What we want to see in Windows 11

Rainbow 11 balloons

It's no secret that Microsoft is due to reveal details of the next version of Windows later this month. On June 24, the company is holding an event at which we'll learn a lot about Windows 11 (as the name is almost certainly going to be confirmed to be), but with a week and a half to go, there is still plenty of time to talk about what we hope to see in the operating system.

Microsoft seemingly learned quite a lot from Windows 8 and made vast improvement with Windows 10 -- but it also made its fair share of slip ups and mistakes and did plenty to annoy users. This latest update is a chance to put things right, make people happy, and really move Windows into the future. Here's what we'd like to see in Windows 11.

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Better quality control. This is something that many people can relate to, as there have been a huge number of problematic updates for Windows 10, particular in the last year. Of course, it is not possible for Microsoft to foresee every possible system configuration or every possible scenario, and no one would expect any given update to work perfectly for every single user. But the number of issues of late would seem to indicate that Microsoft has taken its eye off the ball somewhat. Here's hoping that with Windows 11 the company regains its focus.

Streamlined updates. While we're on the subject of updates, more needs to be done to improve the download an installation experience. Sure, updates can be downloaded in the background but more needs to be done to stop interruptions. There will, of course, be times that Windows needs to be restarted to complete the installation of a particular update, but the amount of downtime involved needs to be dramatically reduced.

A reduction -- ideally to zero -- for ads and telemetry. Microsoft is far from alone in using its software to push more of its products and services, but being pestered to switch to Edge, to use Bing, to install app from the Microsoft Store, it's just... tiresome.

The same is true of the various telemetry components that Windows has become notorious for. The fact that there are now scores of apps available designed solely to block Microsoft telemetry and to stop Windows gathering data about usage really speak volumes. There simply should not been a need for such software because such privacy invasion should not be happening. Sure, plenty of other companies do the same sort of thing with their own software, but this is not a justification.

Consolidation of ideas. Microsoft introduced many changes with Windows 10, but there are still numerous remnants from the past -- most notably with elements of the Control Panel dotted here an there. While users are actively encouraged to use Settings for everything, there are times when they are thrown unceremoniously back into the Control Panel, complete with its dated look. Microsoft has a choice. Ditch the Control Panel completely, and make everything available through the modern Settings interface, or give users a genuine option of using one of the other as they prefer.

This is, of course, just scratching the surface. It would be nice to have Start menu that is dramatically more customizable -- actually, and entire interface that it open to greater personalization. Tabs in Explorer simply needs to happen, and the current dark mode option needs a serious revamped.

Oh, and it needs to be free. If Apple can keep releasing macOS at not cost to the user, so can Microsoft with Windows.

So... we've shared some of the things we'd like to see from Windows 11, now it's over to you. What do you want to see in the next version of the operating system from Microsoft?

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