Damn straight I'm excited for Windows 11, and no one can convince me I shouldn't be

Windows 11 Logo 4 Razerbook
Windows 11 Logo 4 Razerbook (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

With Microsoft officially announcing Windows 11, there's a bit of a buzz in the tech world. People are racing to check out the Insider preview build of the OS and read up on the latest features.

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

Windows 11 Widgets Fullscreen

Source: Microsoft (Image credit: Source: Microsoft)

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:

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

Zoom App Windows 11 Store

Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

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?

Windows 11 Start Laptop Razerbook

Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

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

Windows 11 Install

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

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.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com (opens in new tab).

  • This is a good take 🙌
  • del et ed . .
  • Do you know about a job offer from Microsoft that I don't?
  • No, it doesn't.
  • del et ed . .
  • Hiswona, you're getting really irritating around here. I can close your account if you wish.
  • I take it all back ok. Everything is there where I left it before the 11 upgrade.
    No PC Health check, no issues and no clean install necessary.
    All the live tiles and functionality is identical.
    The only thing they removed is Internet Explorer.
    Its a worthy upgrade and HDR make everything look great.
  • Well, they got rid of the live tiles in favor of the new Widgets menu.
  • I use the registry edit straight away and my start menu migrated exactly as it was.
  • That is interesting, thanks for the info.
  • Have the beta on my desktop and I really hate the taskbar so far. Desperately hoping they bring back the option to NOT group windows. But yeah... people get excited about different things (rounded corners), and that's totally ok.
  • Wait. Windows on the Taskbar can only be grouped? That's a terrible step backwards.
  • Absolutely agree on this... I frequently opens multiple Word docs that I need to VERY quickly switch between (music charts for a band). The stupid group adds another step that slows me down. Once again, Microsoft idiocy at work.
  • 100% I hate forced grouping.
  • Yes. I gave feedback on the insider program that it was a non-starter for me. Hopefully, they will add that functionality back in (as well as letting the taskbar show labels instead of just icons--also important for my workflow) before the release because I will stick with Win10 forever otherwise.
  • Yep, I found nothing about Win11 to actually like. It feels and looks like a downgrade.
  • It's coming home
  • I sure hope so!
  • Windows has been stagnant for a long time. How anyone couldn't get excited about the Windows 11 news is beyond me. If I was grumpy about Windows 11 news being popular, I'd be heading to the doctor to talk about my very obvious low blood sugar problem.
  • You'd be surprised by how many people are angry about the excitement and just dismiss anything positive.
  • Twitter? More like, Twatter! Am I right? lmao
  • I agree with your comment about this being a shot in the arm for Microsoft comparable to Windows Phone. Just the positive buzz and steady positive news of big-name developers coming on board (minus the messaging missteps with the TPM 2.0 and processors) on an almost-daily basis means that Microsoft (and especially Windows in this case) is in the news for good reasons including on the back of their Xbox game-changing efforts and ordinary users liking the company more than they have in many years. It does seem like the tech press that likes to bash Microsoft hasn't given up on that completely, but more of them are having to admit the successes are coming in one after another and Microsoft is a changed company overall.
  • I’d be excited too… if I wasn’t old enough to have been let down by Microsoft on many, many occasions. I’m sure it’ll be good(ish). Eventually. But it won’t be going on my primary machine for a few months after its release date, at a minimum. I am looking forward to seeing all the interesting ways it’s going to break at launch though. So many possibilities! Although half-jokes aside, I am happy to see that Microsoft is actually trying to innovate on Windows for a change, rather than just say they’re doing something innovative. And I’m also happy to see that Windows is finally leaving some old hardware behind!
