in the left hand bottom corner, it works a certain way, and that *is* Windows", they look at their entire consumer experience as 'necessary to adapt' to some future challenger. So we, the users, constantly experience Microsoft's experimentation because they feel it is absolutely necessary in order to remain competitive.

    As if they don't own the desktop (those of you who doubt, look at factual usage demographics and get back to me).

    So, instead of kaisen Microsoft seems to constantly chase a theoretical brass ring, lest they get "left behind" in some way or fashion. Microsoft is therefore maintaining a "young tech" attitude regardless of the fact they they are comfortably in first place, and many of their products have been so for a long, long time. They keep trying to reinvent the wheel, when most people ride in Microsoft cars and don't need new wheels, only a tire change when they wear out.

    1. Terry 6 Silver badge

      Re: I believe I see what is going on

      Microsoft has been doing this for a long time now, running in reverse trying to catch-up. In fact, ever since they missed the boat with the internet age. That existential threat must have caused a terrible, visceral, sense of fear and foreboding that seems to guide everything they do. It's as if they spy a potential trend they try to chase it. If what they are actually doing isn't immediately successful they jump ship and start looking elsewhere desperately, for fear that they've missed the future. And of course, they see Apple and want to be more like that, without understanding what gave Apple that strength.*

      *I don't understand it either. People with limited budgets will still pay extra for an iPhone compared to a good other brand without gaining any actual practical advantage from using it compared to even a low end smartphone. But then there's no reason why I should understand. I'm just some guy. Not a massive multinational tech co.

      1. Snake Silver badge

        Re: I believe I see what is going on

        Mere words cannot express my general disgust and personal dislike of the iPhone interface, it is like someone without a thin pence of experience had "designed" the UI, and the gullible sheep swallow it whole. Ever try to bring up a contact's saved information from a Message screen? That experience alone should tell you that a moron designed this thing, and morons accept the poor UI without question simply because of the Fruit on the Label.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: I believe I see what is going on

      Maybe it's just a touch of "Not Invented Here" where "Here" is the latest lot of crayon wielders.

      I'm not sure if the typography of the KDE menu would suit this particular critic but it just works and what's more, just works the way I want it because I can edit the options as I want them. Just works is the first thing that should be expected of any UI gadget.

      1. Claverhouse Silver badge

        Re: I believe I see what is going on

        That's one of the best things about KDE [ although even they spoil it with continuous reinvention --- I basically stick to a 2012 mode ]. After install I push the taskbar to the sky and make sure it has the cascading menu: but there is a choice for others who prefer a different approach.

        I've edited the menu [ in Edit Applications ] to change the names of browsers by adding whatever tasks each is best suited for, like email, Bank, or Jstor simply because it is easier to fire up a browser than add yet another losable tab to the 100s on my main browser.

        Sadly some are chrome based, but that's the price of living in the monoculture.

        In all, KDE is the prettiest and most workable of all environments.

  3. Pirate Dave Silver badge
    Pirate

    "Jensen Harris, who was UX director at Microsoft for almost six years"

    So, eh, is he the one to blame for Win10's shit Start button/menu? And whatabout all the ribbons in everything? Not to mention the whole "charms" fiasco. That's all UX stuff, innit?

    So, eh, is Jensen really the Messiah for this article, or just a very naughty boy?

    1. BobTheIntern

      I'm not the Messiah! Will you please listen? I am not the Messiah, do you understand?! Honestly!

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Roj Blake

        That's exactly what the Messiah would say.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        That title belongs

        to Lord Elon the Musk.

        MS should just give up gracefully and allow the W7 UI to return. They lost the plot with W8 onwards.

        Not that it really matters for me. I gave up on Windows before W10. It is all Linux and MacOS now but even with Linux, they can't stop fucking around with Gnome but at least I have a choice on the matter.

      4. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge

        Brian, why did you left the kitchen to become the Messiah?

    2. Swarthy Silver badge
      Stop

      When the guy who did Ribbons & the Win10 start menu says you've made an ugly UI - that should hurt; and you should re-evaluate your life decisions.

    3. pluraquanta

      It's actually worse than that. He was the UX director after the ribbon UI was introduced. He was responsible for the Metro UI.

