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10 Things MS can improve on with Windows 8.1

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Posted

What I'm reading in this thread is that 8.1 should have a Windows 7 + windows 8 merge button that keeps the UI functionality 7 established with the ability to add/remove/modify the start bar, hot corners, metro screen & size, and the side bars with 'widgets' based on windows 8 metro influences?

 

 Is that about right? would everyone agree if MS pulled this rabbit out of a hat windows 8.1 would be excellent? You could install 8.1 to work identical to how 7 did, just harnessing the under the hood boost, or you could leave it default as MS wanted 8.1 to be, or you could go anywhere inbetween via a theme modifier or UI builder or something?

 

That makes no sense. No new version of Windows has ever functioned identically as the last. You could set a few to behave as previous versions, but functionally, they were never identical. Things changed no matter what. XP didn't function like Windows 2000, Vista never functioned like XP, 7 doesn't function like Vista, etc... Why the heck should Windows 8 function exactly like 7? And why would users even want that? You'd be paying for minute speed boosts, and nothing else.

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1. give option to make taskbar non transparent, consistency is key - same as window colour please.

2. add more features to the mail app, its basic but not that bad

3. put all control panel options into metro mode, this constant switch between metro and the desktop is time wasteful, its duplicates of the same option

4. Metro apps in general. Nothing fancy just more quality apps. They are desperately needed.

5. Clean up some of the UI, give it more up to date flat look that is consistent. One example, open Computer Management, its not fully metro UI looking, lots of legacy UI is still found. 

1. How about give option to make window titles transparent, aka aero? Consistency is key.

2 & 4. I agree apps are missing tons of features, but apps don't matter much to desktop users when you can't even run them windowed.

3. Oh sure, get rid of the control panel entirely, that will go over well with desktop users.

5. Again, I don't think you'll find many people in favor of Metro-ifying the entire desktop UI. Especially if the new Networks sidebar is anything to go by.

 

What I'm reading in this thread is

You've read wrong imo. If you want to talk about proposed features, I suggest you quote the poster rather than making up your own potentially misunderstood interpretations.

 

Only the usual suspects. Win8.1 is getting praise from others who wanted to see Microsoft smooth out the edges.

"Others who wanted to see Microsoft smooth out the edges" does not include you, as your post history clearly shows you insulting, deriding, and belittling anyone who requested features like Boot to Desktop and Disable Edge Shortcuts that MS capitulated on in 8.1. You refused to even acknowledge the "edges" that MS is now "smoothing out".

 

And now you continue to insult, deride, and belittle anyone who asks for further improvements to Win 8 to make it at the very least as functional as Win XP/7 was. How tiresome it must be to fallaciously and obstinately defend anything a soulless corporation does while insulting its complaining customers.

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Posted

Been playing around with 8.1 in a VM for a few days now.  Some of the apps are nice.  I like how the weather app has all the information right there and you just scroll left and right, but the ads built right into it are kind of crap, as if you paying for the OS didn't make them enough money so they have to stick advertisements in your computer's applications.

 

I actually kind of like the tiles, but can't seem to find any context menu where I can add a custom shortcut.  For example if I wanted a tile that launched the command line or something that I used regularly.

 

The "Desktop" feels like it's been seriously crippled.  Let's say I prefer working in the "Desktop" environment, and I want to launch a new application that there's no shortcut to on that Desktop.  I have to go back out to the "Start Screen" to launch said application.

 

This is a gripe that may be applied to Windows 8 and not just 8.1 I think.  When I installed it in a VM, it asked me if I wanted to set up my Live account, so I said yes thinking it would do stuff like auto-configure the mail reader and things of that nature.  Little did I know that it actually ties your computer user account to your Windows Live account.  So let's get this straight, if somebody compromises my Windows Live account, which has happened before and I do "not" use weak passwords, they effectively have the password to my computer as well.  I can appreciate the convenience of having things tied into online services, heck I have some of my folders auto-synchronized with my Ubuntu One account on this computer, but something about linking my authentication credentials to an online account seems a bit scary to me.

