Windows 11 Pain and Suffering

Does anyone find it hard to watch all the suffering people still using Windows are going through to get their OS to respect the user? It’s especially hard not to say “Well if you were using Linux you wouldn’t have this problem…”, even in the L1 Windows forum or elsewhere. But that will often just be seen as annoying or pushy.

All these discussions about “debloating” W11, shady scripts and downloads to remove crap MS shoved in there… loss of customizations and features (which Linux desktop environments have) that MS users will just need to get used to, or spend time figuring out how to get it to behave “like Win7” or whatever…

And one of the craziest things is that they’re still saying they don’t want to need to “waste time” setting up and configuring their OS… while they are doing that very thing in an OS which does everything it can to resist it. And they’re paying for this!

No it’s worse than that… it’s also inflicting mental anguish on myself too, because I have to try to resist going in there and advertising for the Penguin OS. It’s hard to tough it out and resist reacting to this slow motion train wreck of Windows users stuck in a Stockholm Syndrome.

What do we do, just watch another year of this suffering? I would have thought that before it gets this bad people would be looking to jump ship, but they’re still doing the same thing they always have.

It’s getting ridiculous isn’t it?!


Wendell touched on this in his recent Windows on ARM video, and I agree.

Microsoft’s lack of respect for me as a customer, and lack of competence generally, is why I have been using Linux for over a year now.

What little proprietary software I do need runs in KVM under a MacOS virtual machine with GPU passthrough.

Software I use is significantly faster on Linux, my Steam games run better under Proton, and my hardware is better supported by kernel modules built into the OS.

I refuse to be served ads or otherwise harassed by a product I paid for.


You said it yourself, Stockholm Syndrome.

Funny thing that, some of my friends are giving up on their PC, and they migrate to console and phone-only.
Console (PS5) for gaming, Phone mirrored to the TV for web-browsing/video. Done!

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Sounds like they have a “free” machine ready for a Linux install! Once they need to do some kind of real work and the phone doesn’t cut it, they’ll be glad…

It’s like any other vise, change can only come from within. Countless people have said they would change for health, safety, loved ones, and it never sticks because they didn’t want it more than they wanted to keep doing what they are doing.

I’m always willing to help those interested to find the tools and information they need to make that change, but we currently can’t go in to people’s brains to directly force them. I’m glad I’m on the back 9 where I wont have to live in a world where that is commonplace.

This is also a niche within a niche within a niche. Bring up Linux anywhere outside of the tech sphere and you will get mostly crickets with the occasional insult. This only happens in our small bubble of the tech sphere. We can be here to lend a hand, but getting people to go cold turkey on Windows simply can’t be forced, and it seems to hurt everyone in the long run if you try.

I think the key is to sneakily get people to switch to multi platform software first. Once you’re only using stuff that runs on Linux and web stuff, switching is pretty easy.

Microsoft is building windows to be ai powered spyware … errrrr … an os that every must conform their work / gaming / shopping / video watching and audio listening experience to just one way of doing things… the microsoft way!

As everyone knows - that’s not how things work in the real world!

Just this mans opinon for what it’s worth!

I would try to see things from their perspective. Ask yourself, why should they care? There aren’t any direct and immediate consequences for using Windows 11, every program you’ll ever want to use works on it, and they won’t have to go through the pain of learning anything new when using it. You may as well be Richard Stallman compared to your average normie.

I like people like Richard Stallman because people like him provide a baseline for what someone would look like if they were absolutely strict about maintaining principals, and it’s why I really do believe that we need people like him around - but on the contrary, I think there’s also something wrong with living like he does. Sometimes being so rigid makes you miss out on life.

Would being spied on actually matter if nothing happens to you anyway? Why care when Windows 11 just works? Don’t get me wrong, I definitely do not agree with the normies, but I also think they have a point. Why bother being aware when ignorance will lead them to the same outcome? If you’re serious about being able to reach out to the normies, those are questions you’re gonna have to be able to answer for yourself first, and if you really think about it… they’re not dumb questions. We have to come from a place of humility.

That’s the usual privacy vs convenience argument (which goes far beyond just OS use too) and it for sure is a challenge to get people to wake up to it.

