I have just bought a new laptop just so I can experiment with Windows 11. I eventually settled on the Lenovo Legion 5 Pro Generation 6. I chose this one only because of the screen. It has a 16″ screen (instead of the standard 15.6″ screen on laptops) that is Dolby Vision certified. I thought about some with an OLED screen, but you have to be careful with image burn-in for those screens. This laptop was on sale and I had a coupon. With tax, I paid $256 less than the MSRP (which doesn’t include tax). And even better, it shipped from Durham so I got it the next day! (I always thought it was funny that Lenovo, a Chinese company, still builds computers in North Carolina but HP and Dell, American companies, build most of their computers in China.)

These are my experiences with Windows 11. I am going to save you some time and sum up my experiences so far with this statement: overall, Windows 11 is even worse than Windows 10.

This post will be periodically updated. Content may change.

There is some good news. The rumor was Windows 11 home would require a Microsoft account to use. That rumor is false. But it is still an unclear step on how to avoid this. Remember: Nobody should ever, without exception, use a Microsoft account to log in to Windows. It is not Microsoft’s business when I use and how I use my computer. Here are the ultra-important steps to avoid logging in with a Microsoft account:

  • When you first turn on the computer, you will have to connect it to the internet. If you use a wireless connection, make sure you DO NOT check automatically box!
  • Some updates will install. After Win11 restarts for the first time, disconnect the wired, Ethernet connection. Whatever you do and however you do it, do not let the computer connect to the internet after the restart.
  • After the computer restarts, you can create an account without letting Microsoft know.

The default layout of the icons on the taskbar on the bottom are centered. That is a personal preference and it is nice that we now have the choice. There are some bad things with the new taskbar, however. Very bad things. When you right (or alternate) click on the taskbar in all previous version of Windows, you get plenty of good and useful options. On Windows 11, you get only one: the option to modify taskbar options. It gets worse. Windows 7 introduced the ability to drag-and-slide-up on the icons on the bottom. When you did, you got plenty of good options. But Windows 11 took that away. Now you have to right-click to the same thing.

The start menu in Windows 11 is worse than ever before, if that is to be believed. The one in Windows 7 and XP was near perfection. Logical, easy to use and understand, useful. This one … ugh. To get a list of programs installed, now I have to click on “All Apps” at the top of the open start menu. “All Programs” was at the bottom on Windows XP/Vista/7 where it is a short distance away. Now, to do the same thing is a long distance away and at an inconvenient location. I can’t wait until Open Shell is fully compatible.

Overall, Windows 11 is prettier than Windows 10 and 8. Not Windows 7 pretty. But a step back in the right direction. The replacement for the Windows 10 settings page is very well designed. A big improvement. Still not as good as the control panel of previous versions because there are still more steps to do the same thing.

I found out that you can customize the three-finger and four-finger swipes for the touchpad in Windows 11. The settings page has the two, three, and four finger swipes in different sections. These sections let you choose a template for the three and four-finger swipe. But near the bottom is an advanced options where you can modify the swipe to fit your needs. I changed the four-finger swipe up and down to raise and lower my laptop volume.

For some stupid reason, Microsoft still doesn’t understand most people do not live in the Pacific timezone. How hard is it to ask which timezone a person lives in? Windows 7 did.

While I am going on with the clock, in Windows 10 when I clicked on the clock, I got the time with seconds, I got a calendar, and I got the option to have another clock. In Windows 11, I get one clock without seconds and a calendar. I need a clock with seconds. To add a second second clock — I always like having UTC time easily available — continues to be a series of unclear steps. Ever since Windows 8, Microsoft has made sure things aren’t clear and quick. Now every action has many unclear steps, instead of few clear steps.

I haven’t experimented with the widgets feature. That feature required a Microsoft account. I can live without that feature.

I do like how you are told which programs and apps are using your microphone on the taskbar.

The hacks to enable the group-policy editor in Windows still work with Win11 Home. I enabled it and quickly used it to delay updates by 30 days. Which is to say my laptop will not install an update until it has been available for 30 days. That should give me plenty of time to avoid those bad updates that incompetent Microsoft pushes out several times a year.

Windows 10 would activate with a Windows 7 and Windows 8 legal license. Windows 11 will not. Not a big deal. Eventually I am going to experiment with installing Windows 10 with a Windows 7 license, then upgrading to Windows 11 to see if it works.

This post will updated periodically. Some content may change. I am still learning.