NewsWorldWindows 11: our opinion after several weeks of use...

Windows 11: our opinion after several weeks of use – 01net.com

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Last June, just a few days before the official presentation of the new Microsoft OS, a first build of Windows 11 was leaked on the Web.

Between this first preview and the official release of the first beta at the end of July, Windows 11 has undergone many changes. Closer to what the final version of the OS should look like, due for release in October, Windows 11 beta allows us to get a clear idea of ​​what awaits us on our PCs.

After using it for a few weeks, we are able to give you our first impressions of the new Microsoft operating system.

A modern interface suitable for all screens

When you start it for the first time, Windows 11 looks good. Microsoft has modernized the interface of its operating system whose windows now adopt rounded corners and use transparency effects that lighten the whole. This new design uses the codes of Fluent Design that Microsoft had inaugurated in Windows 10 with the arrival of new icons for native applications.

To imagine Windows 11, Microsoft did not look very far. The firm was largely inspired by the work that had been carried out on Windows 10X, its OS imagined for touchscreen devices with two screens and which was finally abandoned. The large tiles have disappeared in favor of new icons, more distinguished and which make it possible to lighten the interface. Everything is more readable and the animations that Microsoft has integrated reinforce the impression of speed and fluidity compared to Windows 10.

The choice to migrate by default the Start menu and the contents of the taskbar in the center of the screen gives a good boost to Windows, whose organization of the interface had not really changed since Windows 95. Microsoft has not made this change by chance, but in order to simplify and harmonize navigation in Windows. Whether used with the mouse on a PC or from a touchscreen interface, the Start Menu, like the icons pinned to the taskbar, is easily accessible without having to cross the entire display surface on a large screen for example, or on a touch screen. And if this organization does not suit you, it is quite possible to go back and align the Start menu to the left, as in Windows 10.

Despite this change in appearance, Windows 11 is largely based on Windows 10. Microsoft did not start from scratch, and it shows. Some windows, notably the Network Connection panel, or the Properties windows have not moved one iota compared to Windows 10.

A lot of work on ergonomics

Microsoft has designed Windows 11 to be as easy as possible to use. And to get there, the Redmond firm did not hesitate to thoroughly review certain interface elements and certain menus.

This is the case of the Settings panel of Windows 11 which has not escaped the facelift. And that’s good news. Microsoft has simplified it by displaying the different sections directly in a side column, and by reorganizing the menus, now more readable than in Windows 10. The navigation is more natural, less messy, and does not lose the user like that. was the case in Windows 10, thanks to the display of the full path at the top of the window, for each menu consulted.

Another element that benefits from this refresh, the file explorer. Windows 11 abandons the famous ribbon, a real Windows 10 gas factory, in favor of a much clearer toolbar that allows easier access to basic functions such as copy and paste. Microsoft also simplifies the creation of new directories and even offers to create new documents on the fly by integrating a dedicated button.

To finish on the ergonomics of Windows 11, Microsoft has integrated a real window manager in its OS. It is activated when the mouse hovers over a window’s maximize button and allows you to automatically resize and reposition several windows to juxtapose them. This function, largely inspired by what Microsoft already offers in its PowerToys with FancyZones will be especially useful if you are using a very large screen.

Unfortunately, we still lack an option that is essential to improve Windows File Explorer, and that is tab browsing, which Microsoft has overlooked. It exists in the competition, especially on macOS, and today seems essential to simplify navigation. In particular, it would make it possible to reduce the number of open explorer windows.

A good Windows, but still some hiccups

If overall Microsoft’s copy is rather attractive, some new features seem to have been thought out in spite of common sense. This is the case, for example, when you want to choose a default browser. If you forget to check the small box “Always use this web browser” the first time you open a freshly installed browser, the procedure for selecting a default browser in Windows 11 has become counter-intuitive.

Under the pretext of giving more choices to users, Microsoft no longer offers to choose a default web browser, but now asks to individually choose the browser to use for each type of files or links. Finally, what once required a single action will now require more than a dozen. A tedious process that seems to have been designed to discourage as many people as possible from changing their default browser, and which suits Microsoft well: it is its browser, Edge, which is natively chosen in Windows 11.

Let us now evoke the angry subject, that of the minimum system requirements for installing Windows 11. When announcing its new OS, Microsoft mentioned compatibility with machines equipped with a chip having two cores and displaying a rate of at least 1 GHz. But the firm quickly changed its mind and updated the minimum system requirements to install Windows 11, at the same time publishing the list of supported processors. This first slap leaves machines that are 4 years old, but still perfectly functional and valiant, on the floor.

The second slap that puts your PC out of play against Windows 11 is that Microsoft also requires the presence of a module TPM 2.0. It is a cryptographic vault which allows to create, manage and store secret keys and sensitive data of the system and which is now very common on PCs. It is indeed an essential security brick which is exploited by certain functions of the OS. Microsoft had also forced its partner manufacturers to include it in all machines since July 2016.

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