  • I decided to have a look at it and installed it on a spare drive in my computer. At the end of the day it is Windows 10 with a facelift, it does seem to run slightly better than Windows 10, it certainly boots up faster than windows 10 does on my machine and it is on a slower drive, but that could also be due to the fact there is nothing installed apart a browser and my video editor. At first I was ok with the start menu, it is fine in the centre, but the start menu could lose the recommendation section and allow the space to be used. not being able to move the taskbar to the top of screen is not great, also no software being able to display anything on the taskebar, I have some software called Xmeter, it puts info about my network, CPU and memory on the taskbar, windows 11 don't allow that. I don't use the store, so that is no different for me. Widgets don't work without a Ms account, so that is a waste of time.
    Excited no, but I was nosey enough to grab hole of it and have a peek.
  • I understand not being excited, but you missed several key points that show how it isn't just a facelift. Why gloss over features just because you don't use them? Why skip several major features? You might not care about the new features, but acting like they aren't there is disingenuous.
  • I was not doing a review, just saying some things i noticed and some that will make no difference to me.
    what major features would you put as being important then?
  • You said "At the end of the day it is Windows 10 with a facelift." The article lists several features explaining why that isn't the case. Totally fine if you're not excited. To each their own. To say there aren't features and changes that aren't cosmetic shows that you either didn't read the article or that I've done a poor job illustrating my point. The main takeaway is that lots of people use Windows. Even if the new features don't matter to you, they are there and make a difference.
  • It is Windows 10 with a facelift, sure it has some added features, but at the end of the day it is Windows 10. No doubt there are changes that we can't see, but Ms could have just stuck them in an update of Windows 10.
    The reason Windows 11 is here is to sell new computers and because Windows 10 name was getting old, Microsoft needed something to get the market going again. I bet the majority of people will not use the features, just like they have not with Windows 10, why do you think MS is using more force on the home version of Windows 11 to get people to sign up to a MS account? Because most are opting for a local account.
  • By your definition operating systems shouldn't get new names.
  • Not when they come out with Windows 10 will be the last windows. I knew that they would come out with a new name at some point, just a bit surprised it came now
  • I agree with Sean here and not to be blunt but maybe you should look up the meaning of the word facelift. "I bet the majority of people will not use the features, just like they have not with Windows 10", does not matter whether true or not, it are still added features and not just visual changes.
  • Ok, I get your point that it is just not a facelift, it is Windows 10 with a facelift and some new features.
  • So ... it's Windows 11.
  • I think it's a fair debate of just how substantive the changes in Win11 are. As a long time insider I see the point some have made these changes are largely rearrangements or updated "renders" of existing features. It really just comes down to what someone defines as a facelift versus substantive. As far as I'm concerned I see it as a bit of both, with a loss of features I need.
  • The tablet/touch and window snapping/memory features are a big deal to me. Not a small deal, a big deal! A godsend actually. It's what Windows 10 should have been. The rest to me is meh, I'm with you there. But we haven't even seen the final version - who knows what other things are in store?
  • So the things you like, could have been put into Windows 10. Windows 11 is just a marketing ploy.
  • You could say that for every OS and every OS update ever lol.
  • Well, yes, but with Android and IOS the OS is normally sold on the device and I don't think a new versions of Android or IOS really get people to buy phones or Tablets, but windows is different. People seems to get excited about a new version of Windows, I have never seen anyone get excited about Android.
  • Technically Windows these days is mostly also sold on the device / laptop (/oem version).
    I have seen plenty of people on Android news sites or youtube getting enthusiast over the yearly OS updates. The effect with Android is a bit less because of all the skins which otherwise tend to add features earlier, but its still there. Eg I remember a real dark mode was being added just (fairly) recently with Android 10. "I don't think a new versions of Android or IOS really get people to buy phones or Tablets", I actually think combined with slight design improvements, security patches and performance improvements this is the main reason for people to buy new phones. It also helps with marketing of new devices.
  • I don't think anyone is arguing the new features don't exist. But you're essentially guilty of shaming those who don't find any value in what MS did to Windows, which makes you no different. I loved pretty much everything about Win8 and pretty much nothing about Win11. I'm fine letting you find joy in Win11 if you're fine letting me find joy in Win8.