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10 Things MS can improve on with Windows 8.1


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#1 startscreennope

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 17:47

Adding "boot to desktop" and "no edge shortcuts" options in Windows 8.1 was a first step, but they need to do more for desktop users. Here are 10 things MS should change or add to make it more functionally equivalent to previous versions of Windows:

 

Remember, the key word here is functionality, not new or old. Newer does not always mean better, and new and old can often co-exist, or old functionality can be reintegrated in a non-destructive manner.

1. Ability to resize the start screen so it only takes up a fraction of its current space and doesn't obscure the desktop. We should be able to make it more like a sidebar.

2. All Apps sorting is still a mess. Folders and shortcuts are stacked on top of eachother in uneven columns instead of nested, making a giant mess of shortcuts. This is far worse than the start menu for quickly eyeing and spotting a needed folder/shortcut that you don't remember the name to.

3. True context menu functionality. If I right click a shortcut I want the real deal, renaming, deleting, copying, command line properties, etc. from inside the start screen itself, not having to open a separate window in explorer.

4. Nested folders, including the nested control panel, network, favorites, recent documents/programs, etc.

5. If Metro apps are to be of any use to multitasking desktop users, they have to be able to be run in a desktop window. Aka ModernMix from Stardock. Docking is not a windows replacement and is antithetical to the idea of windows.

6. Bring back desktop search and restore its former functionality, we don't want to use a crippled fullscreen app for searching. Win 8 search was crippled, 8.1 search slightly less so. Adding direct internet search functionality is not necessarily a bad idea, but does not make up for other issues that need to be addressed.

7. The new explorer ribbon, networks sidebar, and task manager are all functionality disasters.

8. Bringing back Aero and other desktop/dialogue box functionality that was removed would be nice. Yes Aero is superficial but I liked it.

9. Let us make the start screen background transparent, not just show a mockup of the desktop wallpaper. Give us more options for adjusting the color scheme of start screen shortcuts. Not all of us like the ugly neon red/green/purple/orange palette.

10. Let us access Metro settings from the desktop. Do I really need to dig through a fullscreen purple colored Settings app to find an option that MS failed to add a desktop/control panel equivalent to?




#2 Steven P.

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Posted 14 July 2013 - 09:02

1. Ability to resize the start screen so it only takes up a fraction of its current space and doesn't obscure the desktop. We should be able to make it more like a sidebar.

Allow pinning tiles to the desktop.

 

2. All Apps sorting is still a mess. Folders and shortcuts are stacked on top of eachother in uneven columns instead of nested, making a giant mess of shortcuts. This is far worse than the start menu for quickly eyeing and spotting a needed folder/shortcut that you don't remember the name to.

Pretty sure I read that software developers need to clean up what is installed to the old "Start Menu" some programs install 5 or more shortcut links that really aren't needed.

 

3. True context menu functionality. If I right click a shortcut I want the real deal, renaming, deleting, copying, command line properties, etc. from inside the start screen itself, not having to open a separate window in explorer.

Agree here. I can't delete shortcuts from all apps, have to go to the file explorer to do so.

 

And I'd just add this:

 

11. Unified notifications center, could be easily added to the taskbar notifications bit that maybe popups a list of notifications that happened. The toasts that popup just don't cut it, they are one time and if you missed it you'll need to keep checking the Start Screen for numbers on tiles, put a number in the taskbar that popups detailed notifications alerts!



#3 Wioned

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 16:15

I would love the nested folders and a notification center.



#4 Lord Method Man

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 16:25

I agree with most. There's no reason a stupid full-screen separate interface needs to come up and obscure the programs/folders I have open whenever I want to search or access the start menu. Its completely asinine. If they really want to stick with their start menu I agree that a non-fullscreen implementation of it needs to be an option.



#5 OP startscreennope

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 07:29

This is a response to something I often hear about Windows 8 - "You don't have to use Metro, just install third party software."

 

It's not just Metro, there are other changes Win 8 makes that would take quite a lot of 3rd party software to replace. It's also possible to use 3rd party software on Win 7. Also, on many business/library/cafe/rental computers you aren't allowed to install third party software at all.

 

Furthermore you're asking someone to spend money on 3rd party solutions, spend time installing and maintaining it, dealing with any security or stability issues, looking out for potential malware/adware included with these programs, etc. Or you can stick with Win 7 with its secure built in functionality.

 

Finally there's the matter of principle. Do I really want to encourage MS's business tactic of reducing desktop functionality in order to familiarize users with MS's touch interface in an attempt to drive their failing phone and tablet sales? For me, the answer is definitely not, as it sets a dangerous precedent and encourages them to continue throwing desktop users under the bus.

 

For those reasons it's better that we encourage MS to improve its products for desktop users rather than settling for third party software. At this point we can be sure the Start Menu is not coming back, so the best we can do is let them know what functionality they can add to the Start Screen to make it better for us.



