Category Archives: Thoughts & concerns

Finding New Windows 11 Shutdown Dialog Box

Here’s an interesting bit of administrivia. Upon reading at OnMSFT that MS had snazzed up its Dev Channel dialog box for Windows 11, I went looking for same. That proved a bit more challenging than I initially expected. But I eventually got past finding new Windows 11 Shutdown dialog box, and made it appear. It serves, in fact, as the lead-in graphic for this very story (see above).

It Was Tricky, Finding New Windows 11 Shutdown Dialog Box

The usual method is to employ the Alt+F4 keyboard shortcut. But on my Lenovo X12 hybrid tablet PC that did precisely nothing. Then I found a source with something like this tell-tale sentence:

On some laptops it may also be necessary to press the Function (Fn) Key as well.

That turned out to be just the trick I needed to get the keyboard shortcut to work. Indeed, it’s what allowed me to produce — and then screen capture — the lead-in image for this story.

What IS New in Dev Channel Shutdown Dialog Box?

It’s kind of hard to tell just from the screenshot what’s new. For comparison, here’s what the Windows 10 version looks like:

Notice it prominently features the Windows 10 logo at the top of the dialog box. Notice also its corners are squared, not rounded. AFAIK that’s about it for what’s new.

That said, in keeping with a sparer and more spacious UI in Windows 11, it’s a bit easier on the eyes. IMO it’s also a bit easier to read and understand. For me, the learning came from producing the dialog box more than its contents. But hey, that’s why I have so much fun messing around with Windows. Cheers!



Windows 11 Dev Beta Channels Diverge

OK, what had been joined is now put asunder. Yesterday, Windows 11 Dev Channel went to Build 25115, and Beta Channel to Build 22621. This means that the two Insider Previews are now different. In fact, when Windows 11 Dev Beta channels diverge, it means they have different goals. According to WindowsLatest, 22621 represents a big push toward the first feature update for Windows 11. OTOH, 25115 shows that MS is still pushing forward into future releases looking into 2023 and the “next” feature update upcoming.

When Windows 11 Dev Beta Channels Diverge, Then What?

Among other things, this explains why MS broadcast an email warning to Dev Channel Insiders last week that “unstable and buggy preview builds will soon begin rolling out in the Dev Channel” (source: WindowsLatest,  May 8). In other words, the Dev Channel is returning to its primary role as a “first exposure” to new features, functions, and whatnot making its way into limited circulation for testing and feedback. Frankly, I’m looking forward to this.

As for the Beta Channel, it’s gearing up for progressively more locked down snapshots of what will become the 22H2 release for Windows 11. Thus, it should become an increasingly accurate rendition of the next production Windows 11 release. Again: I look forward to this, too.

You can see the Winver output from these two different versions in the lead-in graphic for this story. The Dev Channel release (Build 25115.1000) is to the left.The Beta Channel release (Build 22621.1) is to the right.

Fun and Foibles A’Comin…

With a more freehwheeling and experimental take on Windows 11 coming to the Dev Channel, life is about to get more interesting. Who knows? There may be bugs or hiccups to detect and report, and trouble to shoot. That’s why I signed up for the Insider program, and why I’m looking forward to more new stuff ahead. Sure, there may be instability and bugs. But that’s a good thing in the interests of getting things out there, and then getting them right. Cheers!


Build 22610 Brings Explorer TaskMgr Changes

Very interesting. I’ve taken some time to explore and play with the latest Dev Channel build. Mostly notably Build 22610 brings Explorer TaskMgr changes to look and feel. You can see this pretty strongly in the Explorer screencap above, and in the Task Manager screencap that follows.

Build 22610 Brings Explorer TaskMgr Changes.taskmgr

Task Manager gets a cleaner, less cluttered look (Details view on display), but… [Click image for full-sized view.]

Build 22610 Brings Explorer TaskMgr Changes Explored

On the Explorer side of things, I see no toolbar ribbon in a sparser toolbar overall. Mouseover pop-ups require clicking a menu item before they’ll appear (I’m almost fluent in the new iconography, but occasionally need a reminder). The new look of the Details pane (far right) is pretty neat, IMO: I like the look and layout. That makes me more inclined to use it. Check out the new thumbnails view for a LOT more of the same kind of thing, too (icon at far lower right).

