Microsoft is turning Windows 11's Start Menu into an advertisement delivery system

Eric

Mama's lil stinker
Vaccinated
Site Donor
Posts
8,937
Reaction score
17,413
Location
California
Instagram
Main Camera
Sony
Microsoft has become the Netflix of operating systems.

The days of the classic Start Menu are numbered on Windows. Previously, the Start Menu was used by users to launch programs, access system tools and settings, and run searches.

Now, with the release of Windows 10 and even more so with Windows 11, comes a fundamental change that is turning the Start Menu into a delivery system for advertisement.

The Windows 11 Start Menu displays a list of pinned apps, a search option, and a menu that displays all installed programs. There is also a recommended section available, more about it later.
 

Colstan

Practicing Phrenologist
Vaccinated
Posts
344
Reaction score
477
I switched to the Mac back in 2005, when I got my first Mac mini, the last G4 model. Ever since, I'll load up the latest version of Windows, just to see what Microsoft is up to. I think the longest I've managed to last was about three hours. Stunts like this don't improve their standing with me. I tried Windows 11, and it's just a new paint job on the same old pig. It's like an archeological dig, seeing the various layers, going all the way back to Windows 3.0, if not earlier. It's an operating system held together with spit, chewing tobacco, and prayers.

On occasion, I get the fabulous idea in my head that it would be nice to build a PC on the side, just for gaming purposes. Then I see stuff like this, and it reminds me just how much babysitting a PC needs, the attention Windows requires because it's so needy, like an ex-partner that just won't let go. Microsoft Bob standing outside your bedroom window with a boombox, while Clippy throws rose petals around the windowsill.

Apple gets its cut right from the start, when I purchase a Mac, and all of their services are optional. I don't subscribe to any, and don't get beaten over the head with popup advertisements for them, nor any other "special offers" like from the innovative folks in Redmond. Try to imagine an advertisement sitting in the Dock. I like that macOS leaves me alone to get my work done, the Mac has amazing hardware, and whenever I finally do upgrade to Apple Silicon, I can leave the x86 world behind.
 

mac_in_tosh

Site Champ
Posts
332
Reaction score
721
On occasion, I get the fabulous idea in my head that it would be nice to build a PC on the side, just for gaming purposes. Then I see stuff like this, and it reminds me just how much babysitting a PC needs, the attention Windows requires because it's so needy, like an ex-partner that just won't let go...

Apple gets its cut right from the start, when I purchase a Mac, and all of their services are optional. I don't subscribe to any, and don't get beaten over the head with popup advertisements for them, nor any other "special offers" like from the innovative folks in Redmond. Try to imagine an advertisement sitting in the Dock. I like that macOS leaves me alone to get my work done, the Mac has amazing hardware, and whenever I finally do upgrade to Apple Silicon, I can leave the x86 world behind.
I use a Mac laptop and a Windows desktop PC (dedicated to photo and video editing), so I'm not totally loyal to either side. The one advantage to the PC is ease of upgrading, compared to the Mac being set in stone with whatever option you choose when purchased. Also, the PC has a large number and variety of ports. I can't tell you how many times I've cursed because I sat down to load something from a USB drive onto my laptop and forgot the USB-A to USB-C cable.

As for Mac services being optional, that may be true but every time I upgrade iOS on my iPhone it annoyingly persists in asking me to set up Apple Wallet, which I don't want to do. So they are not completely innocent about that.
 

Herdfan

Resident Redneck
Vaccinated
Posts
3,240
Reaction score
2,476
I switched to the Mac back in 2005, when I got my first Mac mini, the last G4 model. Ever since, I'll load up the latest version of Windows, just to see what Microsoft is up to. I think the longest I've managed to last was about three hours. Stunts like this don't improve their standing with me. I tried Windows 11, and it's just a new paint job on the same old pig. It's like an archeological dig, seeing the various layers, going all the way back to Windows 3.0, if not earlier. It's an operating system held together with spit, chewing tobacco, and prayers.

Unfortunately there are still too many programs that are PC only.
 

