While many are excited, a group of people feels that Windows 11 isn't a big deal. Among those is our news editor, Robert Carnevale, who recently wrote a piece titled "Windows 11: It doesn't matter, and you shouldn't fall for the marketing," which states that Windows 11 is "nothing more than a mild facelift that is being used as an excuse to draft the media into manufacturing consumer interest." While the comment section of that piece is split, I respectfully disagree with Rob and others that hold the same opinion. I believe that Windows 11 does matter and that it's okay to be excited about it.
It's clearly more than a facelift
Even before Windows 11 was officially announced, people around the web incorrectly called the new operating system nothing but a facelift. Our executive editor, Daniel Rubino, already explained how Windows 11 is more than just a new Start menu, but the narrative persists.
Here's a list of just some of the new features that will arrive with Windows 11:
- Dynamic Refresh Rate (DRR)
- New Ink Workspace
- Direct Storage
- Auto HDR
- Improved snapping
- New Microsoft Store
- Support for Android apps through Amazon Store
- New Action Center
As a quick note, I'm aware that some of these features, like the new Microsoft Store, will also be on Windows 10, but they are shipping with and were made with Windows 11 in mind. Other features, like Dynamic Refresh Rate, are exclusive to Windows 11. There are also some other features that I haven't listed.
These features might not move the needle for everyone that uses Windows 11, but they're clearly not "just a facelift." These features add true value for gaming PCs, productivity, and the everyday use of PCs.
Changes to the Microsoft Store alone are massive
Microsoft showed a major recommitment to the Microsoft Store with the announcement of Windows 11. Changes include a new revenue model that allows developers with their own commerce platform to keep 100% of their revenue, new developer tools to make bringing apps to the store easier, and support for Android apps through the Amazon Store. The company has also announced improvements to Windows 11 on ARM.
Microsoft isn't just marketing Windows 11 to consumers. The company is trying to convince developers to get on board, and it's already working. Within a week of Windows 11 getting announced, Zoom, OBS, Canva, TikTok, WinZip, the CorelDRAW graphics suite, and the Adobe Creative Cloud, are either in the Microsoft Store already or their developers have announced that they're on the way to it.
These aren't small or niche apps. Even if you don't use some of the apps, them coming to the Microsoft Store is a big deal for Windows.
That's not to mention all Android apps that are available through the Amazon Store. If things go to plan, Windows 11 could eventually run apps from the Galaxy Store and Google Play Store as well. Even if that never happens, you'll be able to sideload Android APKs onto Windows 11.
Surely millions of Android apps and some of the biggest programs on Windows coming to Windows 11, and the Microsoft Store is more than a facelift.
Even if it was just a facelift, isn't that nice?
While it's clear that Windows 11 is more than a facelift, for the sake of argument, let's say that the only changes it had compared to Windows 10 were cosmetic. Isn't that still a good thing? People have complained about the inconsistent hodgepodge of Windows 10 UI for years. Even if an update just addressed that, it would still be nice.
When Apple announces an update like macOS Big Sur or Google announces Android 12, many of the highlights are cosmetic. Those updates also have new features, but plenty of people welcome improvements to their user interfaces.
It's a good thing when companies listen to feedback. Modernizing Windows, unifying its look across the OS and apps that run on it, and refreshing its design are good things.
Let people be excited
People get excited about different things. As I write this, England is playing against Germany in the Euros (update: It's Coming Home). I don't follow football (soccer to our American readers), but many of my friends do, and they're loving it. People like cars, gadgets, sports, fashion, and all sorts of other things. If people want to get excited about an operating system, is that any weirder than fawning over the new Ford F-150 Lightning or your favorite sports team?
I've covered Windows for years. I write about it, I follow it, I love it. I watched Zac's build videos back when builds started with a 9. Damn straight I'm excited for Windows 11.