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Is Windows 11 the most high-quality, satisfying Windows ever shipped?

Windows 11 Tease
Windows 11 Tease (Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft recently released its FY22 Q2 earnings report, held its quarterly earnings call, and shortly thereafter disclosed a multitude of figures and made statements about the successes of its operations. One such statement was that Windows 11 "has the highest quality scores and product satisfaction of any version of Windows we've ever shipped," according to the company. It didn't include a detailed breakdown of how it arrived at those two findings, so we don't know for certain what metrics were used to establish that Windows 11 is as quality and satisfying as it gets. Which leads us to a question: Is it?

A lot of our readers have taken the time over the past few months to comment on various aspects of Windows 11 they're not happy about. Be it the rounded edges or ever-controversial Start menu, there are a lot of minutiae that have rubbed some users the wrong way.

Others, while not particularly offended by anything in Windows 11, don't love it as much as other versions of Windows. On the flip side, there definitely is a chunk of the PC audience that prefers Windows 11 over everything that's come before. We want to know: Where do you land on that spectrum? Are you on board with the idea that Windows 11 really is the pinnacle of Microsoft's Windows ambitions thus far, or are you not all that satisfied?

Whether or not you dig it, there's no denying that Windows 11 is making a dent in the marketplace, one that's growing larger by the month. By Microsoft's metrics, that means a lot of satisfied customers. But what does it mean by your metrics, WC readers? Vote in the poll and, if your thoughts are too nuanced for a binary decision, give us your two cents in the comments.

Robert Carnevale is the News Editor for Windows Central. He's a big fan of Kinect (it lives on in his heart), Sonic the Hedgehog, and the legendary intersection of those two titans, Sonic Free Riders. He is the author of Cold War 2395. Have a useful tip? Send it to robert.carnevale@futurenet.com.

61 Comments
  • I think the positive rating for Windows 11 ist based on the new shipping method of making it a fully optional upgrade. So people who do not like Windows 11 yet, like me, can stay on a fully supported Windows 10. This way only people who want Windows 11 need to upgrade and are happy about.
  • Wasn't like every Windows version before optional?
  • Yeah it was when Windows 10 was first released, but unlike with Windows 11, there was virtually no restrictions upgrading to Windows 10 and pretty much offered to every PC I know. I guess we can add that people have been more aware about Windows Updates that more people are more cautions than in the past, which may contributes user that will only upgrade to Windows 11 for those who really want it. User who may found some shortcomings will hold off for a while.
  • That's what I'm thinking as well, unlike Windows 10 which was offered to Windows 7 to 8.1 users with pretty much no restrictions, basically opens to any PCs out there. I can't testify if those accusations that it "automatically installed Windows 10" without them knowing is true since none of my machines and people I know had that issue in the past even the ones are not tech savvy. I'm think it was more of people somehow misclick something that it installs it. Since there is hardware restrictions and it is not targeting every Windows 10 PCs out there, basically filters out most machines that may have a bad issues after install, and since its optional, only the ones who are already willing to with Windows 11, and many likely know its features and shortcomings. They won't be complaining with Start menu for example since most of those who upgraded are aware about it and actually don't prefer the Windows 10 one. It is naturally biased for those who are in favor of Windows 11. Not saying that is inherently bad but that's just nature when it's optional and far more restrictive to get it. Thing is Windows 11 have shortcomings with missing features that should be basic for Windows like that drag-and-drop on the Taskbar, the missing date and time on multi-monitors just a few example are one of the complaints that Windows 11 user would have. That missing date and time alone is actually one of the concerns we have deploying Windows 10 to the company, of course its not a sole reason but we will have more support calls from users complaning they can't see time on 2nd monitor, which all of our workstations have at least 2 monitors, some even 3. So just like most organisations, IT don't jump ship on first version release, we wait.