Colstan

Practicing Phrenologist
Vaccinated
Posts
344
Reaction score
477
Unfortunately there are still too many programs that are PC only.
I use a Mac laptop and a Windows desktop PC (dedicated to photo and video editing), so I'm not totally loyal to either side. The one advantage to the PC is ease of upgrading, compared to the Mac being set in stone with whatever option you choose when purchased. Also, the PC has a large number and variety of ports. I can't tell you how many times I've cursed because I sat down to load something from a USB drive onto my laptop and forgot the USB-A to USB-C cable.
I hear both of you, and agree that PCs definitely have their place. My point was that, at least from what I have observed, the Windows PC experience is substandard compared to the Mac. It's not perfect, I could come up with a laundry list of Mac issues, but I don't feel it needs the same level of upkeep.

I'm solid with the programs I use with my Mac, except for gaming, as we all know. If I were to build a gaming PC, then my OCD would take over like an unstoppable force, and I'd be busy fine tuning every BIOS setting, using a debloater to deal with Windows telemetry/spying and adverts, constantly running driver updates, DDU to make sure that they stick and there's no residual left, undervolting, overclocking, tweaking memory latency, running fan controllers, while spending way too much on a graphics card, all kept inside a giant ass case because I need the airflow, and finally finish it off with a side of pancakes to replace the calories I lost along the way.

Back when I used to build PCs, before my Mac days, I enjoyed that sort of maintenance. Nowadays, I find that all to be a chore. Just swapping out the memory in my 2018 Mac mini was tedious. However, I know if I do succumb to the PC building bug, I'll go all-in, and probably be miserable doing so. That's why I am hoping @Cmaier is correct about Apple's interest in gaming. I don't need access to every game, just enough to keep me satisfied, but perhaps I am damned because Callisto is calling my name.
 

DT

I am so Smart! S-M-R-T!
Vaccinated
Posts
6,406
Reaction score
10,446
Location
Moe's
Main Camera
iPhone
I've been pretty happy and surprisingly impressed with my Windows 11 experience so far.

I've been around Windows machines, various Windows versions (desktop and server) for decades, end user/networking, so it's not like this is something new, heck, I've been around different OSs for a long time, CP/M, UNIX, Linux, Atari TOS, AmigaOS, Windows, various Apple System/OS/MacOS flavors.

Of course, this is a new fast [notebook] machine (12th Gen Intel, 8GB 3070Ti GPU, 2TB RAID SSD, 32GB DDR5), with new 27" 4K displays, etc., and I've been using a VM on a Mini to handle my Windows needs vs. a dedicated setup, it shouldn't be a surprise. Regardless of my current short term love affair with this new notebook, I'm a huge fan of Apple hardware, and software, it's a terrific integration of both, MacOS and Mac apps definitely have better polish.

Windows 11 (on updated hardware) is good, a number of features I wish were present in MacOS (windows management, some folder/file features), and certainly has adopted/copied/ripped-off some MacOS design elements. But there's some lack of consistency in apps, you occasionally have to go back to an older UI to accomplish some basic OS admin, some of the apps have clunky UI design, things like font rendering are still not on par with MacOS, and I'm a huge fan of *NIX derived OSs command lines.

Apple is definitely a better experience when factoring in multiple Apple devices, allowing for cross-device C&P, Handoff, and since I don't have things like Messages on Windows, I'm running a VNC server on my Mini, and VNC on my Windows machine, so I feel that omission.

I have a need for a Windows machine for development work, and some desire for gaming, many [Windows] features are very good, my hardware is excellent - but a Mac, with my specific needs/desires removed, clearly, from my perspective, provides a more polished overall experience.
 

Colstan

Practicing Phrenologist
Vaccinated
Posts
344
Reaction score
477
I have a need for a Windows machine for development work, and some desire for gaming, many [Windows] features are very good, my hardware is excellent - but a Mac, with my specific needs/desires removed, clearly, from my perspective, provides a more polished overall experience.
Much to the surprise of no one who reads my posts, they tend to drip with hyperbole, and in this case a bit of antipode thinking. I've done extensive research into something that I very much don't want to do, namely build a gaming PC. I can count on three fingers the number of titles I want to play (Callisto, Alan Wake 2, Control 2) and that's about it.