 

I haven't done a whole lot with it though, so I may have a lot to learn.  I got it for free (I'm sure it will expire soon) from Microsoft as a bug finding tool and just threw it into a VM to screw around with, so it's not like I have any money invested in it and don't have any plans on replacing Ubuntu with it, but I think it's a decent choice for the right device and a person who is subscribed to Microsoft services.

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Posted

You refused to even acknowledge the "edges" that MS is now "smoothing out".

 

HA! Soooooooooooooooo True!

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"I actually kind of like the tiles, but can't seem to find any context menu where I can add a custom shortcut."

You have to create the shortcut in explorer, then right click and Pin to Start. There's no way to make that shortcut show up in All Apps unless you manually open the Start Menu folder (yes, it's still called Start Menu) and move the shortcut, assuming UAC doesn't jump down your throat for daring to access the AppData folder.

"but something about linking my authentication credentials to an online account seems a bit scary to me."

You want to see something scary/funny, turn on all the 'give MS metrics/data/phone home' options, run a packet sniffer, and watch as it sends a constant stream of data. Is any of that data a security/privacy issue? Why should I have to deal with the hassle? I'd rather not take my chances. In Win 7 it's possible to turn off all of MS's phoning home, even CRL checking. I wonder if that's possible in Win 8.

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HA! Soooooooooooooooo True!

 

I acknowledged that the Metro UX was rough, but that I liked where it was going, and I still do like where it was going. I love the Start Screen, and I love Metro, but in Windows 8 it's very basic. Windows 8.1 is expanding on those concepts to fulfill it's role. Now, Microsoft needs to work on integrating more of the Metro UX into Windows has time moves forward.

 

It was proposed that Microsoft strip the classic Control Panel out of Windows in favor of the Metro one, I'd love to see that too, since the Metro CP is the unified CP that we've all been asking for for years.

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Posted

###### Dot, keep dancing though.  You've acknowledged nothing.  Startscreen nailed you and your incessant, distractionary flamebaiting to a T.  I know since you were wrong so very often you must somehow justify your ego, so let the back-peddling commence.

 

I'd start citing all the things you were wrong on if I thought for a second it might help you develop some humility.  Keyboard shortcuts to itemize search anyone?  ;)

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Posted

That makes no sense. No new version of Windows has ever functioned identically as the last. You could set a few to behave as previous versions, but functionally, they were never identical. Things changed no matter what. XP didn't function like Windows 2000, Vista never functioned like XP, 7 doesn't function like Vista, etc... Why the heck should Windows 8 function exactly like 7? And why would users even want that? You'd be paying for minute speed boosts, and nothing else.

 

 

I just read through the thread. People either HATE the MetroUI, like myself, or love it, like you. Either way nobody is happy with the default windows 8 rollout MS did. Everyone sees room for improvements, minute or massive.

 

Functionality meant UI functions. not internal/kernel/under the hood stuff. MS mudded everything in 8 rather than improving it due to introducing something based for a technology NO previous windows adapters were using, rather than refining it more to suit both new technologies and existing. I can't wait for MS to abominate windows 8 in favor of 8.1 like they did to Windows ME. Find me some MS references to ME that aren't support-related. Its like they didn't even make that OS! IMO they shouldn't have forced metro, or they should have refined it to 8.1 before releasing. I was just reading how people wanted windows 8 to resemble more of windows 7. I personally like the 'to the point' menus windows 7 brought to the table and hate how windows 8 muds them so deeply within itself. even simple things like shutting down is more effort in 8 than 7, but 8 has a LOT of under the hood preformance boosts.