  • Wow, I legit did not realize the drag and drop onto task bar was not there anymore and I've been using Win 11 since day 1. Interesting, guess something I don't do often. And the time on additional monitors seems to be there now. But, not sure when they've updated it cuz I'm on insider builds
  • i,ll try it when i can choose my own default browser......, otherwise it looks good
  • You can choose your own default browser, it is a pain in the neck, but it can be done, some browsers like firefox makes it easy.
  • I think Windows 7 was the most satisfying for its time. I like Windows 11 but it's not there yet. There are still some things that Windows 10 does better, like being able to access the brightness control in full screen.
  • W7 was satisfying precisely because previous versions had been so bad! W7 was stable and not annoying. Imagine that.
  • Agreed, Windows7 held no surprises and was a solid improvement over vista/xp. Windows 10 wasn't bad, solid improvement over 8 but more eye candy. Win 11 is 100% eye candy and is essentially 10 under the hood. If Win 11 was a car, it would be dashboard and console improvements but the engine, powertrain, suspension is the same old, same old.
  • Hmm, given the car analogy I think Win 11 is actually the dash and console improvements but upgraded engine internals but the same engine. Under the hood Win 11 is a bit better
  • Still using windows 7. No use in switching to 10, and probably will never use 11.
    later
    -1
  • Still using 8.1. Will never switch to 10 or 11.
  • i liked 8.1, with a decent start menu it was a good OS that ran well, it was only because Ms made it a pain to run it on newer processors that I changed to Windows 10
  • For me at least windows 8.1 is still the best.
  • Agreed! Definitely the best.
  • It's too early for jokes like this.
  • i would love to try it hopefully they will change their mind on supporting 7th gen cpu
  • Still far too many problems with Windows 11, if all you do is start up some software , use it and then close it down, then maybe Windows 11 is fine, but start copying files and doing other stuff and you will find Windows 11 is not very stable.
    The other problem is changing defaults, certainly browsers. I have now gone back to Windows 10
  • I'm a software developer and I use Windows 11 on both work and pertained machines. What you allege is definitely not my experience.
  • So how big are these files you copy? I have copied 4K video files and the explorer decides that it don't want to play any more and freeze, be it going to NAs or an external drive. If I was the only person that complained about this I would think, fair enough it is my computer, but other people have the same complaint. The other thing is the screen changing monitors, one minute the main screen is on the main monitor and then it is on the second one and then it comes back to the first.
    Lots of problems and bugs still with Windows 11, once again Ms have decided they prefer to get the OS out instead of working out bugs, just like Windows 10 is not finished, windows 11 will be the same. Well after 25 years of using windows I am to be honest fed up with it, looking at what new hardware Apple is bring out in the next few months, mainly see if they update the Mac mini and then I think I am jumping ship.
  • Right, because Apple never jumps ship on features or OS changes..
  • Apart from the Start Menu, I feel it is better, but I support the earlier comment that it has stability issues. Not to mention the UX inconsistencies we live with since the introduction of Windows 10.
  • When a company's marketing dept. goes all in on whatever customer satisfaction rating, e.g. J.D. Powers, everyone that has customer contact asks them to fill out the survey, asking in a carefully tailored way that encourages positive ratings. In a similar way I think Microsoft just had more pop-ups in Win11 asking users to rate their satisfaction -- could be wrong, but I don't recall Microsoft ever asking if I liked Win10. Far as Win11 goes, I'm doing the same thing I've done since Vista... dual booted XP & Vista, & when Vista didn't seem to offer any advantages, I stuck with using XP 99.9% of the time -- did make the jump from XP to Win7 after using both, skipped Win8 because I saw no advantages, switched from Win7 to Win10 because of 10's higher performance. I've been running a copy of Win11 on this PC since its 1st insider release, & so far I've yet to see any reason to switch. It's supposed to work better than Win10 with a touch screen, so might run it on a 2-in-1 / convertible laptop, but its CPU is one generation too old, so figure on waiting a year to see if Microsoft is still updating unsupported hardware, while giving them time to fix all the initial bugs.