We need to do a better job of identifying the negative consequences of a total loss of privacy. The “if you don’t have anything to hide” crowd is especially frustrating to deal with.

Back on the OS specific front though, it’s more than just privacy for me. Using Microsoft stuff is frequently annoying, there’s always some problem or quirk you run into. So maybe this is just subjective preference, but I don’t think the quality is even there. And the quality really should be there- what are you paying for otherwise?

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The problem with trying to explain it to someone who doesn’t care is that it’s mostly about a matter of sticking to principals. From a practical standpoint, your life probably isn’t going to suddenly get worse just because you’ve been using Windows 11 and letting Microsoft spy on you for months. Not caring about your privacy is completely painless, and for all intents and purposes, doesn’t have any immediate consequences at all. The topic of civil liberties is something I’m very passionate about, but sometimes I question how much of my computer lifestyle choices is actually making a difference?

Like what? Got a game you wanna play, or a Wacom tablet you wanna use? You’re in luck, they’re all designed to work on Windows. What doesn’t work on Windows?

“If you have nothing to hide, why do you have a bathroom door?”


Just from my own Steam library, Sims 3 no longer works correctly on Windows, but runs perfectly with Wine. This is well documented. Windows software doesn’t even work on Windows :laughing:

That’s not a good example. Wacom drivers are part of Linux.

I’ve got five separate USB and FireWire audio interfaces, an HP Windows Media Center remote control, and a Spaceball 3000 that doesn’t work with Windows, but are plug and play with Linux.

In terms of random hardware or software support, I’m sure you can cherry pick examples that don’t work on either OS. I have much better luck with Linux.


Railroad Tycoon 3 (Original, not the updated GOG version) runs on WinVista at most, Linux it just works.


After seeing the direction Windows 10 took and especially after Windows 11 rolled out I was sure I was gonna move to Linux. Microsoft has become even more greedy and makes an unbearable product that just gets in the way of getting things done.
At this point Microsoft itself advertises for Linux, for better or worse.


Thanks to those above who provided specific examples of games that work on Linux but DON’T run on Windows anymore. I’ve been theorizing that that sort of thing will happen eventually but I didn’t have any examples. I was fairly sure it helps that you can choose which version of Proton to use. So the older APIs for older games still exist to switch on… can’t do that on Windows.

Yeah I’ve used Wacom on Linux before. And you don’t need to install drivers. Do you still need to install drivers on Windows? It’s gotten hard to find games that don’t just work on Linux… the list of “only works on Windows” has shrunk considerably.

But that stuff isn’t the “annoyances” I was complaining about above. I was thinking about annoyances mostly of Microsoft’s creation. And many things that worked fine and didn’t need to change. Ironically the MS designers years ago had things figured out pretty well, and they’ve been in reverse for years. This is a good excuse to vent:

  • Every time I use a new Win PC I need to disable some of the horrible taskbar features they have enabled like “combine application windows into a single button” or whatever it’s called. And was it really necessary for MS to start centering things on the W11 taskbar instead of leaving it left-aligned like it’s been for decades?
  • Default settings for their ‘file explorer’ are pretty horrible too, ex. hiding file extensions is a security issue (is that png I just downloaded really a .png or is it an .exe?)
  • The filesystem locks files. When an application has a file “open” you can’t delete, move, not even rename. And good luck figuring out which application has the file open. This is especially painful if you’re a developer forced to use a Microsoft OS (which is especially funny since most software gets deployed to Linux servers or runs in web browsers).
  • Visual customizations are pretty limited and the UI used to tweak what is available is not well designed… or it keeps changing, or something.
  • Using the Windows ‘file explorer’ is just pain. In a corporate environment where you have a OneDrive or whatever it is (maybe they are doing it on personal devices too now) you’ve got these remote folders like Downloads/Images/Documents etc, but you still have LOCAL versions of those folders too. I think. I’m not even sure what it does because how it works is so damn confusing. If we need to ensure we’re using the local drive instead of a remote/shared drive for performance reasons, I often end up needing to manually navigate to C:/Users/username/folder. Also who knows WHY there’s a performance problem when you access files in a ‘shared folder’ in the first place, but there is. I guess it’s not just keeping the files locally and syncing them up as needed (probably because of the horrible locking file sytem I already complained about).
  • If there’s still a way to open a second instance of an application (like file explorer) with a single left-click on an icon, I haven’t figured it out. They’ve been messing with how that taskbar stuff works for years… maybe it’s still possible but what was wrong with how it used to work?
  • Why did they decide to hide the logout/shutdown/restart stuff in the Start menu? There’s still people around who don’t know where to find that stuff…
  • Microsoft’s web software like Office365 or Teams is just bad. Buggy garbage that doesn’t work as well as competitors. The web versions of their applications still don’t even fully support their own office file formats, or are missing features. Just the other day I remember trying to just view an IMAGE (png or something) attachment inside their web outlook and it failed to display. Nothing fancy, literally just an image file. Microsoft stuff “just works”? Eh…
  • If I recall correctly the WIndows interface still has a tendency to freeze up or get sluggish when wierd stuff is going on like network problems. That’s probably another corporate/work thing. But the fact that your entire desktop can freeze up for a non-local problem is just bonkers. Poor engineering!
  • The over-engineered “registry” should just be files in a file system, it’s terrible. But they probably couldn’t do that because NTFS is so lousy in the first place.
  • I’m glad they finally got around to adding and improving window snapping. Too bad they did a terrible job at it with no real customization possible, making it almost useless if you’re unlucky enough to need it to do something slightly different. I’m not counting on them fixing that, since they’re more into removing configuration settings rather than increasing your options.

I know much of that is subjective and maybe even fixable if you know how, but I can’t fix most of that. I could go on, it’s hard to remember all the little things you hit infrequently, but I know they exist.

However I am glad that at least after 20 years they FINALLY fixed that tiny little text box they gave you when you wanted to modify your system PATH variables. So thanks for that Microsoft? :stuck_out_tongue:

Yeah I’ve heard similar, but this sort of thing doesn’t seem to phase them for some reason. Haven’t figured out why yet. Maybe we need more realistic cases. I usually like to ask for people’s email password. :rofl:

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Do the buttons on your Wacom tablet work? The tablet itself work fine on Linux, but the 4 hotkey buttons on the top left and top right of the tablet don’t work. It’s fine, I can do without them, but they work perfectly fine on Windows. From my understanding, the Linux Wacom drivers were made by reverse engineering, they weren’t made with Wacom’s efforts, and so are kind of janky.

I have tried Linux and enjoy it on my other laptops however for my main I still use win11 cleaned out with Ntlite. Why? My cpu usage is much much lower then Linux, don’t have proper working Atmos in Linux, and a lot of my programs just work the way I like in windows.

Don’t get me wrong each have there own use but there is still a reason why windows has a big user base.

It’s been a while since I’ve played with it, one of those toys I got years ago and mostly forgot about. What are they supposed to do? lol

I just plugged it in and one of them does a mouse click fine. But I’m not sure how to test the others and (obviously) never tried using them for anything.

Technically, I don’t think you need to install the Wacom software/drivers on Windows to just get the tablet working. You need to install them to get extra functionality, like assigning functions to the hotkey buttons on the tablet itself… which is something I’ve never gotten to work on Linux.

Most of your complaints about Windows sound more like preferential issues on your part, rather than actual problems. Don’t get me wrong, I’d prefer not to use Windows at all if I could get away with it, but there is a reason why I still have to dual boot - I wouldn’t be surprised if you did too. The only thing that I’ve encountered in Windows that’s been a real pain for me is mapping a network drive with multiple users, it isn’t just as simple as adding it from the file explorer, you have to manually add each user on the same server in the hosts file in the System32 folder. This problem has been on Windows since forever.

My BlueTooth headphones. Both pairs. Oh, I could get them working in the OS allright. But use them in Teams? Only way that worked was restarting Windows 11. This cost me 15 minutes of meeting time today.

They work flawlessly with both Pulseaudio and Pipewire in Linux.

My coworkers have similar problems.