Has Microsoft started to roll out items in Windows 11 that make us crusty old timers finally upgrade, that make us think, “Hmm, that’s kinda cool,” instead of wanting an older feature back?
It’s starting to look that way.
File Explorer tabs
I’m thinking specifically about File Explorer tabs — currently in preview mode — where you can quickly launch a second session of File Explorer with a quick click on “Plus” icon. Until now, we’ve had to right-mouse-click on File Explorer to open up a new Explorer tab when working on several projects, or moving files between local and network drives. The arrival of tabs, combined with changes to the Task Manager in Windows 11, just might start moving the needle for users who’ve been hesitant to upgrade.
You can can get your hardware on the Insider track now if you want to experience File Explorer tabs, but I recommend waiting for the feature to officially arrive. As I’ve noted before, being an Insider opens the door to bugs and other issues. But seeing how tabs works with File Explorer is one of those compelling little reasons tempting me toward Windows 11. (While I will still have to “buy” my way into Windows 11 for the majority of my systems because I’ll need new hardware, those purchases are starting to make more sense.)
Coming up: Microsoft Ignite
This week, Microsoft will once again showcase its plans to the IT community during the company’s Microsoft Ignite event. The show this year is a hybrid event, held both in person in Seattle and as a streaming event. No doubt, company execs will go over plans for Windows 11 as well as Windows 365, Intune, Defender, Teams, Loop, and Surface. If you’re like me and have bee scratching your head over Microsoft Loop, all you need to know is that Loop is a tool or application included in Microsoft 365 that adds a collaboration interface to any of the suite’s products. So, if you are working on a team, you can now collaborate on a document accordingly. Microsoft has also signaled an announcement is coming on Oct. 12 during Ignite, but is being a cagey about what it will be. The latest speculation involves several new Surface computers, including perhaps Surface Pro 9 laptops with 12th-gen Intel processors and an ARM-based laptop with 5G support. It’s been 10 years since Surface devices rolled out and I can argue that, for anyone looking for a lightweight travel laptop, my Surface Go with built in cellular is hard to beat.
Windows 11: One step forward, one back?
In a sign Windows 11 22H2 isn’t quite ready for prime time, there’s a new bug to deal with. As noted in the release notes of KB5017389, Microsoft says: “Copying large multiple gigabyte (GB) files might take longer than expected to finish on Windows 11, version 22H2. You are more likely to experience this issue copying files to Windows 11, version 22H2 from a network share via Server Message Block (SMB), but local file copy might also be affected. Windows devices used by consumers in their home or small offices are not likely to be affected by this issue.”
To work around the issue, you can use an old-fashioned answer such as robocopy to move files on your machine or between systems. Microsoft will be rolling out a fix in an upcoming release.
Don’t forget the drivers
Microsoft and Nvidia are working on gaming issues that have popped up, such as stuttering video with certain games. If you’ve been affected with games on 22H2, look for an update to your video driver to see whether it will address your issues.
Generally speaking, if you’re running Windows 11, it’s wise to check vendor sites for driver updates. While this can be a bit tricky if you have a home-built machine, if you run OEM hardware from HP, Dell, Lenovo, Asus or any of the other major vendors, the process is easier. If you’re unsure what vendors have supplied the drivers in your system, type in “device manager” in the search box on your PC, and expand the tabs to see items such as Display adapters and Network adapters. Once you find the vendors, go to their sites. Many times, as in the case of Nvidia, you can use a driver detection tool to determine the exact make and model and update to the latest supported drivers.
I also recommend you regularly review and update your video card drivers and network card drivers. With both Windows 10 and Windows 11, your computer will be better able to handle upcoming feature releases and the monthly security updates. With Microsoft’s move to once-a-year feature releases, make sure you don’t get out of the habit of keeping your drivers up to date.