  • I need to learn to use the start menu a bit more. I think it could work well to pin frequently used files and folders there, instead of the desktop.
  • Taskbar reigns supreme!
  • I use a combination of task bar and desktop personally. My start menu is only there tool shut down my PC.
  • Overall though windows 11 is running great and I like the work done to the UI.
  • For me, what makes Windows great is choice and while I'm hopeful 11 celebrates that, I dont feel like it does as well as previous versions at this time. Case in point, the taskbar. You shouldn't take away things on a whim. I'm a power user, give me my power festures! Can they fix it, sure. But its gonna take the community to make them aware of what they need to reevaluate. Microsoft seems to embrace community engagement, so with that I think there's loads of potential.
  • Yeah I felt the same way, I think this is is actually the first time in the history that Windows gutted or at least didn't came many of the long-standing features. Normally Windows tends to add and replace certain features, or just been move around trying to improve discoverability or organisation. Well they did that on Windows 11, but the amount of things not here seems more than before I think. Or at least I admit, they this time they removed things that I did care unlike the previous versions of Windows. The one I would really applaud for is the better and more consistent UI, not perfect but seems to be a better state than with first release of Windows 10. And the Windows Snap is finally much better.
  • I'd consider myself to be a dedicated long-term Windows PC addict and fanboy.
    However, I was pretty surprised to see that the votes (above) are sincerely in favor of Windows 11. I always do my best to adopt the latest version. In my opinion, especially with the redesigned Start Menu and not much more than a coat of paint over some of the walls, I can't honestly vote for Windows 11 as being the most high-quality satisfying Windows ever shipped. Windows 11 is too similar to Windows 10 and with a less functional Start Menu. Maybe I enjoyed the Windows journey too much since Windows XP, and especially through Windows 7. (Most of us tried hard to forget the forced Start Menu changes that came with Windows 8 and did our best to accept them in Windows 10.) I do love using Windows 10 and Windows 11. But to consider Windows 11 to be a leap or noticeable improvement over Windows 10 is a stretch of the imagination to me. I look forward to continued enhancements to Windows 11 however and it's all good.
  • Windows 3 was a slow shell I continued to use MS DOS as much as possible.
    Windows 95 was still a shell it was faster but not without it's bugs I still used DOS when I could.
    Windows 98 fixed the bugs of 95 and was fast this was the end of MS DOS for me
    Windows ME was a **** I used Windows 2000 instead, but it compatibility issues.
    Windows XP merged the professional and consumer operating systems into one product and this product became the best version of windows for me. Windows Vista was a terrible experience out of the gate it forced you to have high-end hardware to run it and forced you into security prompt hell from security exploits in XP. I ran high-end hardware and after service pack 1 this became a decent operating system. Windows 7 fixed what everyone was pulling their hard out with vista and became the true vision for Vista. Felt like Vista service pack 3 really. Windows 8 enter the infamous metro UI (Modern UI) working in IT I got so many support calls on a regular basis due to this operating system I thought MS put this one out system techs job security purposes. Surprisingly it made me use the command line more and when I purchased the Surface pro 3 I thought 8.1 worked rather well with it. though most will call this vista reincarnated. Windows 10 this is the Windows 7 to Vista it fixed all the issues with windows 8 and MS backstepped on being a more touch friendly app. Windows 11 Here we go again on moving away from a touch friendly OS with useless UI changing. I am sitting here typing this on a surface pro 8 and I don't have my live tiles, action center that I had become quite used to on devices like these so this is the Vista of it's generation in my opinion at the moment. In summary IMO Windows XP is the best OS that bought about changes for the better and was so perfect you will still see some businesses running them today despite how long ago it was released.
  • I think Windows 95 had the biggest impact on the home computer user. It was much more mouse orientated than 3.0 and was easy to learn for a new generation of users not interested in business applications.