    4. Roland6 Silver badge

      He's very pround of the Ribbon, Metro etc. - see https://jensenharris.com/

      I therefore suspect his criticism of W11 UI is more because it isn't an evolution of his work, ie. he has sour grapes about the way Metro and W8 and the team responsible were discarded.

    5. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
      Coat

      Start Button

      "Jensen Harris, who was UX director at Microsoft for almost six years"

      No relation to Jenson Button

      1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: Start Button

        I read that as Jettison Button.

      2. David 132 Silver badge

        Re: Start Button

        No, but he does know Start Button.

        1. Zippy´s Sausage Factory
          Coat

          Re: Start Button

          He knows about first Start Button, yes, but does he know about second Start Button?

          1. David 132 Silver badge

            Re: Start Button

            Hello Mr Alonso!

    6. megaabc1

      Ehhh, win 10's start menu is brilliant if you actually customize it. Looks so fresh on my setup that it's my second favorite place in the entire OS after the file explorer. And the ribbon is the best thing ever happened to productivity, plus you can hide it too.

      The charms bar however...

      1. Pirate Dave Silver badge

        You forgot your "<sarcasm>" tags... the Googlebots are going to think you're serious...

  4. Jou (Mxyzptlk) Silver badge

    Windows 11 UI ist just like what happened in 2012 with Windows 8.0.

    Usually they should learn from the past mistakes, don't they?

    From my point of view: Start in the middle, OPTIONAL, would have been fine. If they would actually place it in the middle, and not let it wander around depending on the number of tasks you have open. If only the "run" Window would appear near the start button. (etc etc etc, you know the long lists of complains)

    1. LDS Silver badge

      Re: Windows 11 UI ist just like what happened in 2012 with Windows 8.0.

      Windows 8 was an excellent touch UI - and it's clear how much research and design went into - Windows 10 and 11 used on a tablet aren't so easy and comfortable to use. What Windows 8 UI was not was a desktop UI, and when the device wasn't a tablet or in tablet mode, the UI should have switched back to something alike Windows 7.

      Windows has really some talented designers and UI developers - the issue is those managing the OS looks not to have a whole, comprehensive view of user needs, and every time they chase a different Grail.

      Not it looks they are obsessed with something looking like a web/phone UI. - so they have started to hide commands around the UI. You can't see a "Windows look & feel" anymore. Microsoft should listen less to its detractors, no matter loud they are, and "Start" to keep care of its long time users.

    2. the Jim bloke Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: Windows 11 UI ist just like what happened in 2012 with Windows 8.0.

      They are learning from past mistakes. They find the things people hate, and elevate them. they find the bits people find useful, and remove them.

      Each iteration is even worse than the previous..

      "How can they achieve such greatness ? Because they are standing on the shoulders of giants...

    3. src

      Re: Windows 11 UI ist just like what happened in 2012 with Windows 8.0.

      Another wandering element is the URL box in Edge. The forward / reverse buttons don't simply deactivate but actually appear and disappear moving all the elements to the right of them. Ugly and stupid.

  5. JDPower666 Silver badge

    How come all the common sense speakers from Microsoft always manage to keep all that common sense to themselves till they actually leave?

    1. Jou (Mxyzptlk) Silver badge

      They are not heard.

      Check those many "I told you so" stories, including reading the comments for even more of those, at Who me and On Call

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    On Linux / BSD we can get away from terrible UI systems like Gnome 3+ or KDE 4+ by resorting to the terminal and a thin window manager.

    Its getting to the point where I do the same thing on Windows. In shell:startup I have a batch file that does taskkill explorer.exe and opens a full screen command prompt. (As a bonus this gets rid of a fair amount of Microsoft's telemetry).

    1. Updraft102 Silver badge

      KDE 5.25 is fantastic.

      1. karlkarl Silver badge

        In that case, enjoy it whilst you can. KDE 6 might change the workflow and desktop metaphor entirely.

        1. gerryg

          Except...

          ...with KDE you can configure it to look pretty much how you like*. Moreover if you really like earlier versions then for example, there's always TDE.

          Or throw it away and use one of the myriad alternatives.

          And then change your mind.

          All without any nagging nor pop up advertising

          *including a right to left desktop for us lefties

  7. Lorribot

    Personally.....

