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A question of perspective – TechNewsWorld

Windows 11 launched last week, and since I started my career as an external analyst at the same time as Windows 95, I feel a deep connection to this platform.

In 1995 Microsoft spent cash generating demand for the platform but didn’t spend enough on support and realized too late how important drivers and hardware compatibility were. Windows 95 prior to launch was one of the most powerful efforts I’ve ever seen; It was a disaster after launch.

Microsoft has learned a lot and changed its character and focus since the advent of Windows 95, and Windows 11 showcases those changes.

I’ve been running the latest version of Windows 11 since its launch last week, and while there’s a bit of a learning curve, it’s nothing like the weeks it took to get an existing PC on a new OS when that was all. I started.

Let’s talk about Windows 11 this week and we’ll conclude with my product of the week, the Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio, which is arguably the most Apple-focused product Microsoft has ever released.

Microsoft and Windows in the 1990s

I’m intrigued by how much Windows has mirrored Microsoft over the years.

In the 1990s, when Windows 95 was born, Microsoft was a model for proprietary software and frenzied near-competitiveness. The company took a lot of care in the product but didn’t evolve to care much about its customers, which was far from unique at the time.

The entire industry seemed a little off game because customers wanted a hardware-like experience, something they had with the terminals, and they didn’t even get that from IBM.

The industry was living on turmoil and rapid hardware replacement, and this process was so painful that customers hated it. So getting those customers to replace their computers in a timely manner hit a solid wall in the end. At the time, Microsoft didn’t think this was its problem any more than a security issue.

The quality was relative. It’s hard to believe we put up with how unreliable everything was back in the ’90s. Even Microsoft Office has suddenly become unreliable.

Microsoft made one of the biggest user mistakes with Microsoft Bob, which worked well for its initial target audience of older adults who didn’t understand the technology. However, Bob failed when Microsoft tried to position it as the next user interface for everyone.

I still remember a Microsoft event full of software engineers who weren’t a big fan of Bob and they were given free copies and a helium balloon. By the end of the keynote, there were several Bob’s boxes tied to those balloons floating on the ceiling of the venue.

Like many young companies, Microsoft faced some identity crisis, and its power structure was resilient, which led to an increasing number of implementation issues. It was a fun company, but it was killing its reputation with nearly a decade of overly buggy products and failed launches.

The entire PC industry was like this, though, which seemed odd given the heavy emphasis on reliability and uptime that previous mainframe companies, led by IBM, had. Customers wanted the flexibility and control of the promised computer but did not agree to give up the reliability and security of the central machine.

In the 1990s, Microsoft also went from being one of the most respected companies in the industry to one of the least respected because of this behavior. For the first time, the industry revolted with its own product: Linux. This was the first and only time I saw a market so frustrated with the dominant seller and lack of competition that it generated a competing offering.

Microsoft and Windows in the first decade of the twenty-first century

The 2000s was a transitional period for Microsoft when every other operating system was a disaster. Windows Millennium Edition was a train wreck that ran with Windows 2000, but Windows XT, which mixed the two, looked pretty decent.

Then we had Windows Vista, another train wreck, followed by Windows 7, which was good again, followed by Windows 8, another train wreck. What the company seems to be lacking is vision. In hindsight, the process seemed to be to create a product that sucked to capture data on what users like and dislike, and then turn that learning into a relatively better product.

In the past decade, things have come together at Microsoft as leadership seems to wrap itself around consistent quality. Windows 10 has arguably been the most stable and reliable platform that Microsoft has introduced to the market so far. It showed a new and decisive focus on security and reliability, and users basically seemed to be fine with it. For the most part, 10 seemed to work without drama, and most of us realized that drama wasn’t something we wanted in an OS.

However, Microsoft has replaced ease of use with security. OEMs and motherboard makers have disabled several critical security features such as secure boot and TPM support, apparently in a trade-off with usability issues.

It reminds me a little bit of how people respond to Covid vaccines. Users had the choice to turn the security on or not, and they chose not to turn it on without realizing the risks they were exposed to. Like those who avoid Covid vaccines, I’m sure they have their rationale, but they will likely pale before the potential risks of a disruptive company breach or ransomware leak.

Now, after a series of malware attacks and subsequent more serious breaches, the most annoying change in Windows 11 is also the most significant. You must have these security features turned on, or they will not be installed. This change also means that it must run on relatively recent devices that support these security features.

Live on Windows 11

Historically, I downloaded a new version of Windows when it first became available. This time, I was unable to load the beta versions of Windows 11 on any of my AMD desktops. First, once Secure Boot is turned on, it will refuse to deploy, and second, it will not accept the separate TPM as a valid TPM.