#6 Shiranui

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 07:32

They can fix my WiFi -- at least once a day it stops working and I have to disable and re-enable it in device manager to get it working again (only takes about 10 secs - got it down to a fine art - but it is still a pain). Yes I know it is a a driver issue and therefore Intel's fault, but I never had any problems with it in 7.



#7 RandyC

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 08:14

They can fix my WiFi -- at least once a day it stops working and I have to disable and re-enable it in device manager to get it working again (only takes about 10 secs - got it down to a fine art - but it is still a pain). Yes I know it is a a driver issue and therefore Intel's fault, but I never had any problems with it in 7.

 

I have a similar problem with my W530 laptop using the Centrino Advanced-N 6205 card. The problem is much better using the WiFi drivers that get installed by Windows 8 however as I don't need to reset the WiFi now but it still takes a while to connect (some apps like IE, Lync and Steam seem to hang for around 30 secs.) after Win8 tells me it is connected to a WiFi network. The Intel drivers from their website were very bad i.e. disconnections requiring card reset and poor signal quality for VoIP 



#8 Shiranui

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 00:25

I have a similar problem with my W530 laptop using the Centrino Advanced-N 6205 card. The problem is much better using the WiFi drivers that get installed by Windows 8 however as I don't need to reset the WiFi now but it still takes a while to connect (some apps like IE, Lync and Steam seem to hang for around 30 secs.) after Win8 tells me it is connected to a WiFi network. The Intel drivers from their website were very bad i.e. disconnections requiring card reset and poor signal quality for VoIP 

 

I have an "advanced" intel card too, maybe the same model, will check later.

I'll have a go at uninstalling intel's drivers tonight and see what happens.



#9 vcfan

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 00:52

fortunately,we have a product for people who dont like full screen apps, its called Windows 7


#10 +ians18

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 00:53

More desktop themes available for those who want them like cherrywood, Faux glass, vista shiny plastic, metals, glass, with or without transparency and blue, and non skewmorphic ones like thinner borders no borders.

 

Keyboard short cut customization turn things off like shift+up arrow (really annoying me when I type on Surface, they are right next to each other.

 

More dynamic START themes

 

option to download apps not in the store that are/aren't approved.

 

Add a desktop section and windows phone section to the store

 

Add Siri like voice command (should be more like Google Now really)

 

Add Jumplist to right click on Start Screen

 

Create an open standard for this like blasting music, screen cast, pictures, tv, movie to devices other than xbox over wifi, Bluetooth, or a new method

 

For those who want it: disable start button (I never complained in the first place) 

 

Make IE 11 better add themes and extensions, smooth out the new tab transition and the rest of the UI.

 

Let other browser be installed onto Windows 8/RT through the store

 

Add vertical tile to the Start Screen, and longer ones that take up four medium tiles

 

Add Modern UI Start Screen Task Manager

 

Update all Icons

 

Create File Explorer tab "Places" for libraries should have a unified location for all commands.

 

Add Command bar (windows 7 style) to File Explorer

 

Add terminal like to Windows

 

FIX the TOOLTIP ISSUE when you rollover close windows (maximize restore minimize too)  it STILL uses Windows 9x style tooltips

 

Add a modern ui Regedit



#11 RandyC

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 07:35

I have an "advanced" intel card too, maybe the same model, will check later.

I'll have a go at uninstalling intel's drivers tonight and see what happens.

 

Driver Details

 

Date: 07/10/2011

Version: 14.2.1.3

 

Hope it works for you.

 

I'm thinking of upgrading the card to a 802.11ac card once there are more on the market - just hope the drivers are better otherwise I'll go for a different manufacturer.



#12 TechAddict

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 08:16

7. The new explorer ribbon, networks sidebar, and task manager are all functionality disasters.

 

I disagree with point 7. I like the new ribbon and task manager. network sidebar is just one screen,i can live with that.

I agree with most of your other arguments though.



#13 OP startscreennope

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 09:36

The new task manager is ok, but botched a couple things. I don't agree with everything in this article, but it does highlight some of the issues. Probably best to go 3rd party with Process Explorer or Hacker.

 

Win 8 seems to be even worse than Win 7 at how big of a hassle it is to regain user control of the OS and stop Windows from constantly phoning home.



#14 +InsaneNutter

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 10:47

After installing the 8.1 preview i have been enjoying Windows 8.1 a lot more than 8.0.

 

My new main annoyance is not something that didn't even bother me in 8.0.

Desktop apps pinned to the start screen end up looking such a mess now the background is based on the icon colour:

 

76ku.png

 

I much perefered it when all pinned desktop apps had the same background colour, i did really enjoy the look of the improved start screen until i actually installed and pinned apps i use...now its just a horrible mess of colours.



#15 Dot Matrix

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 11:05

Wish they would remover the glossy Windows 7 taskbar icon glow for a flatter one, and remove the damn taskbar transparency on the desktop. Would still like to see more desktop options moved to metro flyout panels on the desktop as well.