Windows 11 review: Microsoft’s OS upgrade is subtle, but we like that

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Microsoft made on a rolling basis as a free upgrade to most Windows 10 users. If you have Windows 8, , then download Windows 11. Before you , let’s talk about what we like and don’t like about the upgrade.  

An operating system, whether it’s MacOS on your MacBook or Google’s Wear OS on your smartwatch, gets better the more transparent it is to the user. And that user is you, sitting in front of a laptop keyboard or tapping on a phone screen. So sorry, no Spinal Tap “goes to 11” puns here. That’s mostly because Windows 11 feels more like Windows 10.5 than a generational leap — not that there’s really anything wrong with that. 

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Maybe the feels subtle because the jump from Windows 8 to Windows 10 was so gigantic. Big enough for Microsoft to skip an entire version number, even. That generation was all about righting a ship that had gone somewhat off-course, leaning too far into tablet territory, trying to convince everyone that Windows laptops and tablets were as cool as iPads. They’re not, and that’s OK: I work on a Windows machine, I do plenty of PC gaming on one, but when I flip through news headlines in bed at night, it’s on an iPad. 

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