  • Windows 95 is when I got into the P.C windows world, with a Cyrix 166Mhz processor, coming from the Amiga, so yes for me Windows 95 was my first taste of Microsoft software at home, I used MS dos at college.
    Now after all these years I have had enough of MS buggy operating systems, time for a change.
  • Great review @koenshaku. Like you, I went from 3.1, to 95, to 98 (including SE), to ME, to XP, to Vista, to 7, to 8, to 8.1, to 10, and now 11! I'm hoping 12 will bring back the best of 10 (live tiles, action center) while keeping the best of 11 (rounded corners, new sounds, etc.) meanwhile I have the rights for Start11 for all my Windows 11 devices and I have deciced to leave my non-live tiles, in the center. It looks great.
  • Start11 is a 3rd party theme for Windows 11? I agree I really hope they do bring them back, because I am annoyed every time I do a right screen swipe to change a Bluetooth device or connect to a wireless display only to find my calendar pop up and a notifications widget.
  • I'm not updating to 11 until I have to. I really have no reason or desire to use it from what I've seen of it.
  • Windows 11 is the most disgusting excuse of an OS Microsoft has ever come out with, even including WinME.
  • The new start screen is horrible, at least for users like me, a developer. On my windows 10 start screen, I had 7 different groups of tools. It is so hard to organize anything with the simplified windows 11 start screen.
  • Being Windows 10 under the hood with some much needed aesthetic improvements, Windows 11 is an easy recommendation. The one feature that will prevent me going back to Windows 10, however, is the built-in multi-monitor and multi-window management. Whenever I have the same 3 screens connected (be it from wake up or anytime thereafter), it restores the position and resolution of each screen as I last set it. Priceless.
  • I do that with Win 10 every day. Same monitors, everything starts on the same screens as yesterday. Once configured, it always works the same. When I connect to a different monitor, it uses the last config I had on THAT monitor.
  • The problem is your set up is more consistent the big change that helps is if you do a lot of unplugging and replugging it's a bit more consistent. Win 10 for the most part will get it right, but there are some occasional times where it gets it wrong that become annoying
  • While I like the new UI, the UX is a downgrade. The Windows 10 Start Menu was so much better.
  • One thing that still needs an overhaul is the "how do you want to open this file" dialog. How the appearance of anything can be overlooked for so long while being so hideous is truly mind boggling. The background color of the icons is obviously meant to be transparent, but they just left it like that. #barf
  • I wasn't surveyed but if I was, I would vote a very high satisfaction value on Win 11. I have had it on my pc and 6th gen laptop since it was released on windows insider. I haven't found myself saying Windows 10 was better. I dont miss anything from Win 10 and I loved 10.
  • No idea what others truly think. Personally I like Windows 11, but I really liked Windows 8 and was very happy with it at the time.
  • I miss the edge gestures of windows 10. I don't think the three finger swipes are easier. I despise the start menu but Stardock can fix that.
  • Are we over the every-other year curse? windows ME bad
    Windows XP good
    Windows Vista bad
    Windows 7 good
    Windows 8 meh
    Windows 10 good
    Windows 11. ?????
  • I chose not to upgrade to W11 because I didn't like aspects of it, but it sounds like their satisfaction metrics don't take that sort of thing into account. So, seems like more meaningless fluff from Microsoft PR.
  • Or the fact that there are a ton of user of the OS. I'm pretty sure the vocal majority here pales in comparison to the large general public of user base. Aren't there like a billion+ users?
  • If MS allowed Windows 11 to run on older PCs without having to jump thru hoops to install my opinion of this would be more positive.
  • While frustrating, I think they were trying to find a way to get rid of the pc's that resulted in the most problems when upgrading. I imagine they're trying to limit the impact of ppl disliking things simply cuz their computer doesn't run well
  • The only 'highly satisfying' thing is the Settings app, and updated inbox apps, and the new startup sound.
    Other than that, the Start Menu and Taskbar need significant improvements in order for it to truly be satisfying, especially from a productivity stand point.
