Back in October, 2021, Microsoft announced the initial release of Windows 11. Being around since PC-DOS, one tends to learn a thing or two about the timing in upgrading operating systems (including applying system updates). I saved myself the grief and waited for a few months. Let others pull their hair for a change.
This weekend, I upgraded one of my Windows 10 Enterprise machine to Windows 11… free of charge. A good start. Upgrade was seamless, except for that part about not letting me save my files or existing OS due to potential file system incompatibility, which turned out to be a lie.
Why does Microsoft Hate What Users Really Want So Much?
First impression: as always –well, except for two, Windows 95 and Windows 7– everything about this new version is skin deep. More features being dumb down or illogically constrained. Luckily, the tech community always has workarounds to some of Microsoft’s backward designs. And thanks to the open-source culture and a few die-hard enthusiasts, the options are quite plenty. We still have to be cautious in finding solutions. Because there are still those who capitalize on open-source solutions and pass them as an enterprise service… for a fee — e.g. StartAllBack selling Start Menu tweaks for $7 when it’s basically the same tool, Classic Start Menu, that was given for free by the author and made available on github, and now maintained by an open-source community.
Some of the changes Microsoft makes in major Windows releases are quite baffling. Someone up there has a vendetta on the Start Menu and Taskbar (and now Administration Tools and Control Panel) — things that are very essential for productivity.
Bloatware and Bundles
Apparently, the two anti-trust lawsuits that were filed against Microsoft, which they both lost, courtesy of bundled software, e.g. Internet Explorer and Windows Media Player, made them learn nothing — or perhaps new leadership forgot. Windows Defender and Cortana smells like lawsuit sequels. They even have the audacity to make the Windows Defender brand stick by renaming Windows Firewall… Windows Defender Firewall.
The $4 Billion Scam
Since it’s first release, I never really liked Windows Defender. It’s a resource hog. Processing power, memory and energy are best spent on important tasks. I don’t know about people, but I don’t like being spied on. Are anti-virus software really worth it? Is there really a threat to the common user, especially if you take into account the advances in memory and code protections, and application isolation technology today. (Especially now that Google wants every site Chrome visit on SSL, every download monitored, and all logins use double-authentication. All the while tracking everybody’s activity online. It’s like tech company/internet babysitter/spy/salesman,… but I digress.) Simply because the system notification keeps nagging you about “virus protections,” it doesn’t make it necessary. ESSET and AVG were good in the early 2000s. Now They’re just a subscription platform. Here’s a clue: the anti-virus software industry is a US$3.92 billion market and is expected to reach $4.54 billion in three years.
None of my machines use anti-virus software since 2007. I’ve never reinstalled any of them, nor have they ran into any issues. Some of them are on 24/7, except for situations beyond my control, like power interruptions or moving. And I only update using bundled service packs once every few years, and they’re perfectly fine. Like the saying goes, if it’s not broken, don’t fix it.
Companies I’ve worked for in the past suffered many outages because of anti-virus software going amok or a software update gone bad – OS or other. Unless you have a mission critical business, it’s probably unlikely that a nefarious entity is out there to steal your selfies or seedy content collection. You know what’s truly effective? Common sense.
So thus far, Windows 11 seems okay. I can’t make any call at the moment, except for the rants above. I need to load some heavy applications and try it out for a few months. And we’ll see if beauty is only skin deep with this one (which, by the way, should’ve been called Windows 10).
I’ve now relaunched tech notes. Taking down notes is a habit of mine since college. I’ve done this throughout my career. It’s simply not humanly possible to remember everything. It also helps to commit something to memory when I write it down. And when it comes to technical things, if you write down steps and references, they can easily be improved and repeated. It saves a lot of time and grief. I wrote several applications for this. In fact, CMSList’s primary goal was data organization, to facilitate information capture, availability and search.
Tech Notes are scribbles and references of things I need to jot down right away without bothering to typeset and publish. They’re literally indented text files rendered into a roll-up list. They’re constantly updated, as I continue to test and document things.