I've been on this rodeo before, and I know the way my mind works. OCD can be both an asset and a bane. I've got all of my computer gear working and organized the way I want it, which is great for productivity. The difficulty occurs when I run into an unsolvable problem, in this case wanting to play a handful of PC games, but not wanting the PC. Yeah, woe is me, I can afford to build a PC, but don't want to deal with the hassle...or Windows, or all the heat generated from x86 CPUs and graphics cards.

Also, back during my PC building days, I'd spend ridiculous amounts of time speccing out every part and configuration. Then, after I got it built, I'd spend more time planning my next build rather than playing the games that it was intended for! Right now, I've got about a dozen games that I purchased that work perfectly fine on my current Mac, a large backlog, and yet I'm still thinking about three games that I can't play, that haven't been released yet. Besides, I've spent the past three months replaying the first two Baldur's Gate games, which ran speedy fast on my Coppermine Pentium 3.

So, it doesn't make any sense, I admit to having strange criteria for what I consider acceptable, even for a tech nerd.
 

KingOfPain

Power User
Vaccinated
Posts
56
Reaction score
67
Ever since, I'll load up the latest version of Windows, just to see what Microsoft is up to. I think the longest I've managed to last was about three hours.

Unfortunately, I have to use Windows at work. Just recently I had to use a search in the settings where the have hidden the environment variables now. They've moved around so many settings that all the knowledge from previous versions is for naught. It's definitely worse than the new macOS System Settings.
When I got a new computer at work and with it Office 365, I had to search on the internet where the search bar is. Of course I should have looked for it in the window title bar! Who puts a search field in the title bar?

At home Windows is just a game launcher, so I have as few contacts with the operating system as possible.
But Microsoft's new SAAS mantra, the next logical step would be that one has to rent the OS. (Pay your monthly fee for Windows 365 now, or it will stop working in the next 2 hours...)
 

Colstan

Practicing Phrenologist
Vaccinated
Posts
344
Reaction score
477
It's definitely worse than the new macOS System Settings.
Every time I hear folks complaining about the new System Settings in macOS, I think of the Windows alternative, and how there are multiple layers. Sure, Microsoft has the "pretty" looking version for modern Windows, but dig down and you still have to use Control Panel for certain things, and Device Manager is virtually unchanged from Windows 95.

win95devman-2789476744.png

how-to-open-windows-11-device-manager-1.png


At home Windows is just a game launcher, so I have as few contacts with the operating system as possible.
If I were to ever decide to build a gaming PC, then that's how I would treat it, once I was finished. The problem is getting there, because I know I'd go tweak crazy. That, and I'm not sure how much I would actually use it, especially if game availability gets better for the Mac in the coming years.
 

Eric

Mama's lil stinker
Vaccinated
Site Donor
Posts
8,937
Reaction score
17,413
Location
California
Instagram
Main Camera
Sony
Every time I hear folks complaining about the new System Settings in macOS, I think of the Windows alternative, and how there are multiple layers. Sure, Microsoft has the "pretty" looking version for modern Windows, but dig down and you still have to use Control Panel for certain things, and Device Manager is virtually unchanged from Windows 95.

View attachment 19550
View attachment 19552


If I were to ever decide to build a gaming PC, then that's how I would treat it, once I was finished. The problem is getting there, because I know I'd go tweak crazy. That, and I'm not sure how much I would actually use it, especially if game availability gets better for the Mac in the coming years.
This gives me shell shock from the 90s back when I first started building and repairing PCs. Those were some heady times with COM ports and hardware conflicts.
 

DT

I am so Smart! S-M-R-T!
Vaccinated
Posts
6,406
Reaction score
10,446
Location
Moe's
Main Camera
iPhone
OK, definitely time to bust this out ...


Now there's lih-nux or lie-nux
I don't know how you say it
Or how you install it, or use it, or play it
Or where you download it, or what programs run
But lih-nux, or lie-nux, don't look like much fun

However you say it, it's getting great press
Though how it survives is anyone's guess
If you ask me, it's a great big mess
For elitist, nerdy shmucks

"It's free!" they say, if you can get it to run
The Geeks say, "Hey, that's half the fun!"
Yeah, but I got a girlfriend, and things to get done
The Linux OS SUCKS
(I'm sorry to say it, but it does.)
 

