Windows 11: What We Wanted but Didn't Get

There are eight features missing from Microsoft's latest OS that we hoped would be included.

Alison DeNisco Rayome Managing Editor
Managing Editor Alison DeNisco Rayome joined CNET in 2019, and is a member of the Home team. She is a co-lead of the CNET Tips and We Do the Math series, and manages the Home Tips series, testing out new hacks for cooking, cleaning and tinkering with all of the gadgets and appliances in your house. Alison was previously an editor at TechRepublic.
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Alison DeNisco Rayome
3 min read
Laptops and tablets loaded with Windows 11

Windows 11 brought some welcome new features and a redesigned interface, but we haven't gotten everything we wanted. 


Windows 11, Microsoft's newest operating system, flaunts some worthy upgrades compared with Windows 10. The new OS sports a redesigned interface with a more Mac-like aesthetic and some useful new features, including easier virtual desktop creation, widgets, Android app downloads and a more integrated Microsoft Teams experience

Windows 11 does have a lot to offer, but it left us wanting more in terms of some performance and productivity features. And several features we hoped to see didn't become a reality at all. 

Read more: Windows 11 Review: The New OS Makes You Ask, Update or Wait?

Here are some of the changes we would have liked to see in Windows 11 but didn't. 

A vertical taskbar option

While you can move your taskbar in Windows 10 to a vertical position to the left or right edge of the screen, the final result is often a bit messy in terms of the user interface. We were hoping the vertical taskbar would still be an option in Windows 11, just cleaned up a bit. However, it appears that Microsoft nixed the feature, and you'll need to keep the taskbar at the bottom of the screen. 

Computational videography for webcams 

With many people shifting to remote or hybrid work, the need for a solid webcam experience is imperative for all of those Zoom and Teams calls. The Apple iPhone and recent Google Pixel phones already include computational image processing to improve quality. We would have loved to see this feature in Windows 11 for webcams, which could have also given PCs an edge over the M1 Macs, but no dice. 

Watch this: Microsoft Unveils New Features for Windows 11

Faster Windows updates

Windows 10 represented Microsoft's move to deliver Windows as a service, with continuous updates -- which is great for keeping machines secure. However, these updates can be slow. In Windows 11, we'd like to see an approach more similar to Google's with Chrome OS, where the upgrade occurs in a second partition so it's done in the background. But it seems like the process to upgrade to Windows 11 is the same as it has been for Windows 10. 

Faster shutdown, restart and wake from sleep

PCs running Windows 10 can face slower shutdown, restart and wake-from-sleep times, sometimes due to the need to close apps like the task manager. We'd have liked to see those options sped up in Windows 11, but Microsoft didn't mention any changes on this front. 

A laptop with a colorful background on a stool

Wake up faster, Windows 11.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Three-finger trackpad for drag and drop

MacOS offers the option to use three fingers on the trackpad to drag and drop items. But Windows machines currently make you double-click to do this. Again, Microsoft didn't mention any change here. 

Easier options to reverse the scroll direction

MacOS makes it easy to reverse the direction of your mouse scroll if you want to from System Preferences. But in Windows, you have to go into the Registry, and it's a more complicated process. 

Simpler user account creation

In Windows 10, you need to log in to create a new user account, and Microsoft recommends that the new account is also attached to a Microsoft account. While we wanted to see easier user account creation without logging in or being pressured to create or connect a Microsoft account, Windows 11 Home goes in the opposite direction: You'll need to have a Microsoft account and an internet connection to get the upgrade. 

A laptop with the Windows logo as a background

Most people will need both a Microsoft account and an internet connection to update to Windows 11. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

Improved setup of multiple cameras, webcams, mics and headsets

With the rise of working from home, more people are improving their computer setups with multiple webcams, mics and headsets. Windows 10 makes it tricky to choose the device you want to use, and sometimes requires you to disable one of the others. While Windows 11 has added some useful features for the hybrid workplace, including easier desktop creation, Microsoft executives didn't discuss any changes from the hardware setup perspective. 

For more, check out hidden features in Windows 11, how to check if your PC is compatible with Windows 11how to fix the "This PC can't run Windows 11" error and what to do if you don't want to ditch Windows 10.