    Normally when you tick a box that makes something go away it disappears, but not in MS start menu, you can turn off recommendations but you still have the word Recommendations and the some text explaining you can add it back, taking up a third of the start menu for no benefit.

    They just don't get I want gone to mean gone, not hanging round like a bad smell to remind you they know better. They whole thing is a mistake like windows 8 and should be backed out.

    The central position is useful if you have an Ultrawide screen but not so useful for the other 99% of Windows users.

    And why is there no real customisation and removing basic functionality like having the tool bar where you like? It all feels half finished.

    Feedback seems to work about as well as complaining to BT.

    1. Jou (Mxyzptlk) Silver badge

      Re: Personally.....

      > It all feels half finished.

      I said that once too, but I had to correct myself to "nearly quarter finished".

      1. David 132 Silver badge

        Re: Personally.....

        To quote Hermes in Futurama... "Now then, while many of you do half-assed jobs, and the rest do jobs whose ass ratio ranges from 42 to a mere 11 percent..."

    2. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Personally.....

      >The central position is useful if you have an Ultrawide screen

      Not really...

      Screen in sleep mode, so we touch the spacebar or move the mouse to wake things up; where is the mouse and where is it in relation to the start button?

      With a conventional start button location in one corner, I can move the mouse in that general direction, knowing that when the screen lights up the mouse will be close to that corner, so only a small area of screen for the eyes to scan followed by a small hand movement for final alignment and click.

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge

        Re: Personally.....

        In other words, they broke the very core and fundamental feature of WIMP UI design.

        Microsoft have now forgotten absolutely everything they ever learned about pointer-driven human interfaces.

        Give them another year or two and they'll have forgotten everything about touch and graphical interfaces.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Personally.....

          "Give them another year or two and they'll have forgotten everything about touch and graphical interfaces."

          There should be a prayer-meeting arranged for just this scenario...

      2. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: Personally.....

        just try it with my 50" 4k touch screen...

  8. Social Ambulator

    Genius?

    I remember the first time I was obliged to use Windows and I wanted to shut the awful thing down. I was told to use the “start” menu. I couldn’t believe it. Still can’t, but there is and always was an alternative to being subjected to such idiocy. Hint. It begins with M.

    1. LDS Silver badge

      Re: Genius?

      Again this old idiocy? Where do you go to start a shutdown? :-P Would you have liked another button called "Stop"? Since invoking a shutdown is not a frequent command - why clutter the UI, and maybe have the user click it by mistake? They could have called it the "Do" button, the "Command button", the "Logo button" (if they had just put Windows logo there), and so on - what would have been different? "Start" was just a name as in "start here".

      For the matter you can also select the Desktop and press Alt+F4.... or Ctrl+Alt+Del and then select the Shutdown button...

      1. Updraft102 Silver badge

        Re: Genius?

        On Linux (most distros, GNOME excluded) it's just the application menu or main menu, if you like those terms better.

      2. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

        Re: Genius?

        I created shortcuts for "Reboot" and "Shutdown" which live at the bottom right of the desktop. Not at all hard to do.

      3. eldakka Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Genius?

        They could have called it the 'go to' button. But coding purists/professors have been trying to stamp out the use of 'goto' for generations.

      4. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Genius?

        but it is the "Windows" button now, did you check?

        and any user that need to work on Windows knows that to open the menu you use the keyboard, not the mouse...

    2. tin 2

      Re: Genius?

      Indeed yes. And wondered at the time (and still do, just less regularly) who the hell thought squishing the entire set of functions of the computer down into one button bottom left was a good idea in the first place.

      Perhaps it wasn't and it was just "another thing we can try to protect by patents". And the computer-user world lapped it up.

      1. LDS Silver badge

        Re: Genius?

        You can create toolbars if you need additional functions - and of course there's the tray also.

        Only systems where you need to continuously tinker with the OS need those functions immediately available. Since most users don't do that - and spend most time in applications and switching among them - uncluttering the UI is a good thing.

        1. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: Genius?

          >Only systems where you need to continuously tinker with the OS need those functions immediately available.