So I built an Intel PC and tried again, but it also failed to qualify for Windows 11.

After some work, I found that, for some reason, Windows 11 would not accept the separate TPM in the AMD box but would accept the firmware TPM (called fTPM). The Intel box won’t accept dTPM (whatever the hell), but it will accept an Intel firmware TPM called PTT (the inconsistency in TPM naming that I suddenly found annoying).

These previous issues will not occur if you get a new PC with Windows 11 or upgrade a properly configured business PC in the background. Dell Latitude upgraded without problems, for example, because the system was set up correctly.

Once in Windows 11, the UI changes take some time to fade into the background. For example, the Windows icon goes from the left to closer to the middle, and instead of the taskbar search field at the bottom, you get a magnifying glass. But after about two hours, I was no longer noticing the differences, and I was out of the races.

I’m writing this now on a fully configured and custom Windows 11, and I’m fine. The system is stable, there are no crashes, and I have peace of mind knowing that I am more secure from malware floating around me than I used to be.

I should add that once the TPM issues were resolved, installing Windows 11 was pretty much painless and largely unattended, with most of the time spent re-downloading a few apps and games. Most of my apps, with the exception of Office, download automatically in the background in a process very similar to what is happening now with a smartphone. Why is Office still not downloading automatically since I have a license is annoying.

Now, after several hours on Windows 11, it’s normal.

wrapping

The best way to get a new version of Windows is generally on new hardware, and this experience has shown that. Secure Boot and TPM issues can be overcome as long as your hardware is compatible; You can download the operating system and get the benefits that it promises. Of course, you can also get most of these benefits by simply turning on Secure Boot and TPM in Windows 10.

However, since the Windows 11 upgrade is free for Windows 10 users and includes the tuning and improvements that have accumulated over the past decade, it is, in my opinion, worth the trouble of upgrading. Upgrading allows you to get more out of the hardware you’ve already paid for, especially any new one you might get this year.

It’s also one way to find out how unsafe your computer is and one of the steps to fixing your security issues. Compared to previous upgrades—mainly the old Windows 95, Vista, or Windows 8—it’s relatively painless, and the safety features seem well worth the effort.

Rob Enderle Tech Week Producer

Surface Laptop Studio

I mentioned Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio a couple of weeks ago, but I didn’t receive any at that time. Now that I have it, I’m even more impressed.

This product was designed to go after the customers that Apple seemed to target but left it wanting over the years. Like Windows 11, it focuses on creators and is arguably the first PC designed explicitly to feature both Creator Focus and Windows 11.

Unlike the old Windows Surface Book, which seemed to focus on the ultra-powerful iPad experience, the Surface Laptop Studio is focused on providing creators with a unique technical ability on the market. It supports important Windows features like facial recognition, although it stands out for its unique stylus and screen.

The first product I received with this screen configuration was the HP Specter Folio laptop that quickly became my favorite and was later replaced by the better laptop HP EliteBook Folio based on Qualcomm. The new Folio laptop focuses on ultra-long battery life and portability and seems geared towards those who type on the go – and I still love the black leather-like cover.

Surface Laptop Studio from Microsoft focuses on creativity and performance. It has an Nvidia RTX graphics option on top of an Intel I5 or I7 processor and 16 or 32GB of memory (I’m testing an I7 with 32GB). It feels faster than the new Intel I7 desktop, which is impressive.

Surface Laptop studio

Surface Laptop studio


You can get this laptop with integrated Intel graphics, although you can buy a Mustang with a four-cylinder engine, I think that misses the whole point of this offering. Like any high-performance laptop, the Nvidia RTX version of this one isn’t cheap, with a starting price of $2,099 for a 512GB drive. The cost goes up to $3,099 with a 2TB hard drive, but I think the 512GB version of this is more than enough unless you find yourself editing huge video files.

Some people buy workstation-class PCs with integrated Intel graphics, and this version is a very attractive $1,599. However, personally, if you don’t need the performance, I’d choose a different laptop because this system is built for people who need that power.

This laptop comes with the best stylus I’ve ever used, which makes me wish I could draw. The stylus uses touch to give a feeling of artificial paper when drawing, and you can tap the stylus to bring up the drawing app. Nvidia has an experimental product called Nvidia Canvas which uses artificial intelligence to convert coarse brush strokes into art which would be a perfect app for this laptop. It seems to work very well with Adobe offerings, especially Adobe Fresco.

Ultimately, if you want to see a product built specifically to showcase the Creator features of Windows 11, the new Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio is my product this week.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of UAE News Network.

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