 

As for what people want, if they didn't want a windows 7 'classic' desktop experience, why are there so many programs like start8/classicshell to dumb 8 down to 7-like, and why do so many people install them? Also windows has been nearly identical the past 17 years. start button, task bar, corner clock, system tray.. just got some tweaks but never really changed. Someone using windows 95 would be able to use windows 7 without much effort. Take that windows 95 person and switch them to windows 8 and they'll have problems.... They'll have a 2 day learning curve instead of a 2 hr one, hence why so many people complained at the forced MetroUI microsoft imposed, and seemingly ignored the actual core of the OS being about the best code ever written to date.

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In regards to #8, people keep thinking DWM = Aero = Aero Glass.

 

It doesn't.

 

What they are complaining about is the lack of Aero Glass in Win8, which was, and is, just a theme. The underlying Aero technology, also known as the DWM, is still in Win8 and works as it did in Vista and 7. Minor nitpick, but it annoys me how many people get this wrong.

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Posted

 

 

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

 

I might be in a minority here, but I've found the ribbon useful on quite a few occasions. Installed Win8 on my dad's laptop and haven't had any complaints. The ribbon has certainly helped with discoverability. 

The new Task Manager is quite interesting, if a bit big. The colour coding is really nice, and the ability to choose which programs start up when you boot up Windows, without having to go into msconfig is also nice. 

 

I do agree that the networks sidebar just looks wrong on the desktop. You don't get something similar when you click on the clock or action center, or the volume.

 

 

 

8. Bringing back Aero and other desktop/dialogue box functionality that was removed would be nice.

 

What are you referring to when you're saying other dialogue box functionality? The copy dialogue box is, I believe, an improvement over 7, with the ability to pause and whatnot. 

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Posted

The search inside the new start screen actually seems a step backwards, you still have to go digging to do a shutdown, and hybrid boot mode in this build seems really buggy (every time I boot up using the hybrid boot mode my network connection seems to somehow disable itself, but after a full reboot it works fine).

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I love the new metro ...eerrr, sorry "modern" user interface.

 

It's so sophisticate and looks a whole lot better than iOS, especially since almost all (if not all?) applications look the same.

 

However, I would love to be able to customize the color of the tiles and the background in the apps; especially the default ones - I don't understand why the Xbox Music app has to have a grey background (it's ugly as feck)

 

And I would absolutely love, love, love it if I could play my music tracks from my cd boxsets in the correct order (like in iTunes!!)

 

But I would love a fingerprint sensor so I wouldn't have to insert my password anywhere, neither in the browser nor in apps (I hate the apps that you have to register to).

 

Finally I would like if the Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 were totally integrated, I could have the same apps with the same context in all my devices - which is where Apple has a head-start on Microsoft

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Lots of these things are changed or fixed/tweaked in 8.1.   Boot to desktop, options to tweak the start screen so instead of the tiles you get the app list.  Options to sort the app list into more of how it was in the start menu, and if anything you now see more apps listed of course.   Tweaks to snap for metro, they just need to make it so metro and desktop win32 apps can snap side by side in a better way.   The sharing of the desktop background on the start screen helps visually, and will help people new to it, as with the return of the start button since that's one less "hidden" UI element.  Still think the charms bar should get the option for a visual UI element as well, so desktop users can click on something to bring It up, but that's not much of an issue really.   By adding search buttons into the core apps with 8.1 users will see and get used to the new slide out charms menu.   New unified search in 8.1 also covers early complaints from 8.0 users.

 

New tile sizes are good as well, I'd like to see them improve the larger/extra large tiles more, right now you just see more info displayed but I think they can/should actually turn the tile into more of a widget when set into this new extra large size.  There's room for the tile to have controls in it this way.

 

A future notification center will be nice, also have it incorporate the desktop systray into it, it'd be a slide out window like the others so it fits with the new UI, that way the old tray icons would be at the bottom while you'd have a list of notifications for the rest of it. 

