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Windows 11 rolled out last week, and more than half of our readers like it

Surface Laptop Studio Hero
Surface Laptop Studio Hero (Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Over 50% of polled Windows Central readers like Windows 11.
  • Microsoft's new operating system started rolling out to the public on October 4, 2021.
  • Many people are unable to install Windows 11 on their PCs.

Windows 11 started rolling out to the public on October 4, 2021. The new operating system has drawn criticism for its Start menu, minimum requirements, and lack of exciting changes, but the majority of Windows Central readers still like Windows 11.

Over the weekend, we ran a poll asking if people like Microsoft's new operating system. Of those that voted, over 50% like Windows 11. Only 15.41% of polled participants dislike the OS. There were more people who felt indifferent about the OS (16.65%) than people who disliked it. 17% of our readers that voted in this poll can't install Windows 11.

"I like it. The OS has come a very long way and I enjoy the new look and the improvements below the skin," said alukard in the comments. "It's obvious it's not finished in some parts yet and like Windows 10 there will be feature updates coming to add those missing things for the power users. So I'm not ripping my hair out over it and spitting bile."

As is often the case in poll pieces, those with negative views towards the item in question were more vocal in the comments section.

Many pointed toward the lack of customization options as a weakness of Windows 11. SillvvaSensei said, "not a fan of the lack of customizability and grouping in the start menu. I'm going to wait a year to see what gets added."

The Start menu also drew criticism. "The new start menu is pretty awful. No way to group apps, can only see 18 shortcuts at a time, ugly old icons, no at-a-glance info, doesn't work well at all on a tablet/touch screen device and so on," said appel1. "Not being able to put the taskbar on the left hand side of the screen is a very annoying limitation as well. I have lots of horizontal space on my display, why not let me use it?"

As Windows 11 continues to roll out to more PCs, we'll have to see if public opinion sways in another direction or remains the same.

Sean Endicott is the news writer for Windows Central. If it runs Windows, is made by Microsoft, or has anything to do with either, he's on it. Sean's been with Windows Central since 2017 and is also our resident app expert. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com.

