Why Windows 11 Makes Me Want to Switch from Mac

It’s more Apple than Apple

Key Takeaways

  • Microsoft’s new Windows 11 is tempting me to switch from the Mac OS. 
  • A revamped user interface and better touch support are some of the features I’m excited about. 
  • I can’t wait to try out the new ability to use Android apps in Windows.
Windows 11 Displayed on a tablet computer with a stylus laying nearby.

Microsoft

Just as I’ve just gotten myself firmly entrenched in the Apple ecosystem with Macs, iPhones, and iPads, Microsoft has to come along and spoil my contentment with a tempting alternative in the form of Windows 11.

The new Windows version sports a cleaner, more Mac-like design and a bunch of new features. It’s arriving during the 2021 holiday season, according to a Microsoft blog post. The new OS will be a free upgrade for existing Windows users. 

I adore my MacBook Pro and iMac M1, but love is fickle. Some of the features in Windows 11 seem to beat Apple at its own game. 

"As much as I like the Mac, I feel like the hardware designs are falling behind their Windows competitors."

Looks Like an iPhone

The most striking change at first glance to Windows 11 is its altered appearance. In fact, it’s going to look a lot more like iOS with rounded corners on icons. 

Minor visual upgrades abound throughout Windows 11. There’s a brand-new Start menu, which is centered and floating. There are also new, more colorful icons peppered throughout the operating system. 

The way you interact with Windows is also changing. And this is where it gets interesting from a Mac user’s perspective. For years, some Mac fans have been calling for the Mac OS to adopt a touch interface, but Microsoft has actually done this with Windows 11. 

Previous Windows versions have tried to make touch work with the OS, but have failed in one way or another. Microsoft promises to get it right this time by supporting more swipe gestures and making it more consistent with what happens when you tap on something.

Much like the widgets feature for iOS, Microsoft is adding a widgets panel to Windows 11, which will slide in from the left. The functionality is limited at the moment, but expect this feature to get third-party support soon. 

Business users will be excited about Microsoft’s integration of Teams into Windows 11. Instead of opening an app, you can now use Teams chat right in the taskbar, so you can easily talk to colleagues. The Teams chat also will work with SMS, so you’ll be able to communicate with people who don’t have the app. However, it’s expected that the SMS feature will work only with individuals, rather than group texts. 

Apps Galore

One cool feature is the ability to run Android apps in Windows 11. The apps will be available through the Microsoft Store, but Microsoft has partnered up with Amazon to bring the Amazon Appstore to the Microsoft Store, so there will be an even more extensive selection. Of course, the latest version of the Mac OS can run iOS apps. 

Widgets in Windows 11

Microsoft

Another change that could make Windows 11 a lot more useful than its predecessor is a refresh of the Windows Store, where you can purchase and download apps. Apple was a trailblazer in this area with a clean, modern design for its Mac store that allows you to find apps quickly. The current Windows store, by contrast, is a mess, with a hard-to-navigate interface and lacking the valuable suggestions that Apple offers. 

Will Windows 11 cause me to switch allegiances from Apple? It’s too early to say without having a chance to use the latest OS myself, but the indications are positive. As much as I like the Mac, I feel like the hardware designs are falling behind their Windows competitors. 

For example, my Microsoft Surface Pro 7 is a terrific table with a stunning design that lets you seamlessly switch from tablet to makeshift laptop. But great hardware like this has been held back by the inferior operating system that Microsoft offers. The stuttering performance of the Surface Pro just can’t compare with the smooth experience of using my iPad Pro. 

A smoother user experience and better touch integration will go a long way to improving Windows. Suddenly, the dark side is calling me away from my Macs.

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