          That was one of the nice things with W7 and earlier, a whole bunch of tools were neatly hidden behind the "Administrative Tools" menu option with no user effort required to create and maintain the grouping. So in the scanning of my programs menu, these tools were easy to skip over.

          With W8 and its insistence on the alphabetical listing without subfolders, all those tools simply cluttered the listing. Whilst W10 has made a reasonable attempt at reintroducing some common sense to the applications listing/start menu, it still could be a lot better.

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Genius?

        Maybe you never used CDE - a block of several in the middle of the bottom of the screen. That gave us the "Which menu is it on" problem. A good set of cascading menus in one place is a better solution. I've always assumed it was a inspired by a desire to simplify the CDE UI.

        But then with a WIMP interface you have other alternatives. You can have application links on the desktop. And you can automate the choice of application according to the file to be opened and have file icons on the desktop. There's two additional approaches. You can have most frequently used applications as buttons on tool bars. So the premise - everything si squished into one button - is false and it's not intrinsically a bad idea any way. And there's no sign of it being patented - the KDE desktop in front of me also has a single button in the bottom left although arguably it's better implemented.

  9. CB__

    The Start menu was never Microsoft's idea in the first place - they nicked it from Apple's System 7, where its simplicity was perfect; for Windows 95. Then they made it progressively worse under subsequent versions of Windows and subsequent UI bosses... oh hang on.....

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      yeah and Micros~1 marketing picked up Rolling Stones' "Start Me Up" as their theme song.

      Seriously though it made more sense than the old Program Manager. I beta tested "Chicago" and they'd already added the Start menu button. I liked it WAY better than program manager.

      1. Pirate Dave Silver badge

        Ahhhhh... I thought IBM used that song for the Warp commercials. But no, it was MS's Win95 commercials.

        1. David 132 Silver badge

          I was always darkly amused by the fact that although Microsoft licensed the song, for some reason they only used the first few words of the lyrics.

          They didn’t include “…you make a grown man cry…”.

          Funny, that.

      2. JimboSmith Silver badge

        The Rolling Stones actually got $3m for the use of the song in MS adverts. Not bad going but a friend of mine who was having issues with Windows at the time thought it should have been “Sympathy For The Devil.”

  10. Khaptain Silver badge

    Use the windows key not start button

    Rather than use the Start button, ie by clicking on the button with a mouse, isn't it far easier to just hit the Windows Key on the keyboard, start typing the 1st few letters of whatever you are looking for, it usually comes along as 1st item on the list, then hit the enter key...

    It's around 98% proficient and almost makes the Start menu invisible, which kind of makes Harris' point mute.

    1. usbac

      Re: Use the windows key not start button

      It would be great if we had some kind of interface where you just need to type the name of the program you want to run. We could call it something like, oh I don't know, a command line, or something like that?

      When I complain about never being able to find the app I want to launch on one of Microsoft's crappy new start menus, I frequently get told "just type the name of the app". I usually answer "didn't we do that back in the DOS days?", usually followed by a blank stare. Leave it to Microsoft to spend 30 years inventing the command line interface.

      1. Khaptain Silver badge

        Re: Use the windows key not start button

        I frequently get told "just type the name of the app". I usually answer "didn't we do that back in the DOS days?

        No, we didn't, because we had first to be sure that the PATH contained the program directory, then you had to know the full name of the program, not just the first 2 or 3 letters.. And also in those days we had very few programs compared to what we have now..

        The capacity to use TAB completion came much much later.

      2. LDS Silver badge

        Re: Use the windows key not start button

        Yes, that's why all *nix application have names three letters long or typing becomes too tedious - and you get unpronounceable names from which you can't never tell what they actually do...

        Moreover there's a namespace issue - you would need to ensure every application has a different name, or you have to type a whole path to launch it.

        If you like you can run an application from the taskbar "address" bar (for a very long time...), without having a command line windows floating around - but it needs the full path - if the application is not in the PATH.

        Or using Win+R, of course - and GUI were designed by people tired of CLI....

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Use the windows key not start button

          Yes verbose commands such as DIR and DEL are so much more comprehensible than ls and rm.

      3. Terry 6 Silver badge
        Thumb Down

        Re: Use the windows key not start button

        So you don't have a lot of software that you only use infrequently? And you remember the name of every programme you have installed, no matter how stupid and unhelpful it is?