30 Comments
  • It is a sad state of affairs when the public values shiny over substance. I suspect the lack of adoption won't deliver the developer tidal wave Microsoft counts on.
  • It's been this way for a long time. Most successful smartphones keep choosing form over function, and they're winning for it. People continue to buy from companies that remove microSD support and take out the charger and make their 4-figure phones disposable because of designs that don't allow for user-replaceable batteries or affordable screen replacements. Much of the "popular" tech sector is more of a fashion statement than anything.
  • Most people are just not that engaged or willing to do power user stuff. I mean change a screen or some other really involved thing... It's cool you do, but not surprising others won't and don't want to
  • microSDs are terrible. Slow, volatile, and not robust. If people didn't keep breaking things by putting Apps on SD Cards, instead of forcing companies to put more storage in the devices earlier on this would not be an issue. Instead, people kept paying for 2-4GB devices that were selling for iPhone prices when Apple was shipping iPhones with 8GB+ storage. Ironic how Apple was being lambasted for keeping low storage in the devices, but the entire reason why App2SD became a thing was due to vendors like HTC (who were extremely popular at that time) selling Android phones with 2-4GB storage in them (this was never an issue with Samsung, the first Galaxy S shipped with 16GB Storage). People brought that onto themselves. In order to stop dumping money into support, the easiest way to nick this in the bud was to simply remove the SD Cards from the phones. SD Cards were designed for Media Storage, not for running apps on the phone. All this did was create a number of performance and reliability issues. Google didn't help issues, either, with the storage merge feature - knowing this was a bad idea and that it was a support nightmare. Once manufacturers started moving off of (predominantly) eMMC to NAND, SD Cards became a bigger and bigger problem. Once we started getting 4K Video Recording, and especially at higher framerates, they became a massive bottleneck as the vendor could not assume what quality card would be in the machine, forcing them to code in forced recording to internal storage depending on what type of media was being acquired. With huge camera resolutions and burst capture, this became further complicated. Batteries are actually something that can be REALLY dangerous when you take a non-certified 3rd party battery and put it in a device. I still have my Note 9 from 2018, and the battery is great, so I'm not really having much sympathy for the people complaining about batteries not being replaceable. I still have a 2nd Gen iPad Touch that gets like 20+ hours of battery off the charger (music playback). Also, it's hard to create a phone that is reliably water proofed with all of these extra ports in the device (Battery, headphone jack, SD Card). People were pissed because some vendors didn't want to cover water damage on IP-rated devices. Can't have it both ways! Screen Replacements have been affordable for a while. Biggest issue is the fact that they got really tricky to replace when people decided having a worthless curged screen was the FAD to bandwagon. And yes, many people like fashionable tech, the same way they like fashionable cars, pens, musical instruments, etc. I'm not sure how that is remarkable. This article is worthless because it's polling people who are willing to deal with losses of productivity and usability simply to snatch a free upgrade. Half the people on this forum probably are running machines that aren't officially supported, but going out of their way to shoehorn Windows 11 onto it despite Microsoft saying that these machines are likely to be rejected by Windows update in the future (forcing them to manually install updates). These are the types of people here. They are not representative of the general public. As for the general public, many of them are going to update and then just deal with it - warts and all - because they're going to wait too long to roll back and they certainly aren't going to clean install Windows 10 on their machines to get rid of it. People buying new PCs aren't going to have a choice. Either you take Windows 11 or you wait (much longer) to buy a new computer.
  • Wow you're making a lot of assumptions
  • I'm not sure if the OP is actually being serious or it's a poor attempt at satire...
  • How many of those readers are power users?
  • How many people, in general, are power users? I'd prefer all the options are there, but I'm not surprised when Microsoft cuts features used by a small portion of Windows users.
  • I think it's less a question of cutting features and more about the day-to-day usability of the OS. Personally, I'm not going to move to Windows 11 when it's known to cripple Ryzen CPUs (which run my desktop and laptop). Even if I weren't a power user, why would I volunteer to eat a 15% performance loss because Microsoft didn't bother to fix a known bug (which they supposedly have fixed in dev builds, but won't release). Given how many Windows updates have had significant issues at launch over the years, it's just not smart to trust MS to have itself together on launch day.
  • "I'm not going to move to Windows 11 when it's known to cripple Ryzen CPUs". I'm not sure whether you're just given to exaggeration or you genuinely don't know what you're talking about. I'm running Windows 11 on a Ryzen CPU with pretty much no issues. The performance issues reported were in games and, even then, it affects some more than others. I'm not sure whether there are effects outside of games but I haven't seen any and, while I've only played a couple of games so far, I'm not sure I've seen any performance degradation at all. I have seen a bit of jittering from time to time in one of them but not sure whether that's a result of this specific issue or not. If you're gaming then you may see an effect but, otherwise, you'll likely be fine. If you want to wait then that is absolutely your prerogative but at least be honest about it.
