Not going to lie: Windows 11 is giving off some major Windows Vista vibes. But I’ve been working hard on not being one of these “it’s different, so I hate it” guys. So I loaded up a copy of it in a VM and gave it a go.
I’ll skip the details, but: holy shit. What a mess. Lots of little issues. The Start menu has been bombed back to the stone age. There’s no organization. It’s simplistic. Too simplistic.
Frankly, I’m not sure where Windows is headed, but as an OS it feels like all they do is constantly layer new things on top of legacy things and never get around to cleaning up the old stuff. And when they do update something, it’s often missing functionality. (We see this behavior in stuff from Google, as well.)
I’ve described the whole sudden push to 11 as feeling like some higher-up guy at Microsoft got fired or quit, and his replacement is trying to make a name for himself, rushing a new product out the door that he can call his own.
I’m sure I could use Windows 11 and adapt to it… but I’m kind of tired of playing this game.
So I’ll keep my Windows partition on Windows 10. It’s good for a couple more years. Maybe Win11 will get it’s act together by then. Maybe in 2025 I’ll be able to organize my apps again instead of just lumping them into a list and being able to ‘favorite’ a couple things.
Meanwhile, I’ve decided to explore Linux again. A large part of what kept me away from full-timing Linux is that I’m a gamer. It’s a large part of my world. And, well, if you play games: you run Windows.
But the Steam Deck kind of changed everything. I’d learned about all the amazing work Valve did with Proton, and a plan started to formulate.
So I grabbed a fresh 1TB SSD and took the plunge on Friday night.
Ubuntu 20.04 LTS.
…it’s Monday now. And other than some rough edges here and there, I’m missing… nothing? Or damned well close to it.
I installed Steam and enabled the Proton stuff. So far both Quake and Borderlands: Pre-Sequel all ran fluidly.
Quake is not the most convincing thing, I admit, considering there are native ports easily within reach, but the new update on Steam is only officially for Windows (maybe Mac?). But it ran without complaint.
I’ll try some more later, but if the Steam Deck compatibility rate is to be believed, very little will NOT run.
Even just plain Wine is doing great — Photoshop is working mostly without a hitch. There’s a couple trivial UI things but it otherwise started up out of the box without any tweaks. Literally
wine Photoshop.exe on my mounted Windows drive.
That leaves almost nothing to be desired. Though I did have to reboot to play Far Cry 6, but even that’s just because it was running through the Ubisoft launcher — maybe there’s a way around it. And at this point, I believe it.
My prior attempts at running Linux as a daily driver have been met with frustration and sacrifice, but in 2021? I’m not feeling that anymore. I feel like the Linux desktop has finally arrived. For me, at least.
2023 Update: Best move I ever made. Long live Linux. Fuck Windows.