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Microsoft Windows: Up to Eleven

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First, let me recap a bit of a very clear communication from Microsoft over the last years:

2015: Microsoft confirms there will be no Windows 11

October 2020 from the Microsoft Cyber_Defend_Team: There is no Windows 11 - Microsoft Community:

[...]
There is no longer anything call Service Pack and there is no plan to release any successor to Windows 10 like what is going around with name Windows 11. Windows 10 is the latest version of Windows and there are regular updates and new concept called release build.
[...]
Therefore, don’t believe on news about something called Windows 11 and only follow news from trusted and reliable sources. For example, you may follow Windows Blog for the latest information about Windows.
[...]

Finally: Windows 10 Will Be The Last Iteration Of The Operating System - Blog | Hardware Associates

Jerry Nixon, a Microsoft development executive, said recently that Windows 10 would be the "last version" of the desktop software. Instead of new stand-alone versions, Windows 10 would be improved in regular installments, the firm said.
[...]
The company said it hadn’t yet decided what to call the operating system beyond Windows 10. "There will be no Windows 11," said Steve Kleynhans, a research vice-president at analyst firm Gartner who monitors Microsoft.

Today, Microsoft announced Windows 11.

I don't think that this move is adding value to the credibility or trustworthiness of Microsoft. Not at all.

Discontinued Tiles

Windows 11 comes with less tiles.

Personally, I got rid of all tiles as much as I could. They made the start menu very confusing. I won't miss them at all. I hated them in the message bar since they were really confusing. You could hardly tell if they were activated or not. But since when is usability a focus for Microsoft products?

Re-Introducing the Already Discontinued Widgets

Microsoft introduces windgets.

Again.

They did so with Windows Vista and Windows 7. Although Microsoft promised a broad variety of third party widgets and an ecosystem of its own, the acceptance of widgets failed. Microsoft discontinued widgets with Windows 10.

But it's not just Microsoft who failed with widgets.

Apple Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger introduced Dashboard widgets in 2005. With macOS 10.15 Catalina the Dashboard has been removed from macOS again.

If you want to read about more examples on discontinued windgets, visit this Wikipedia list.

I wonder what Microsoft thinks will be different this time. I would not bet my money on widgets though.

Built-in Teams

For too long, I do have an article on Microsoft Teams in my blogging pipeline. Unfortunately, I did not prioritize it so far.

However, I don't like Teams that much. It is too confusing where specific information can be retrieved or where it should be put. It puts more stress on its users because Microsoft added yet another data silo to manage. Is the presentation of Susan on my local drive, on Sharepoint, on Teams, where in Teams since there are many different locations within Teams, and so forth. The GNU/Linux desktop application lacks many features our Windows-based customers are using.

I do find it very hard to embrace more than live-meetings and chats and I'm glad that most projects where I do have to use Teams keep it limited that way.

Although the technology behind may be impressive, the user experience (UX) dramatically lacks attention here in my opinion.

Furthermore, I don't think that putting data into the cloud is a good thing for you. I would not trust them so much with important data.

Now, Microsoft bundles Teams with Windows 11.

This could be a good thing in terms of getting a chance to fix the bad UX of Teams. Unfortunately, from my experience, this would be a first.

My fear is that Microsoft continues to smudge the line between their cloud products where you give up control and local files you still do have under your control. With local files, you're able to choose an appropriate tool for retrieval and curation when Microsoft tools just do not get you there where you should be.

Another thing that points in this direction is the fact that Microsoft made it very hard to use local disk drive to store Office documents. With their cloud-first strategy, it's more complicated for users to save a file locally in contrast to cloud storage or server storage.

With data locked into Sharepoint, Teams and similar technologies, you don't have any option at all but to use the interface Microsoft offers. No more choice. No more alternatives. Vendor lock-in accomplished. You will think twice if you move away from this in case you will be able to do. Then, Microsoft finally owns all of your data. I'm note sure if you really want to go down that road.

This assumption is backed by the fact that Windows 11 requires a Microsoft account which was optional with Windows 10.

The Future

Nobody is able to tell how Windows 11 will be accepted by the people. So far, they only gave litte information on details.

Since the upgrade from Windows 10 is announced to be for free, I do think that Microsoft will put quote some pressure on users of Windows 10 to upgrade. Just as they did with forced upgrades to Windows 10. If this is true, you won't be able to prevent things like Teams integration and so forth even if you are trying to protect your data from being locked into Microsofts shiny ecosystem.

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