Paul Thurrott is really unhappy with the current direction of Windows (subscriber only link, and I think he has a lot of good points:
“Naturally, this made me think of Windows, and of Microsoft’s incessant, slow boil moves to forever ruin its user experience with crapware bundling, forced telemetry tracking, and, yes, advertising. These are the times that try one’s soul, as Thomas Paine once opined of an admitted more serious historical crisis. But I feel the pain all the same. And as time goes on, and Windows 8 becomes Windows 10 becomes Windows 11, it just gets worse.”
I think there’s a lot to like about Windows 11, but after using it extensively for a while I tend to agree with Paul. I like Windows 11’s simplicity and the way that’s stripped away a lot of what I see as legacy cruft in favour of something that looks clean and modern. But Microsoft being Microsoft, you can already see the temptation to put in ads, prod you towards using Bing, make you love Microsoft News (no really that’s not going to happen guys).
You can see how this happens: every team in Microsoft sees how it can “add value” to Windows and without really strong leadership this turns into a mess. It seems like the company has learned nothing since the days which Steven Sinofsky is describing in his excellent “Learning by shipping” series of emails.