        Well I need a Start menu that displays a list of programmes, and I need to be able to organise them into groups by function, rather than just an alphabetical list.And without extraneous links ("My program name on the web" etc.)

        Otherwise, when, for the first time in two years I want to find the piece of software that, say, takes the content off a CD I'm going to have to remember that it's called "Fairstars something or other". If I want to do something to my mouse s/w I'll need to remember it's called "Logi". That if I want to set my PC to shut down in a few hours ( maybe after a big late night manual backup), that the s/w is called "Wise something or other" that my video editor that I may use once every couple of years is called "Openshot", and so on, lots of them with unhelpful names, often the publisher's oh so clever name rather than anything to do with the function.

        1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

          Re: Use the windows key not start button

          Exactly. If only there were some sort of heirarchical editable ordered list... you could call it, oh I dunno, a menu?

    2. David 132 Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: Use the windows key not start button

      which kind of makes Harris' point mute.

      Aaargh :)

      Moot.

      Not "mute".

      1. eldakka Silver badge
        Headmaster

        Re: Use the windows key not start button

        Coule be using 'mute' in the "He should mute his complaints" type of way.

        A nicer way of saying "shut the fuck up about it"?

    3. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Use the windows key not start button

      > isn't it far easier to just hit the Windows Key on the keyboard, start typing the 1st few letters of whatever you are looking for

      I want to run disk management...

      So Windows key and type 'Disk'

      Oh look with W10 it offers the option to search the web for disk management, no sign of the diskmgmt.msc

      So lets continue to type, once again "Disk management" doesn't cause W10 to offer the control.

      It is only when I have fully typed in "diskmgmt.msc" does W10 offer me the option to actually run the control.

      Just one of many instances where W10 search fails to find and offer tools that have been part of Windows since wayback.

      Repeat search for 'disk' on W7 and Diskmgmt.msc is the third (local) program in the search results...

      1. mrmond

        Re: Use the windows key not start button

        Well I don't know, I type disk on Win 10 and the 3rd entry down says "create and format hard disk partitions", which I know is part of the disk management tool, and when I open that, oh, the Disk management tool opens up. Sure, maybe not everyone knows that, but I can also just right click the start button and disk management is right there.

    4. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: Use the windows key not start button

      "start typing the 1st few letters of whatever you are looking for, it usually comes along as 1st item on the list"

      That was BEFORE the search had to hit "teh intarwebs' first. NOW you are likely to get something you do NOT want (and get tracked while "finding" it). And maybe a popup ad for some paywall/adwall "solution"... (have not confirmed that last one but it would NOT surprise me)

      1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Use the windows key not start button

        & worse still it decides you want it open in Edge & would you like to change your default to the wonderful new Edge browser & all the benefits it brings

        1. David 132 Silver badge

          Re: Use the windows key not start button

          Edge is the Talkie Toaster of browsers.

    5. This post has been deleted by its author

    6. AndrueC Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: Use the windows key not start button

      Rather than use the Start button, ie by clicking on the button with a mouse, isn't it far easier to just hit the Windows Key on the keyboard, start typing the 1st few letters of whatever you are looking for

      True. I use the keyboard for a lot of things in preference to the mouse (I hate applications that don't have accelerator keys and shortcuts). I would almost never click on an [Ok] button for instance..

      , it usually comes along as 1st item on the list, then hit the enter key...

      It's around 98% proficient and almost makes the Start menu invisible, which kind of makes Harris' point mute.

      It wasn't very reliable when I first moved to Win 10 but it has settled down now. It's still a bit weird though.

      [Windows][d][o][c][u] shows 'Documents' as the top choice which is good. But add an [m] and it mysteriously adds 'Documents Library Privacy Settings' ahead of it. As I continue typing it often takes away 'Documents' completely.

      [Windows][v][i] shows 'Visual Studio Code' which I hardly ever use. Add [s] and it adds 'Visual Studio' as the top item - and I use that continuously.

      Oh but wait.

      I just verified that before posting and now when I type the [s] it just removes 'Visual Studio Code' and leaves 'Visual Studio'.

      Mostly I just have what I want pinned to the Taskbar. Most of my interactions are the Taskbar or [Windows][R].