  • This, x100 (replacing a highly functional interactive Taskbar calendar with hidden widget that will only open a browser is insane; and the iOS-esque non - customizable icon grid for a start menu is a serious regression (as far as my work flow goes)). Redo those back to windows 10 style and then I think I really like the update (esp. The settings menu)
  • Moving from tablet mode to desktop mode on Win10 was jarring — which could've been solved by placing Live Tiles on the desktop. But atlas, Win11 is a more consistent experience — & offers better support for touch. Just need more widgets to make the widget panel more useful.
  • Please give me the following things which are particularly important for my workflow and i would say yes i am incredibly happy with windows 11:- 1. drag and drop files in taskbar 2. quickly create calendar events from the taskbar clock on the bottom right part. i don't know what the proper name for it is. 3. fix Bluetooth audio issues. its not new with windows 11, it was there before. and it sucks. all my earphones keep switching randomly to an awfully shoddy quality audio suddenly. i think its called mono-? i don't know. all i know s that suddenly the audio becomes bad. i then have to disconnect it, remove it from settings, then pair up again. i have to do this 2-3 times minimum daily. i have no such issues with my android phone or ipad. Apart from above three, which are essential for me, i can add a few other things which would make Windows 11 so much better, but is not essential for my work:- 1. a more robust, feature packed video editor 2. more stable photos app, it just crashes all the time and takes so much time to load.
  • It is crap...
    Animations are broken since I've tried the beta 6 months ago and haven't been fixed since!(I have clean installed multiple times.)
    Usability is way worse, especially the taskbar. -Dekstop transition animation is missing when using keyboard and is very buggy when using touchpad (desktop icons disappear and the wallpaper jumps around),
    -Start menu animation should be ease out, not ease in-out, it looks bad and unresponsive.
    -Animations are not one to one with finger motion.
    -Both Linux and MacOS has 1 to 1 animations when you enter the task overview (activities in Gnome Linux) that trasitions smoothly as you scroll up with your fingers and back when you swipe down.
    On windows it's like pressing win+tab and it bugs out if done repeatedly (swipe up down with three fingers)... Linux (GNOME 40+) nailed 60fps smooth transitions with the windows still having dynamic content in them all while the fan is off and the laptop is cold.
    Windows 11 causes my laptop to heat up when on idle! (clean install) Windows 11 has 3 separate rendering engines, The old explorer one (win32 apps) the new UWP apps engine (which is good and fun to use with touch) and the web renderer (used in the widgets panel).
    It is really stupid and feels really bad and jarring!
  • Given this is a heavy Windows centric group I'm starting to wonder does anyone really like Windows? I swear every release I see *this* version of Windows is trash, here's everything wrong with. Then a couple new versions come out and that trash version is this magical great version cuz the newest is trash. Is there actually a good version? Even the every other version thing doesn't truly seem ideal cuz a lot of those version ppl still said they were bad. Ppl who are vocal enough to hate windows to the level typically seen in forums and such really boggle my mind cuz you'd think they move away if they hated it so much, but here they are upgrading their latest personal machine with it. But, I guess with a multi billion user user-base this is not too crazy. Cuz if 99% of users like it and 1% doesn't that's still like 10 Million or more ppl
  • 10 is good and stable. 7 was good. 11 is still a work in progress.
  • I think it is a huge strategic mistake to blend the desktop and tablet modes. Tablet does require some differences. Windows should also report it is in tablet mode to the browser. This way stats can be collect on use of Windows tablets. There are a lot of 2-in-1s out there, and at time used with the keyboard disabled. Unfortunately, those stats are not getting collected, and it makes it appear no one is using Windows as a tablet. This is a major problem if they want to get Windows tablet adoption. Windows lost the phone wars; they need to fight for the tablet war.
  • I'm really happy with it. Cannot wait to see future versions. Like this direction Microsoft has chosen.