Windows 11 is fine

A couple of weeks ago I got the notification on my laptop that I could now upgrade to Windows 11.  And since I was feeling optimistic that day, I clicked "yes".

I'm not going to do a "review of Windows 11" post, though.  Not because I'm lazy or pressed for time (though I don't deny those charges), but really just because I don't have that much to say.  I mean, so far Windows 11 is fine.  And I don't mean that in the sarcastic, room-on-fire-this-is-fine meme sort of way.  My experience has been genuinely fine.  It's not a phenomenal, life-changing upgrade, but I haven't had any problems either.

For the most part, I haven't really noticed much of a change from Windows 10.  Yeah, now windows have more rounded corners and the UI in general got kind of a face lift, but those are mostly cosmetic changes.  They added some handy window management features that I use on occasion, but I haven't discovered any major features that strike me as must-have's.  

The one change I did immediately notice was the start menu.  I really don't like the new start menu.  I think it's much less useful than the one from Windows 10.  For one, the default position is in the middle of the screen, which seems like a pointless change.  However, there's a setting to easily change that.  But beyond that, it doesn't allow much customization and seems much more focused on being a glorified search box than a menu.  You can still pin items to the start menu, but the option to arrange them into groups is gone.  Also, the pinned area is now smaller and paginated, which is kind of annoying.


Fortunately, that can be changed too.  There are a few options out there for start menu replacement in Windows 11.  I went with Stardock's Start11, which give you quite a few options in terms of customizing the start menu experience, including versions of the Windows 10 menu and the "classic" Windows 7 style menu.  On top of this, it gives you a number of other settings to manipulate the look and behavior of the start menu and taskbar, such as controlling transparency and texture, swapping out the start button image, and controlling click behavior.  It's actually quite well done, and with a $6 price tag, it's kind of a no-brainer if you don't like the new menu.


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