  11. Paul Herber Silver badge

    "to make 'S' and 't' align beautifully for the word 'Start'"

    Well, that's just fine and dandy for English, but what about the rest of the universe?

    1. CB__

      I assume that if the ligature aligns well for 'Start', then it would align equally well for 'Stavromula Beta' -- so your point is...? ;)

      1. David 132 Silver badge

        As I recall, if you spend ages searching fruitlessly for Stavromula Beta, you’ll end up at a nightclub run by a Greek/German guy instead, where you will die.

        And that’s still a better result than Windows Search usually manages.

    2. LDS Silver badge

      The Start button wasn't localized, at least in Windows versions I've seen.

    3. Roland6 Silver badge

      >"to make 'S' and 't' align beautifully for the word 'Start'"

      All that effort; must have been galling when MS decided to hide the text and just display icons in the toolbar.

  12. Guido Esperanto

    The centre piece seemed to want to emulate the Mac ui.

    I mean while im not a fan of the default options its not too hard to make it similar to win10

    1. Abominator Bronze badge

      The Mac UI is genuinely lovely. A few versions ago everything got a bit big, but they have since dialled it back and its pretty good. Windows 8 onwards are all increasingly shit. Windows 7 like 2000 was solid and usable.

  13. GrumpyKiwi

    Swap to left align

    It's pretty easy to swap the alignment of the taskbar from centre to left. Would be nice if we could get it as part of a group policy though.

    1. steviebuk Silver badge

      Re: Swap to left align

      There isn't one!?!?!?!?! Saves me spending hours searching for one then. I was going to push it out as the amount of comments I've had "Why are my icons now in the centre". Wasn't my fault, I wasn't the one who decided to fucking push out Windows 11 untested in our environment.

  14. TheProf

    Adverts

    There are adverts in Windows lock screen?

    I can honestly say I've never seen one. (And yes I do use Windows.)

  15. neverending

    My personal Win11 hate is the copy-paste set up in the right click menu.

    1. Falmari Silver badge

      @neverending me too. Took me a couple of months before I spotted the icons. So I was always clicking more options to copy paste etc. Still wish they were menu options as before, the icons just don't come naturally to me.

      1. navarac

        Biggest problem is the extra mouse clicks required for a lot of actions. Talk about accelerated RSI :-(

        1. LDS Silver badge

          Yes, just like the need to click "More" to run an application as a different user.

          1. Khaptain Silver badge

            A GPO/Regedit exists that allows you to display the copy/paste items permanently.

    2. AndrueC Silver badge
      Flame

      Yah, that one annoys me. What also annoys me is that the updated Paint doesn't have accelerator keys on the resize dialog (maybe others as well, but that's the one I use often). Most egregiously it doesn't even have [Ok] set as an Accept button.

      So you're forced to use the mouse instead of [Alt+H]<number>[Ok].

    3. X5-332960073452
      Happy

      Explorer Patcher is our friend, can set the menus back to 'normal'.

    4. steviebuk Silver badge

      This will be a little pointless post as I have no link but I do know, from watching an old episode of Defrag tools, Andrew Richards would show how to modify the right click menu's. There is a place in the registry for it. I'm assuming it would still work on Windows 11.

      EDIT: Found one of his posts

      https://docs.microsoft.com/en-gb/archive/blogs/andrew_richards/enhancing-the-open-command-prompt-here-shift-right-click-context-menu-experience

  16. James Anderson

    Been using it for a few months.

    SHMBO’s laptop upgraded from w10 without asking so we are stuck with it.

    It took a couple of weeks to get used to but it’s not better or worse just a bit different (and pointless).

    The really annoying thing is the logon screen. There is a seminar transparent widget covering the password box. If you click it it starts the edge browser in the background and opens some pointless travelogue page. You need to move the mouse away from the password box click on the background then enter the password to get around this. Message to MS —— I DO NOT WANT TO RUN EDGE.

  17. bpfh Silver badge

    Windows 11 early adopter…

    Well. I’ve being using Windows since 3.0 ( #IAmADinosaur), and I think I can still find elements of Windows 95 ui design in 11 if I poke deep enough.

