I used Windows for a week.


> Daily drive windows 11 for a week.

> I dare you.

A friend challenged me to run Windows 11 for a full week. How could I possibly refuse?

Now that a week has passed, it is about time to talk about the experience and what it is like to use.


Installing Windows 11 was definitely an experience. First of all, the installer for Windows is prehistoric. It "works" but I almost overwrote my Gentoo installation. Compared to the tools on GNU/Linux and even macOS, the partitioning tools are terrible. I did not have to worry about secure boot though. It has always been disabled, and Windows did not complain about that. My hardware is modern enough to officially support Windows 11, so I had no issues there.

After a reboot, you get to OOBE, where you'll quickly find out that there is seemingly no way to create a local account. You can bypass this stupid requirement though. You can do this by pressing Shift+F10 before creating an account, typing in OOBE\BYPASSNRO, waiting for the machine to reboot, once again opening up a command prompt, typing in ipconfig /release, and finally going through the setup normally. That is a lot of effort, and I think Microsoft did that on purpose so that normies won't bother with a local account.

After the installation, I had to install a proper graphics card driver as well, and that was also a pain thanks to the awful AMD control panel thing. It has this awful gamer design which makes it incredibly slow. Finally, I activated Windows using Microsoft-Activation-Scripts on GitHub and debloated it using Chris Titus Tech's script. I just want to point out that I could've installed Arch Linux probably 20 times in the time it took to set up Windows properly.


I installed Chromium, Neovim, mpv, Git, Arch Linux WSL (only used it for retrieving passwords), ArmCord and Element. Many of the GUI programs I was using on GNU/Linux naturally work great on Windows.

My workflow is largely command line based. I use the command line all the time for many, many things. This is where Windows fails. Windows is not a UNIX like operating system and as a result, the command line is awful. Of course, none of my shell scripts work and none of my command line programs work. This made it incredibly difficult to do anything other than play games, to be honest.

I did try to write code in Neovim, and Neovim works almost as well on Windows as it does on GNU/Linux. However, I quickly realized that the Windows build tools are terrible. Most of my projects depend on GNU/Linux or UNIX tools in general, so I couldn't really use or test many of my projects.


I installed Steam and Geometry Dash, because I've enjoyed playing it recently. It runs fine, but I noticed that sometimes it will have much more input lag. In a game like this, every millisecond counts, and as a result the physics are completely screwed up sometimes.

On Gentoo, this input lag simply does not exist. I am not sure if this is a bug in the game, if Gentoo somehow removes input lag or if Windows adds input lag. All I know is, the experience was slightly (but noticeably) worse on Windows. Ironically, that means I had a better experience playing games on Gentoo than I had on Windows.

The game ran well, which I would expect, considering Windows is (still) the best operating system specifically for playing games. If you play other games that aren't as precise, I'm sure you'll have a pretty good time on Windows.

General experience

At first, everything felt really slow. As I later found out however, this is mostly because of all the animations/transitions Windows has enabled by default. If you disable those you can not only get better performance out of your computer but things seem to happen a lot quicker.

Of course, some people might like the aesthetics animations provide, but I personally find them annoying when it takes an eternity to do anything. Often, it comes off as slow rather than pretty. Perhaps Windows could use a transition time slider or something somewhere.

The settings app is terrible, and I really think they should just abandon that thing in favor of the control panel users are already familiar with. The control panel could use a redesign, sure but it's so hard to find settings in the settings app. You can find basic settings, but as soon as you need something more advanced you'll end up in the older control panel anyway.

I wanted to move the taskbar to the top and enable smaller icons (decreasing the size of the taskbar) but with Windows 11 the option to do that was removed. Yes, it is possible to move it to the top, but there is no official option and doing so will break things pretty badly. As for small icons, I have no idea. It was usable without it, but the taskbar was big and it would've been really nice to have that screen space for something more useful.

Window tiling is floating/stacking, as you might expect. While I am used to tiling window managers, and don't particularly enjoy stacking window managers, it's still usable and I was eventually able to get sort of used to moving windows around with my mouse and using Alt+Tab and Win+Tab to switch workspaces.

Recently, Microsoft redesigned the task manager. The problem is, it sucks. It's incredibly slow and I even managed to get it to stop responding once, which is not great. What do you do when your task manager stops responding? If there is one application that should be simple and not consume much of your resources, it should be the task manager. The task manager should run on as little as possible, so that when you have almost no resources left, because of a memory leak or something, you can kill a program and have a usable computer again.

Installing programs is relatively easy, especially with Winget. Winget isn't great, namely because it uses IDs rather than simple package names. If you have to install something without Winget, you can expect to open up your web browser, download an installer executable, carefully clicking next to make sure you don't install any malware, and then you'll have your program. While this isn't difficult, I think this approach is terrible, and Winget is a complete failure. Every single GNU/Linux package manager outclasses it in every way you can imagine. But, at least Windows now (officially) has a package manager, which is better than none. There is also Chocolatey and Scoop, if you find that Winget is too terrible. For users though, the main problem is the risk of installing malware by accident.

The main advantage Windows has over GNU/Linux is stability. Almost everything I tried to do (that is possible on Windows) worked flawlessly. I don't think I need to repeat myself on the problems GNU/Linux has, but Windows is solid, and I honestly have more trust in it than I have in Debian GNU/Linux.

How could Windows be improved?

Windows could certainly use better tiling. While most normal people will not care about it, power users would probably really appreciate something like a tiling window manager on Windows. Yes, I know third-party options exist but they just don't work all that well, because Windows itself wasn't designed around it. KDE and even GNOME are doing it, so Windows should be doing it as well. Many power users on Windows might not know that tiling window managers are what they've wanted for years, so if Microsoft provided a built in option, that would probably make a lot of people's experience better.

There are a lot of programs that depend on Visual C++ Redistributable and other libraries. If you've ever had an error like 'Missing dll msvcp140.dll' or similar, this is because you're missing this library. Windows comes with so much extra junk that most people don't use or care about, but they can't seem to include basic libraries that MANY programs depend on.

We get it, you want users to use your Microsoft accounts rather than offline accounts. But when it gets to the point where you need to disable the network adapter and run a command in a command prompt, it has gone too far. Users should not be forced to have a Microsoft account, in an operating system that is not free, on a computer that they have paid money for.

Another great example is Microsoft Edge. Remember when you installed Mozilla Firefox or any other browser and it would ask you if you wanted to set it as your default web browser? Now, Microsoft doesn't allow third-party applications to override the default web browser. This is clearly because they don't want users to switch away from Microsoft Edge. In order to switch your default browser, you have to change it from Edge to your new browser for every last possible action and file extension there is. It takes an eternity, and it should not be this complicated.

Windows UI is very, VERY inconsistent. As I mentioned earlier, the new Settings app which is designed to replace the older Control Panel which has worked fine for decades. The Settings app looks better, but in terms of usability and features it falls behind significantly. Also worth noting that dark UI does not apply everywhere because older programs do not support it.


You know when you're at someone's house and you're being extremely careful?

To me, this is what Windows feels like. Even a week later. Windows just doesn't feel like home to me. It feels uncomfortable and foreign, almost as if it wasn't designed around me.

I will continue to use Gentoo. However, I now know exactly why I don't like Windows. Could I use it as my desktop operating system? Yes. But do I feel comfortable with it? Do I waste less time on Windows? The answer is no. Do I regret using Windows for a week? Also no.

If you have any questions (I feel like you might), feel free to ask on the Matrix space or email me. Have a good day!


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