Switching over to Task Manager, the same sparse and spare look also comes into play . Navigation switches from a tab bar at the top to left nav icons. Again, I’m going to have to master the iconography, but mouseover pop-ups appear without doing anything to prompt them. There’s a new “Efficiency mode” right-click item on the Details pane that lowers power allocation and warns of potential resulting instability. Could be good for laptop/tablet users runnning on battery.  Lots of interesting changes so far. I need to explore further and learn more before I feel like I really understand all the differences. That should be fun!

Net-Net Nut

Overall, I’m liking what I’m seeing quite a bit. I’m coming to prefer the look, feel and behavior of Windows 11 over Windows 10. It’s been slow but steady coming on. These latest changes make the newer OS more compelling, visually, and two of its most common and important tools a little easier to work in and use. As far as I’m concerned, I give the latest version two solid thumbs up!


Windows 11 Start Menu Video Ignites User Fury

Earlier this week, MS sent an email to Windows Insiders. It included a link to a YouTube video. It’s dated June 28, 2021. It’s entitled “Windows 11 Insider Story — How We Made the Start [Menu].” Alas, this revived but older piece about the Windows 11 Start menu ignites user fury worldwide. I mean: people are seriously aggravated.

Note: The comment obscured in the lead-in graphic by category data reads “It’s really easy to design something that you like…” A small part of the flap is that this sentiment is contrary to prevailing responses from actual Windows 11 users. While I’m not as taken aback as many on this topic, I’ve had my own issues with the Start Menu over the past 10 months, for sure.

Why Windows 11 Start Menu Video Ignites User Fury

Paul Thurrott’s coverage of this item makes a good example. In fact, it’s something of a nonpareil in its incredulity and scorn.  Thus, I quote the first bit to illustrate the reactions it’s provoking:

If you have any hope at all that Microsoft put any thought into the design of the Windows 11 Start Menu, do not watch this video. If on the other hand, you hate yourself and everything you care about, this is a fantastic way to develop a drinking problem.

I cannot believe they published this video. It makes what was bad even worse.

You can find similar stories at other Windows news and info outlets, including Windows Latest. In the current climate of misinformation, Microsoft’s blithe assertions about listening to and learning from user input is almost scary. But it’s a year old, people. And it’s based on the earliest version of Windows 11 ever previewed. Come on!

Houston … err, Redmond … We Have a Problem

Indeed, the Start Menu in Windows 11 has been a constant source of consternation, upset and sometimes outright hostility pretty since Day 1. Remember: the Windows 11 Insider Preview also went public on June 28, 2021. I’m a daily reader of all the active threads on Thus, I can personally attest that the Windows 11 start menu is a constant and ongoing cause for chatter, comment, complaints and more.

This same impression is pretty consistent across all the public feedback channels I can easily access, including Microsoft Answers and various Microsoft forums. Ditto for chatter on the MS news and info sites. Thus, the video comes off as either disingenuous or seemingly, from some alternate reality.

All this said, the situation is somewhat a case of “Much ado about nothing.” The feedback from users is pretty consistent that the Windows 11 Start Menu still needs work, and reasonably specific about what kinds of things are needed or wanted. I have to believe that MS really is listening and that they will get it right over time. But they’re not there yet, however much this year-old item might imply otherwise. I’m sure the tempest will soon die down, and we can all get back to work.

I did find Thurrott’s comments darkly funny, and hope you got a chuckle from them, too.


Windows 11 Uptake and Deployment March 2022

Though the numbers vary between AdDuplex and StatCounter, the growth rate for Windows 11 for March 2022 shows only slight change.  For the former, share went from 19.5 to 19.7%; for the latter, from 7.89 to 8.45%. Not much growth in Windows 11 uptake and deployment March 2022, in other words. What does it mean? I have some ideas, so please let me share them.

Windows 11 Uptake and Deployment March 2022 Is Consumer Driven

Aside from Microsoft’s own in-house deployment of 190K-plus copies (see this story with MS pointers for more info), major corporate or organizational migrations to the new OS are mostly still pending. This is no surprise, because migrations usually take a year or more to plan, and at least 6 months to complete. Double those numbers for the largest organizations. Simply put: business use of Windows 11 for medium-sized businesses and larger is slim to none.