    The configuration options seem to require 3 different levels of competing design from the settings menu in the start bar, advanced options and advanced advanced options that just get buried.

    Not being able to drop what I want into the start bar for shortcuts , but having to go through the convoluted right click-> add something is something that I was not expecting - it’s not like MS couldn’t do it, as it’s been there from 1995 until Windows 11 release, it’s just something they locked down….

    As for centering the menu… that’s just a plain MacOS ripoff trying to imitate the Dock. And does it very badly. As much as I hate some of Apple’s UI design choices (maximised apps grabbing and holding focus even when you keyboard switch to another app is the biggest gripe by far), the Windows 11 UI was getting in my way, and as my laptop was starting to fail, I ended up switching to a MacBook and MacOS. Yeah, macOS ain’t perfect and I do have gripes about the UI choices, and more gripes about repair, but I can set up my desktop how I like.

    I just wish that Office kept a standard file save dialog rather than their cluttered complicated cloud-first design, but that could just be the muscle memory talking.

    1. Test Man

      Re: Windows 11 early adopter…

      >I just wish that Office kept a standard file save dialog rather than their cluttered complicated cloud-first design, but that could just be the muscle memory talking.

      It's still in there, but buried. IIRC you may be able to set it as default again.

      1. X5-332960073452
        Headmaster

        Re: Windows 11 early adopter…

        Word - File, Options, Save, tick "Save to computer by default" and "Don't show the Backstage", untick "Show additional places for saving"

        These may help

    2. Johan-Kristian Wold 1

      Re: Windows 11 early adopter…

      >I just wish that Office kept a standard file save dialog rather than their cluttered complicated cloud-first design, but that could just be the muscle memory talking.

      No - the person that came up with that cloud-first crap should be flogged with a wet celery once a day. And the person that decided it should not be possible to even shut that function totally off? There's no punishment cruel enough...

      The jumbling all the functions of Office into toolbars is insanity from a user standpoint. I wonder if any of the bozos reinventing the user interfaces is actually using the products they screw up?

    3. David 132 Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Windows 11 early adopter…

      > I think I can still find elements of Windows 95 ui design in 11 if I poke deep enough.

      Windows 95? I can beat that one.

      Go to Start Menu -> ODBC Data Sources (32-bit) -> System DSN -> Add -> Microsoft Access Driver (*.mdb) -> Finish -> Database Select

      Et voilà. A Windows 3.x dialogue box in all its glory. For authenticity, make sure you're listening to some D:Ream or 2-Unlimited while doing so...

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Microsoft officials over the past several months have bragged about the uptake for Windows 11 in the market.

    Ah yes, the same way they probably bragged about the takeup of Teams, by ramming it down people's throat. That they have the gall to brag about something that leaves few moderate users a choice says everything you need to know about the company and its attitude to its users.

    And by God, that UI has deteriorated. It is as if they're trying to show just how much crap they can get away with because their locked in users don't really have a choice anymore. I suspect that half of the mid day updates and randomly appearing forced restarts and updates during startup and shutdown are not even needed because even the most dumb amateur will eventually learn how to code a bit.

    No? Damn, it's even worse than I thought.

  19. navarac

    Hypocrite

    What a hypocrite! From someone who helped to almost destroy Windows with the disaster that Windows 8 was. What is it with these people that come back from the "dead" and criticise the stuff today. UK ex-Prime Ministers seem adept at this as well, e.g. Major (who was a total failure), Blair & Brown keep popping up out of the woodwork.

  20. dak
    Facepalm

    Adverts in an operating system?

    Fortunately, adverts don't bother me.

    And, if the developers/packagers of Linux Mint ever became as venal and hubristic as Microsoft, there are plenty of other Linux distros to choose from. I don't anticipate having to change.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I hadn't used Windows since 7 as my employer switched me to a Mac. But I had to use a W11 laptop recently and found the UI to be verging on unusable. I have no idea how someone with not much computer savvy would navigate it successfully. It is cluttered and confusing, and things (e.g. network connections) are hidden. The Start menu should have been renamed the advertisement menu.

    1. steviebuk Silver badge

      I miss these days, in the 90s, where MS used to do market reach getting people to run through the apps, talk about what they were doing and the issues they were having.

      https://youtu.be/8Ybm4JxknTo

      At

      21:35

  22. steviebuk Silver badge

    Windows 11

    I dislike Windows 11. What happened to the "We will no longer have major builds just updates".

