I’ve had a chance to play with Insider Preview of Windows 11, and it looks like Start screen, Task Bar and File Explorer are carried over unchanged from the touch-oriented Windows 10X. Specifically, pop-up menu items are all spaced a finger apart, way too large for mouse-based desktop interfacee, the same for list item or icon spacing in File Explorer.
There are other touch-oriented ‘features’ which are useless for desktop users:
1) Right-click context menu is removed from Task Bar, there’s only Task Bar Settings submenu
2) Task Bar size or placement is not configurable anymore, probably to allow swiping gestures
3) File Explorer replaces the ribbon interface with dedicated Copy/Move/Rename/Delete etc. buttons
4) Right-click pop-up removes Copy/Move/Rename/Delete menu items and replaces them with dedicated buttons at the top
5) Search box option is removed, only the search icon can be shown
Overall, it looks as if the tablet layout is always on, with no option to enable the desktop mode (even though it’s supposedly been addressed by Windows 10 back in 2018). And that’s an RTM build that’s been in making since January and is supposed to be released this October.
Which bears these interesting questions:
1) Why Microsoft has to try to force a touch-based user interface on regular desktop users with each new Windows release since 7?
You can say it’s to ‘simplify’ the UI for non-expert users, but I really doubt they even know (or care) about these advanced features being removed.
2) Why Microsoft has to reimagine their entire user interface with every major relase of Windows? (i.e. 3.1 to 95/2000, XP to Vista, 7 to 8, 8 to 10, 10 to 11)
No-one else does it so consistently – new versions of OS X / macOS, iOS, Android always keep the basic design, but Windows team is always shy of their Start UI, even though it came to be accepted by Linux shells like KDE Plasma…
3) Why Microsoft will always persist these UI changes and won’t back down even when users actively reject them to the point of downgrading to some previous OS?
It always takes a new release of the OS to acknowledge the mistakes and go back to the most succesful concepts, but never a service pack or a user-contolled setting.
4 ) What happened to the Windows 10 Start UI update that was teased back in Spring 2020, and what’s the point of replacing it with a tablet-oriented Windows 10X shell?