 

One last thing they could do is find a good way to expand the taskbar so it supports metro apps as well, having it show up in metro would be a bit odd though as the space below is taken up by the app bars but it could be possible with some more thinking.  In the end the goal would be the merge the two UIs more into one.

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Consistency is KEY. Legacy Icons, UI, PC Settings, etc need to be updated. That close button tooltip is still windows 9x style stuff like that. An idea is for the hot corners make them all customizable. If I want Start to be the upper right I should have the option to do so same with App switcher should be able to call the charms on the left too. And for the hot corners for charms there should be a button that flies out (like the start button and next app for the app switcher) and opens a command. I.E. Top right flies a settings button out, bottom right flies the charms button out when CLICKED opens the charms bar instead of the awkward gesture of moving the mouse to the middle right side to open charms.

 

TL;DR: Creating customizable buttons on the right side hot corners (like START button) that are clickable to open charms or charms functions.

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Consistency is KEY. Legacy Icons, UI, PC Settings, etc need to be updated. That close button tooltip is still windows 9x style stuff like that. An idea is for the hot corners make them all customizable. If I want Start to be the upper right I should have the option to do so same with App switcher should be able to call the charms on the left too. And for the hot corners for charms there should be a button that flies out (like the start button and next app for the app switcher) and opens a command. I.E. Top right flies a settings button out, bottom right flies the charms button out when CLICKED opens the charms bar instead of the awkward gesture of moving the mouse to the middle right side to open charms.

 

TL;DR: Creating customizable buttons on the right side hot corners (like START button) that are clickable to open charms or charms functions.

 

While the options would be nice isn't that going counter to you wanting consistency?  When everyone can change things up left and right wouldn't that turn things into a support nightmare? 

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The start screen apps list is a poor design that makes it much harder to find what you need than the start menu.

No, snapping is not a windows replacement, it completely removes vertical resizability for no good reason. Apps should to run in desktop windows on a desktop OS to be more useful and functional.

Using the desktop background for the start screen is a visual feature, it has nothing to do with functionality.

Edge shortcuts are not useful for the desktop. The "Charms bar" options should just be integrated into the start screen/bar. Having to move the mouse into any corner for regular/daily UI use is not optimal. Yes I realize the start button being in a corner is not optimal for Win XP/7 either.

Windows desktop search is still better than the start screen search app you're forced to use by default.

What needs to be resizable is the start screen itself. It should be more like a start bar that slides out from the left or right hand corner of the screen. Even my Android 4.2 phone has a sidebar launcher for multitasking that doesn't take up the entire screen.

 

Yes, that's right - my Android phone has a more functional app launcher than Windows 8, a desktop OS, in that it doesn't hog up the entire screen when I want to launch a new program. Let that sink in for a minute.

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While the options would be nice isn't that going counter to you wanting consistency?  When everyone can change things up left and right wouldn't that turn things into a support nightmare? 

 Well no because the Start button is a button that pops out and so is the next app button that pops out on the top left. So why don't the right corners pop buttons out?

Maybe add horizontal snapping and start screen snapping to the list :)

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Booting to the desktop would be great for me. Metro I do not have an issue with it except for it being a mess. 

 

I do love the ribbon. 

I do love the task manager ( though I keep forgetting the short cut keys for it)

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 The right corners having pop out buttons like the left is one thing but I'm talking about allowing you to change up what each of the corners do.  That's what I called a support problem and counter to consistency.

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No, snapping is not a windows replacement, it completely removes vertical resizability for no good reason. Apps should to run in desktop windows on a desktop OS to be more useful and functional.

 

So, what's this then?

 

post-420821-0-86960000-1375745907.png

 

Snapping has been an essential feature of Windows for years. Why all of the sudden is it bad?

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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?

 

 

or simply return the START  MENU! no reason to fix something that aint broken.

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11. Full device backup to SkyDrive. Start Screen layout, settings, app data, wallpapers, photos & videos in Camera Roll and anything else I'm missing.

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