  23. TRT Silver badge

    Every tweak...

    Any UI that is designed so that components from a third party source, even one with a whitebook of design principles and laws, is going to come a cropper. Pixels aren't going to line up, rendering is going to be super complex or slow, some swishy new graphic file format won't be supported, text will exceed boundaries because of accessibility differences or use of web fonts or some other kind of a glitch-prone method, colours will clash...

    And the tweaks that the coding team will employ to stop these edge case faults will build up and up and up and all the elegance, speed, simplicity, fixability obtained by the redesign will evaporate. No wonder Windows is such a dog, and gets shaggier with every iteration.

  24. wolfetone Silver badge

    You know it's bad when the man responsible for the Windows 8 Metro theme says your work is shit.

    1. Abominator Bronze badge

      So it was him. What a dick. 11 is just as bad.

  25. longtimeReader

    "Designed" is not an improvement

    > What he saw was confusing, with a left side that seemed to be created by a designer and a right side that he said looks like Internet Explorer toolbars of 2008.

    So the left side looked like a pretty toy with 5 times as much white space as necessary, while the right side had information neatly laid out and easy to follow?

  26. StrangerHereMyself Bronze badge

    Pure inertia

    Microsoft hasn't innovated in the desktop operating system space for almost two decades. Everything thing that came after XP was merely used to enter new markets, such as audio/video streaming, mobile and now Cloud computing, not to make the lives of consumers and businesses easier.

    I believe Windows is obsolete and merely exists due to inertia in businesses and the consumer space. Linux distro's such as Linux Mint are already on par with Windows and often easier to use. Not to mention much more secure.

  27. Abominator Bronze badge

    People who live in glass houses and all that. If this guy was involved with Window 8 and onwards then he can't talk.

    The whole metro look and onwards is a fucking disaster. Have the system tools are in the old form and half in the new and you can't find anything. They purposefully make it hard to jump between and the new stuff is all dog fucking slow as well as ugly as shit.

    1. StrangerHereMyself Bronze badge

      I call Windows a schizophrenic operating system because it has different elements in it from different era's: the '90's, mobile touch interface and today everything's Cloud based (Mail doesn't story anything on the PC itself, it only accesses mail on Cloud servers).

      Any other company doing this would've been scolded and hence folded years ago, but not Microsoft. Their dominance is so complete they can do whatever they want and users will simply have to jump the hoops.

  28. Fading

    Object Dock...

    I've been using Stardock's object dock on my home machine since windows vista - hence having the task bar at the top of the screen. Previously you can make some registry changes (check out howtogeek) to force win 11's task bar to the top (also requires a restart of windows explorer - not the machine itself) - why is there not a simple setting for this (and why are there some reports of this failing since the last update)? Having the task bar at the top means I never confuse my local machine with those I've remotely connected to - so in the meantime I'll stick with win10 on my main machine.

  29. 43300 Bronze badge

    "According to AdDuplex, in June the usage share of the OS was 23.1 percent, up from just over 20 percent in April."

    What's the split between consumer and business use? I've no current plans to roll it out at work (about 170 users), nor have I come across any other business users who are looking to do so. Consumers won't have a choice now, but the Pro version allows downgrade so we still put W10 on any new machines.

    I intend to wait another year or two and hopeully by then they will have done the usual and effectively conceded that it was crap by bringing out a new version with the main points of contention removed. Hopefully we can skip W11 entirely - I've been running it on one of my work laptops for nearly a year now and can still see nothing which is an improvement over W10, whereas there are quite a few things which are worse and/or which I am sure will cause issues for those users who are less IT literate.

    1. tiggity Silver badge

      Company enforced 10 to 11 upgrade on my work machine.

      ... though I'm part of a trial group, most still on 10.

      I preferred 10 - lots of my "automatic" / "muscle memory" actions now do not work, which grates.

  30. vcragain

    Well I have Win 10 Pro on both my laptop & big desktop, but I immediately changed my display to the old Win 95 mode so that I didn't have to deal with what the idiots thought was 'improved' !!!

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