  • For the record, I just installed the latest Windows updates, which apparently the Ryzen issue worse, and I'm still not seeing an practical difference. I'm yet to play any games since the update and my experience won't necessarily be the same as everyone else's but I think that it's safe to say that "known to cripple" is an overstatement and it's more like "may adversely effect". Given that a fix is supposedly due in a week though, it's not going to be a long wait.
  • Why do the remove ALL the functionality of the taskbar calendar? And...When I right-click anywhere I now only see half my options. I have to click 'show more options' to get at what I need. Is this really simplifying things?
  • Yes, it is. By presenting less to the user, that is the definition of "simplifying". I'm missing the app groups too, but I also realize almost no one uses this. Look at people's iPhones out in the wild. 95% of those have all the apps spread across 20 home screens with very little organizational effort. I would love to see some of these things come along as Power Toys maybe, or there's 3rd party utilities to fill these gaps as well.
  • True, which is a reality that most people don't bother. Though that didn't stop Apple adding Widgets to their home screen (Springboard UI) despite that most won't use it. Funny how Apple as of late now adding more features, they used to be very conservative about this. 3rd-party solutions is nice, but problem with then at times is that sometimes they won't play well with other aspects of the OS and sometimes adding more bloat than if it's just baked in. Funny how some of us tend to laugh at macOS about missing essential feature like Snap for long time, where you have to buy a 3rd-party apps for those. Then now we have to install an app to add a clock to the Taskbar on another display. The problem, we used to have that feature. Macs didn't even have Snap feature prior, and recently they added it (though not as elegant as Windows does).
  • This is why using solely using telemetry to make design based decisions is just stupid on so many levels.
  • And how people reading this site represent average users?...
  • I suspect the % of power users among the readers of windowscentral is WAY higher than the % of power users among the general PC users population
  • Some are bad some are good. But overall the OS very good
  • I am an enthusiast more than a power user. For the most part I would say I like Windows 11. It's simple and more polished looking. I am annoyed at the Ryzen Bug as it impacts my high end gaming rig at present, but a fix is coming and I can still play games quite well. Certainly not more annoying than Deathloop PC stutter problems imo
  • The only Intel PC we have in this house is 7th Gen, so literally none of our PCs are upgradeable at the moment. I did install on my Laptop before I found out about the Ryzen bug, but I reverted within an hour (probably more like 25 minutes, if I'm being real) because I didn't really like it.
  • I had to rollback to 10. 11 would no longer detect my LG 5K Thunderbolt display. My Logitech MX Master would cause my apps to scroll up and down out of control. 11 was unusable (and this is a less than year old XPS 17). I rolled back to 10 and am glad to use my rig again. I will wait for another year and see what happens. It was mostly a coat of new paint, so I do not feel like I am missing anything.
  • I have an MX Master 3 that I use without issue on a clean install on a Ryzen desktop and an upgraded Surface Pro 7. It's a bummer that you had issues but one person's experience is not necessarily representative of the whole. Not necessarily saying that you are saying that but thought it was worth pointing out regardless.
  • I think a lot of people will like windows 11 when Windows 11 will become matured. Even I think windows 11 can be the foundation where Microsoft can enter into mobile world.
    [Maybe we will see windows 11x or, windows 12 on surface duo 4 with proper windows apps😉😉😉]
  • After using Win11, I thought so as well that this is gateway to a lot of form factor possibility Os.
  • Given that Windows 10X was supposed to be running on the Neo and the Duo was originally meant to be a Windows device, that's not completely far-fetched. I think that it will be a while until we see Windows on a phone though, if ever.
  • That's sad news, but not surprising. I hate Win11, and I can't conceive of a way Microsoft would ever change that. It is user-spiteful.
  • "It is user-spiteful." It isn't. You don't have to like it, of course, but you're not being rational with that claim. As Microsoft don't provide psychological counselling or medication, I don't see how they could change your position either. We won't miss you.
  • Doing the math from the numbers in the article, “over 50%” comes out to 51%. For a Windows fan site, 51% of people “liking” the latest and greatest Windows is nothing to brag about. Which leads me to believe that most of the general population - who are not necessarily Windows fans - are going to be in the don’t like/don’t care/can’t install it category. Which leads me to believe that 11 is going to be an 8.1 style dud. Or at best, it will be many years before there are “1 billion Windows 11 users”.
  • The number of people who voted "like" or "indifferent" was 69%. The number of people who feel passionately about their OS in the general population is quite low. Unlike Windows 8, Windows 11 is not a major change from its predecessor. I predict that you are quite wrong. The biggest impediment to initial take-up will be the hardware requirements, but that will pass over time. I would suggest that the Start Menu is the major sticking point for most of the people who voted "dislike" and that will be less of an issue in the general population too.
  • “Indifferent” is not the same as “like”. Why not throw in “can’t install it” and get your artificial number up to 86%? 🙄 The fact is, 51% of people on a Windows fan site like Windows 11. The biggest impediment is that businesses will not want it. THAT is what killed Windows 8.