So who’s using Windows 11? Aside from pilot projects and evaluations (which are ongoing in business or organizational circles), there are two major populations running Windows 11:

  1. Enthusiasts, power users and Windows aficianados (in which group I count myself) who have upgraded from Windows 10 to Windows 11, or performed clean installs on new builds or wiped systems. I’m guessing there are 100-200 million such users globally, with somewhere between 250 and 500 million PCs involved. With 11 PCs here at Chez Tittel, I’m an outlier on the high end, but nowhere near the top of that heap.
  2. PC buyers who purchase systems with Windows 11 pre-installed. With 340 million PCs purchased in 2021, and north of 350 million projected for 2022, at least 40% are likely to include Windows 11. That’s 300M-plus PCs!

This is my foundation for claiming 500M PCs could be running Windows 11 by the end of 2022. Right now, I’d be surprised if that number exceeds 300M. But it’s still a consumer/end-user thing, and likely to stay that way until 2023 and beyond.

The Long Tail Goes On and On…

I had my eyes checked late last month. Last year, all of the shop’s systems still ran Windows 7. Now, the front of the house (receptionist, sales staff, technicians) are on Windows 10. Both of the on-staff ophthalmologists, however, are still on 7. I have to guess that for most small-to-midsize operations that’s a pretty normal thing. Bigger companies are more likely to be on 10 now that EOL support for Windows 7 is so expensive, and “running naked” (i.e. unsupported) so dangerous and unattractive.

With EOL for Windows 10 not until October 2025, there’s still plenty of time to start thinking about Windows 11 migrations . . . next year!


Working Through Writer’s Block

Today is Easter Sunday here in Central Texas. I took my constitutional a bit later than usual, leaving the house just before 11 AM local time. While walking, I had the pleasure of listening to the “Arts Hour” on the BBC World Service on my iPhone. Unexpectedly, I listened through a brief interview with Aaron Sorkin (creator of The West Wing, and lots of other TV shows and movies). When asked about his issues with writing he responded something like this: “The problem is not with writing; it’s with NOT writing.” I found myself laughing out loud, because in the past couple of weeks I found myself working through writer’s block to finish what turned out to be an interesting project.

Working Through Writer’s Block Pays Off

Like many other writers, I do sometimes get stuck. My biggest problem is getting started on a project. When I don’t feel 100% prepared, when I’m not completely comfortable with the subject matter, or when I know a project includes lots of “hard labor” I tend to put such projects off. And then, sometimes, I put them off some more.

This last time around, I had to postpone a delivery because of a severe allergy attack that laid me up over the weekend. When Monday rolled around, I put it off until Tuesday. That turned into Wednesday, and so forth until Friday was staring me in the face.

Getting Unstuck May Require a Push

Confession, it is said, is good for the soul. Thus, upon finding myself profoundly stuck I called my senior editor. I’ve worked with the same team for 3-4 years now, so we know each other well. I simply fessed up and said: “I’ve got writer’s block. How can I get started?”

The advice turned out to be just what I needed to break my logjam. The editor said two things:

1. Start in the middle
2. The outline is 3,500 words and the piece is 4,500-5,500 words. How can this be a problem?

He was right. As soon as I read the outline and re-read some source material, I knew what I needed to do. I skipped the intro (which had been stopping me) and started with Part 1. It did take me two full days to write the piece after that, but I did get it finished. Thank goodness.

Other Sources of Help

Turns out there are lots of places to turn for good advice on beating writer’s block. A quick Google search turns up some real gems including:

Jeff Goins: How to Overcome Writer’s Block: 14 Tricks That Work
Penguin Random House: 10 Ways to Beat Writer’s Block
ReedsyBlog: Writer’s Block: 10 Ways to Defect a Writer’s Worst Enemy
R.L. Stine: 6 Tips for Overcoming Writer’s Block

And believe me, there’s plenty more where that came from. Turns out that asking for help (and talking to a friend) is pretty close to the top of  most of the preceding (and other) lists. Fundamentally, you need to break out of whatever has you stuck. If one thing doesn’t work, try another — and keep trying until you get writing again.

Works for me, anyway…