I have one Windows computer and two Windows VMs running on my Mac Pro using Parallels. One of the VMs is in the Developer's Channel, as is the stand-alone machine. Both of these updated promptly to Windows 11, even though the checking tool on the VM machine said it could not run Windows 11

I do not like the "improvements" in the desktop or the Start Menu. 

  • Centering the task bar icons (à la MacOS) is a disadvantage. It leaves less space for the right-hand icon set. Change for no good reason is bad. (Note: you can move it back to the left)
  • It now takes an extra click to access the list of installed programs.

  • Microsoft installed extra "junk" programs like Xbox, Spotify, and Instagram. Luckily they can be uninstalled with a right-click. There is an inconsistency, since other App uninstalls launch Control Panel and you must uninstall them from there.
  • It pinned Microsoft Edge to the Start Menu, even though my default browser is EdgeDev. This is a continuing problem (which I complained about several times). Apps often do not open the default browser and revert to Edge. In Windows 11, there is no longer a "Set my default browser" setting. Instead you must set 12!! (if I counted correctly) individual settings for each protocol a browser handles. Many of them also nag you to keep using Edge as the default.

  • My favorite Desktop Manager Dexpot no longer works properly, and conflicts with Microsoft's new manager.
  • The windows now have very slightly rounded corners, but so far as I can tell, the system still treats them as rectangles.

See https://www.tomshardware.com/how-to/worst-windows-11-features-fix-them for some fixes.

But some things are neat and useful. 

  • When I had to do a Windows Update (with a reboot), it gave me a time estimate. 5 minutes seemed much faster than Windows 10.
  • It takes 1.5 minutes to boot to the log-in screen in my virtual machine. Two more minutes for the desktop to appear.

Windows 11 requirements

You must have a recent PC with a TPM chip installed to use Windows 11 (to increase security). It works just fine without one, but Microsoft will refuse to install updates (which destroys security).

Because Microsoft "upgraded" my developer PCs to Windows 11 without asking me, I am rather screwed.

  • I have several virtual machines (VMs) running inside Parallels on my Mac Pro. Why several? One is Windows 10 (not in developer program). The others are from historical reasons, and I should consolidate them. Parallels emulates the TPM chip in software, but there is a catch: old Parallels VMs do not have this, and cannot be updated. There are two solutions to this, neither is painless.
    • You can transfer a Windows (10 or 11) from a "real" Windows PC that has a TPM chip.

    • You can download a Windows 11 ISO and buy a cheap, but legitimate, key. I found one for Windows 10 Pro for $7.48! The Windows 10 key works for activating Windows 11.
  • But the biggest issue is how to keep your old installed applications. I bought EasUS Todo PCTrans. It is licensed for 2 machines. You put one copy on the source computer (which may be a Parallels VM), and the other on the new installation. It successfully transferred my personal settings and files (docs, pictures,...) but was only partially successful at transferring applications. Office transferred but FrameMaker did not. I was very fortunate that I had the FrameMaker 2015 install programs so I could reinstall it.
  • However, my Lenovo laptop is not Windows 11 ready. It right now has the beta build of Windows 11, and I am not sure how to revert it to Windows 10.
  • HOLD THE PRESS! There is a registry hack to fix this. But for my VMs, this was already enabled, and the updates to Windows 11 rolled back.

Android now works!

There is finally an easy way to get the Android Subsystem for Windows (ASW) to work: Install Google Play On Windows 11 - Android Apps & Games Windows 11! - YouTube. If you already installed ASW, you must uninstall it or else the final install step will fail.

For example, here is AccuWeather:

Linux works!

You must install  wsl2 and also enable nested virtualization in Parallels if you are running in a virtual machine (which does slow things down)

Then you can pick your favorite distribution from the Windows store (search for Linux distros). I prefer OpenSUSE Leap 15.3, but I have it running, so chose Ubuntu LTS

You must watch the install screen to fill in the user information:

Then, you can install a graphics app such as xterm:

sudo apt install xterm

and run it (it took a while to start, so I did a ps to list processes).


If you want a whole Ubuntu desktop, you can do this using XFCE.

To manage packages, install synaptic

sudo apt install synaptic

Note it has to be launched as root, and sudo synaptic did not work for me.

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