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William
William

Posted on • Originally published at williamk.dev on

My Experience with Windows 11

This article is divided into multiple parts. These are parts I consider critically important to an operating system. If you want a quick TLDR, scroll to the bottom of the article.

Performance

In terms of battery performance, I don't see Windows 11 using that much less battery than Windows 10. I couldn't measure it that well personally, but I know that it is about 4 hours on my machine. With Linux, it was about 6.

I also had a few lag spikes when using UWP applications, but normal EXE applications ran just fine. I find this interesting, considering UWP is supposed to be more optimized for Windows 11, but maybe I'm just overthinking the concept.

I also have a hunch that it can handle more programs, and here's why. As most of my readers may know, I am working on a game called World War Alpaca, and I use Unity to make it. I think Windows 11 might have better memory management or application management in the background because I had open a significant number of tabs, about 10 applications total, and Unity on top of all of that. My Linux install would struggle under that kind of pressure.

Security

Windows Hello is about as secure as my system can get. If it had home directory encryption set up out of the box, I'd be golden, but sadly it doesn't. That's not to say Linux has much of an advantage there either, considering I have to set up home directory encryption manually there anyways. All around, I'm disappointed at the security innovation - or the lack thereof. However, I am still impressed with Windows Hello's security functionality and how many unlocking options there are.

Privacy

Windows, I'm disappointed. Not surprised, just disappointed. Which makes my disappointment worse. Usage data is collected all over the place, along with "Limited Diagnostic Data" - and that's after turning all the privacy settings off during initial setup. To be clear, Windows 11's privacy doesn't appear to be any worse than in Windows 10, but your operating system shouldn't collect anything. Period. The only mild exception is an opt-in (not opt-out!) Crash Diagnostic system.

To make sure none of your data is stolen by Windows 11, just change your settings in Windows Firewall and your privacy settings. Set your Firewall to block any incoming and outgoing unless a firewall rule allows it, and then manually allow specific applications to access the internet. You'll also need to enable the Network Manager DNS for the internet to work right. This should prevent all telemetry from going through.

Appearance

Looking at Windows 11, I can say that it is stunningly beautiful. I would consider ZorinOS (A Linux distro aimed at Windows users) and Windows 11 to be on the same level in terms of looks. The fluent design, the icon design, the beautiful frosted-glass texture - it's what Windows 10 should've been.

Conclusion

I'm not saying download Windows 11 right now. Actually, considering Windows's track record with security and it's recent privacy concerns, I'd say steer the hell away from Windows. If you're looking for a Linux distro you're familiar with, choose ZorinOS. If you're looking for a Windows version... I'd say stay with 10 for now, and then in a few months switch to Windows 11. By then, UWPs should work the way they are supposed to.

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