Why is Windows 11 so annoying?

A few weeks ago, I ran out of monitor on One An external monitor that can run my work-produced MacBook Air. So I switched to my five-year-old Windows desktop and connected another monitor. Love her. Productivity is through the roof. But it means I'm finally spending more time in Windows 11, and Oh, my God, Is he janky.

There are some things that Windows does very well compared to macOS and Linux. The games are all there, for one thing, and Windows runs on all kinds of devices without much tinkering. You don't have to spend a thousand dollars minimum on a non-upgradable device to use it. You also generally don't have to download a bunch of drivers or spend six hours at the command line to manually compile the dreaded operating system.

But for every headline like “Notepad in Windows 11 finally gets a spell-check feature,” there's one “Microsoft is stuffing pop-up ads into Google Chrome on Windows again.” For every Windows subsystem of Linux that governs, there's a “Microsoft begins testing ads in the Start menu in Windows 11.” Microsoft seems intent on filling Windows 11 with “features” that steal your attention or try to convince or trick you into using some Microsoft product instead of the thing you were going to use. I'm 30 or 40 years old, and I don't need this.

I grew up on Windows 3.1, NT, and 95. I completed my undergraduate studies on a Dell desktop computer. Work for me Maximum computer Magazine for five years, for God's sake. I've built dozens of computers. I'm writing this on my main PC, a mini-ITX gaming machine that I lovingly hand-assembled in 2019. I keep using Windows.

But over the past few years, I've been spending upwards of 40 hours a week using the relatively quiet macOS at work, while outside of work I spend as little time as possible on the computer. So, even though I upgraded my desktop to Windows 11 about a year ago, I haven't spent much time with it. When I did use my PC, it was mostly for home management or (rarely) to play a game, so I didn't interact much with the operating system itself. I am the frog that came out of the pot; I just jumped back in and got burned.

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I am the frog that came out of the pot; I just jumped back in and got burned

At some point, a button appeared next to the Start menu. Clicking on it or even hovering over it causes a full third of my screen to be covered with things I never asked for and am not interested in. Stock prices. the weather. (This is useful, but I can get it in a lot of places.) There's also now a button in the system tray for Copilot, my daily AI companion, which now exists across Microsoft products in inverse proportion to its usefulness.

I absolutely love that this pop-up appears every time I hover my mouse near the Start button.

The Start menu has been mostly garbage since Windows 8, but it's now completely useless in its default state. Half of them are installed apps that I haven't installed or even installed. And I don't blame OEM. I'm an OEM, I didn't put it here.

Somewhere in the last few releases, Windows seems to have forgotten how to index files on my computer. So, if I try to pull up a program, file, or setting the usual way — by pressing Windows and starting typing — it mostly shows me results from the web, which are useless because it uses Bing to find them.

Microsoft has done something truly Great with support documentation too. This information used to be stored in the operating system. Now, if you're in the Display Settings window (for example) and you go to the Support section and click “Set up multiple displays,” Microsoft Edge will open — even if it's not your default browser — showing the phrase “How to add multiple monitors to your Windows 11 PC site: microsoft.com“, and displays a page with one result: the information box Excerpt from the relevant support page on the Microsoft websitePlus a link to open the specific settings screen you just arrived from.

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This is a) crazy and b) still a huge improvement Last time I tried this When a similar link returned zero results. This is Microsoft's corporate synergy at work. Why keep all your Windows users to yourself when, with one click, you can make sure the Bing and Edge teams are eating too?

Edge used to be a slightly improved version of Chrome. It is now full of sidebars and bloatware. (It's still arguably an improved version of Chrome.) It keeps asking me to change my default search engine to Bing again (I won't do that), and its default home screen is full of garbage.

Just another beautiful day in the land of unsubscribed synergy.

Why would one of the largest technology companies in the world release an operating system that is so bad? Well, part of it is definitely over 30 years of building each new version of the operating system on top of the old one. This doesn't really explain why things are that way user It seems to be working fine and has been replaced by newer systems that don't, but perhaps there is something else.

Windows has been a huge success. He's making money. lhave More than 70 percent of the worldwide desktop PC market. Edge, which is still a very good browser, and Bing, which is a search engine, have much smaller segments of their respective markets. Every Windows user can bully, argue, or trick Microsoft into switching to Edge, Bing, or Copilot during the competition, which is great for Microsoft, so it makes sense for spreadsheets to be exploited for as many synergy opportunities as possible.

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it's not Just Windows, obviously. Every app wants to steal your attention a million times a day. And many budget phones and Windows PCs come packed with pre-installed adware and bloatware that companies pay OEMs to jam with. Getting rid of bloatware is a time-honored ritual among Windows users.

But previously, that garbage was separate from the operating system itself. Samsung's version of Android has a lot of hype, but that's Samsung's version, not Android itself — there's a reason the phrase “clean version of Android” is popular among so many phone reviewers and why Pixel phones are praised by reviewers at a much higher rate than they are purchased by Customers.

Ars Technica He has actually written a good and practical guide for Turn off most things included in Windows 11. And this isn't my first rodeo. I Can Turn off most of these unwanted things. Most people will never bother, won't know how, or won't realize that it's optional. They'll just learn to tune it out, mostly. Every once in a while, they might click on something, and then part of Microsoft gets some money.

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