DT

I am so Smart! S-M-R-T!
Vaccinated
Posts
6,406
Reaction score
10,446
Location
Moe's
Main Camera
iPhone
Every time I hear folks complaining about the new System Settings in macOS, I think of the Windows alternative, and how there are multiple layers. Sure, Microsoft has the "pretty" looking version for modern Windows, but dig down and you still have to use Control Panel for certain things, and Device Manager is virtually unchanged from Windows 95.


Windows has a bit of a lipstick-on-a-pig issue for sure, all the new Settings UI is really well done, but that Device Manager is still lingering in the darkness, waiting to be summoned ...

The upside is most of those older apps with that ugly UI are rarely needed, to be honest, I've never even opened Device Manager.
 

DT

I am so Smart! S-M-R-T!
Vaccinated
Posts
6,406
Reaction score
10,446
Location
Moe's
Main Camera
iPhone
Hahaha, for those who haven't see it, as an example, the nice, newer BT settings in Windows 11:

1669137969957.png



The thing that must not be named, also part of the BT settings/config:

1669138008009.png



o_O
 

Colstan

Practicing Phrenologist
Vaccinated
Posts
344
Reaction score
477
USE LINUX, YOU BUTTHOLES!
I think every Mac user has a "Linux phase", where it seems like an adventurous new world of promised freedom. Instead, at least on the desktop, it's a lot of configuration, customization, lack of software support, and a sea of fragmentation. I appreciate Linux for what it is, but I'm still waiting for the year of the Linux desktop to arrive. If it works for you, then great, but until I get something basic like official Logitech support for my mouse, I'm good with my Mac.
Windows has a bit of a lipstick-on-a-pig issue for sure, all the new Settings UI is really well done, but that Device Manager is still lingering in the darkness, waiting to be summoned ...
That's why I personally think Windows is always going to be behind in user experience. Microsoft is always going to be hamstrung by the need for backward compatibility. We've all have friends, colleagues, or worked for companies that require some program or file from the dark ages of computing. I've got a non-tech friend who refuses to even consider the Mac because he's concerned that his database files from the past three decades won't work. If he could have stayed on Windows XP, then he would have, but is forced to change when his $400 Windows laptop ages out, and replaces it with another rickety hunk of plastic. For some people, that sort of change is a bridge too far, so Microsoft will always have a customer base from the cretaceous. As long as that is the case, and they aren't willing to cut ties with the past, Apple will always have a design advantage.

I'm sure that some day Microsoft will move on from Win32 and x86, and on that day, I'll take a selfie to rejoice.

1e08gn.jpg
 

Herdfan

Resident Redneck
Vaccinated
Posts
3,240
Reaction score
2,476
This gives me shell shock from the 90s back when I first started building and repairing PCs. Those were some heady times with COM ports and hardware conflicts.

90's hell. I did that last weekend.

The consoles used to run swim meets still communicates with the scoring computer via RS-232. Not as big a deal when laptops had serial ports. But now you have to use a USB-serial cable and for some reason they can't remember which port they used. So you just have to keep changing ports until the two communicate.
 

diamond.g

Power User
Posts
159
Reaction score
61
90's hell. I did that last weekend.

The consoles used to run swim meets still communicates with the scoring computer via RS-232. Not as big a deal when laptops had serial ports. But now you have to use a USB-serial cable and for some reason they can't remember which port they used. So you just have to keep changing ports until the two communicate.
I had similar issues with SavvyCAN on macOS when I was into that life.
 

fischersd

Meh
Vaccinated
Posts
599
Reaction score
545
Location
Port Moody, BC, Canada
When my grandparents were alive, I put them on the "hand-me-down" upgrade path (they got the refreshed Macs from my Dad and I) - switched Dad to Mac years earlier as I got tired of them breaking shit. For anyone in tech that's the sole in-house support for their extended family, it's a no-brainer! :)

And, yeah, per the 90's (and 80's) thing for building PC's - jumpers, dip switches and keeping track of interrupts. Messing around with conventional and extended memory. :D. Trying to free up as much of that 640k as you could. :D

Yeah...I don't miss that at all. :)

btw - it was voicemail. Voicemail was the beginning of the end. That key piece of tech that made us reachable when we didn't pick up the phone. :(
 
Top Bottom