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10 Things MS can improve on with Windows 8.1


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#16 TPreston

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 11:12

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.

Install RSAT and it looks even worse.
 

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.

Theres a group policy setting for that if it helps.

Automatically pining applications was the best thing about the start screen in 8.0, Install Adobe CS6 and it pins every application automatically ready for naming. That needs to return at least as a group policy option (found something similar but it seems to be just for certain application guids).


#17 Dot Matrix

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 11:13


 Theres a group policy setting for that if it helps.

 

For what?



#18 Steven P.

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 11:22

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.

Try this http://winaero.com/c...omment.news.199

 

SNAG-0004.png



#19 OP startscreennope

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 19:01

So I was messing around with Win 8.1 today, just further realizing how awful the start screen and new explorer are. I wanted to do something that's very simple in Windows XP or 7 - add a program to start at Windows boot by putting a shortcut into the Startup folder.

If the shortcut already exists on the start menu:

1. Right click the shortcut
2. Click 'create shortcut', this duplicates the shortcut
3. Drag the shortcut into the Startup folder via the Start Menu

If the shortcut doesn't exist on the start menu:

1. Locate the program in explorer
2. Drag the program into the Startup folder via the Start Menu (a shortcut will be created automatically). Alternately, right click the program and select pin to start menu, then drag it from the pinned list to the Startup folder.

So how does this work in Windows 8?

1. Open start screen, right click shortcut if it's pinned, if not start digging through the disastrous All Apps list, full of un-nested folders sorted in uneven columns.
2. Click "open file location".
3. You're now in explorer with the shortcut displayed in the Start Menu folder.
4. Copy the shortcut.
5. Manually navigate to the Startup folder and paste the shortcut. You don't get to see the tree view in explorer for some reason, even if you uncheck Hidden on the AppData folder properties and apply all.

Without true context menu functionality, there's no way to directly find the shortcut target. "Open file location" in the start screen only brings you to the shortcut location. And of course, the lack of rename, delete, properties, and any custom context menu entries you'd like to add and have easy access to.

You can't copy a shortcut pinned to the start screen into the All Apps list unless you manually copy that shortcut into the Start Menu folder using Explorer. No way to just transfer or duplicate it like you can with the Start Menu. Managing shortcuts is a nightmare with the start screen, and there's a big integration gap between the pinned list and All Apps list that didn't exist before.

Also, why is it such a pain to get an elevated Explorer process so I can get around UAC not letting me do almost anything to files in the Program Files (and other) folder(s)? You can't even create a shortcut or modify a file inside Program Files without an elevated explorer process, let alone important files like Hosts in the Windows folder. Of course, if I suggested turning UAC off I'd get the UAC nanny state police fanatics bearing down on me cursing blood and thunder that I dare value control and convienence over "security" and annoying pop-ups.

 

When installing Windows 8 you have to go through 10+ extraneous clicks to opt-out of all the new metrics MS wants your computer sending to its servers. Then there's turning off or uninstalling all of the live tiles that are auto-installed. There are also annoying apps notifications to turn off. And how about the post-crash "Send report to MS?" dialogue you can't disable or ignore unless you turn off the Windows Error Reporting service? Constant Smart Screen nagging?

On default settings your computer will be sending a constant stream of metrics, reports, and data to MS, and it takes a significant effort to disable it all. That's assuming any of it is actually disabled, or wouldn't be re-enabled at any time without permission. Now Windows 7 is far from innocent in this regard, but Win 8 cranks it up to 11 - even more of a hassle to regain control of the OS and elevate your own permissions.

 

That just makes me think of the posters who claim that Win 8 is the same or better than Win 7, and start insulting and belittling others for rejecting it. I was right - they are truly the ignorant ones who don't understand, not us who need to use our computers as more than toys to check Facebook and E-Mail once a day, and perhaps might value control and privacy over locked down walled garden OSes.



#20 Shiranui

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Posted 29 July 2013 - 00:24

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.

 

Cheers, I'll have a go tonight.



#21 Atomic Wanderer Chicken

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Posted 29 July 2013 - 00:29

They haven't even released the final version of Windows 8.1 yet :argh: . I would like to see the return of Aero and 90s classic style GUI in Windows 8.2.



#22 Growled

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Posted 29 July 2013 - 00:44

They haven't even released the final version of Windows 8.1 yet :argh: . 

And people are already hating on it. Just imagine how it will be after release.



#23 Knive Party

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Posted 29 July 2013 - 00:47

so my tidbit list is as goes:

 

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. 



#24 Dot Matrix

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Posted 29 July 2013 - 01:22

And people are already hating on it. Just imagine how it will be after release.

 

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



#25 srbeen

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Posted 29 July 2013 - 01:33

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?



#26 Dot Matrix

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Posted 29 July 2013 - 01:46

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.



#27 OP startscreennope

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Posted 29 July 2013 - 03:31

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.



#28 Gerowen

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Posted 29 July 2013 - 04:12

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.



#29 +warwagon

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Posted 29 July 2013 - 04:23

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

 

HA! Soooooooooooooooo True!



#30 OP startscreennope

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Posted 29 July 2013 - 05:22

"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.