From The Forums: Our readers offer their ideas for Windows 8.2

Neowin forum member "+Mephistopheles" posted up this image as an optional Start screen for Windows 8.2.

Windows 8.1 launches less than a week from now on October 18th, although some people around the world will get to download the OS update on October 17th in their time zones. But what about the future? Windows 8.1 represents the first time that Microsoft has launched such a major update for its Windows operating system less than a year after the main launch. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer stated a few months ago that we can expect more rapid and regular updates for Windows from now on.

So it stands to reason that about a year from now, we could be talking about the impending launch of Windows 8.2. A few days ago, Neowin community members started contributing to a forum thread called "Ideas for Windows 8.2". The message post was begun by "Pulagatha" who wrote a number of suggestions he would like to see added to the next Windows build.

Those ideas included:

  • combining the Menu Bar and Title bar
  • customizable buttons (like VLC's customizable window interface)
  • basic, advanced and arrangeable buttons for Explorer and/or other applications; and
  • ensuring that Metro applications do "NOT have second taskbar on the left. They should be located in the original taskbar"

One thing he really wants is for the Start button to not disappear in Windows 8.2.

"Pulagatha's" suggestions were quickly joined by many other Neowin members. One of them was "+ians18", who posted up word that he would like to see jumplists on the Start screen, as well as the removal of the Control Panel. He also suggested that Windows 8.2 could be improved by allowing users to install approved apps from alternate sources.

"domboy" would like to see a full taskbar in the Modern UI. He says, "I shouldn't have to swipe to see the time, battery status, network status, etc. If nothing else, make an option to allow the desktop taskbar view-able from a modern app in some way ([except] for things that should be full screen, like netflix/videos)."

Another list of suggestions from Neowin reader trooper11 includes this idea:

I think that 8.2 should bring with it more customizations so that the user can choose to say disable the Metro UI outside of the Start Screen.  8.1 already adds much of that, but I'm sure some would appreciate more control.  They should continue to make tweaks to the desktop, although to me, the desktop is so mature at this point, that is not a whole lot they need to do, just work on bug fixes.

One thing is for sure; when it comes to future versions of Windows, Microsoft won't have a lack of suggestions and ideas from its customers (and especially from our members!).

Have you got an idea for Windows 8.2? Be sure to join in the discussion on the Neowin Forums - and if you haven't registered as a member, join us now!

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Ability to show the taskbar on the start screen, ability to show windowed apps over the start screen and ability to run metro apps in a window.

What's the purpose of this thread? What the users want? What the users think that MS forgot?
I mean the suggestions in this thread are too much Windows 8/ Metro based. A thread about "Ideas for a new Windows", without stick at the current GUI, that's what I really want to see.

Not my list, but speaking on behalf of a friend, he dislikes the new Start screen not for reasons of functionality, but for appearance. If there were options to ...

1. Set the appearance of all tiles to a single custom color (similar to WP but more so), and
2. To turn off lives tiles/animations,

... he'd have no other problem with the OS. While I appreciate what MS has been attempting with the look of 8.X (and am personally fine with it), it's exactly those characteristics that causes some people to react badly to the Start screen. So, as with everything else, make it customizable, and satisfy everyone (HA HA no, but a step in the right direction).

smot said,
Not my list, but speaking on behalf of a friend, he dislikes the new Start screen not for reasons of functionality, but for appearance. If there were options to ...

1. Set the appearance of all tiles to a single custom color (similar to WP but more so), and
2. To turn off lives tiles/animations,

... he'd have no other problem with the OS. While I appreciate what MS has been attempting with the look of 8.X (and am personally fine with it), it's exactly those characteristics that causes some people to react badly to the Start screen. So, as with everything else, make it customizable, and satisfy everyone (HA HA no, but a step in the right direction).

Yet the two things you specifically ask for are in the original Windows 8.0 release.

How do you get the appearance of most tiles (similar to WP8 with Phone, Messaging, Mail, IE, and other Live Tiles) to have the same theme color on Windows 8? From what I gather, Mail continues to have an ugly teal color, People stays orange, Calendar is purple, etc. and can't be changed to support one entire thematic color.

well I don't know about 8.2, heck I don't even care about 8.1 due to all the skydrive and privacy nonsense that I have no need for, my windows 8 is running fantastic, mainly due to me using dism on an offline image and removing every single ad infested app. Group policy takes care of the store and restricting ms accounts, just the way I like it.

MrWhistler said,
well I don't know about 8.2, heck I don't even care about 8.1 due to all the skydrive and privacy nonsense that I have no need for, my windows 8 is running fantastic, mainly due to me using dism on an offline image and removing every single ad infested app. Group policy takes care of the store and restricting ms accounts, just the way I like it.

Privacy nonsense? I think you have been hitting the disinformation forums somewhere. SkyDrive usage is still optional in 8.1, and there are not privacy concerns with SkyDrive. If it really scares you, create a VHD, encrypt it, and throw it into your SkyDrive, then you can have the benefits of SkyDrive, but with an additional layer of encryption. (Although SkyDrive content is already triple encrypted with the final pass using your own GUID that is not MS accessible.)

Notification center (im always angry little bit when i have to go to every app, to dismiss livetile notifications). also dedup would be nice (now i have to rip it out server and "sideload it with dism). also filehistory sucks, storage spaces has just basic gui...

I think some of you guys are forgetting the point of the Metro UI. It is not made for in depth customization and productivity, thats what the desktop is around for. Because of this, the Metro UI emphasis a content first philosophy. Having a taskbar in Metro would be a huge violation of that and would be looked at as "wasting" space that could otherwise be used for displaying content. This is the reason multitasker in Metro is hidden by default, these things should definitely not change.

You're right, the taskbar IS a waste of space in the Metro environment, and as you put Windows on smaller and smaller devices, having an omnipresent taskbar would waste so much screen real estate it's not funny.

You wouldn't be able to simply leave it ~30px high, because as the screens become smaller and have higher resolutions, the icons would become impossible to touch, so it would be forced to stay a constant physical size of say, 1.2 cm as it appears to be now. Now, on a 16" screen, this isn't too bad, 10" is starting to become a space waster, but on smaller screens, it's a downright hindrance to productivity.

That's where the charms and Metro app bar come in, they are brought in on-demand and float above the app. They can be as big as they need to be, because they're not shrinking the working area of the app in question, which means apps have the potential to fill the screen and maximise their potential.

Give us the ability to disable Desktop so we can go strictly Metro, and vice versa. Let legacy programs open in Metro type environments of their own.

TheMagnificent11 said,
Does IE 11 have profile syncing like the one in Chrome that syncs your bookmarks, auto-completes etc?

Yes, since IE10.

Consistency within the UI would be nice. For example adding a VPN takes you from desktop mode to Metro and back. The Metro portion of this setup is a useless step, the same exists in account management and many other core components. Tile works fine with a Surface or even a big touchscreen computer, but is useless for power users. Furthermore, they can't see to make up their mind with IE, there is one version for Metro (that is arguably one of the worst browsers on the market) and the classic version for desktop mode (which is good). To make issues more confusing creating a favorite tile launches the desktop browser not the Metro one.

I'd like to see some notion of workspaces or "virtual desktops" for Metro... e.g. the ability to have sets of snapped apps that you switch between as a group instead of one-app-at-a-time. It's one way to make desktop-like workloads work in the Metro environment without upsetting other workloads. (The other thing required of course is to allow more desktop apps to have a Metro surface, which I think will also happen, but hopefully not without a workspaces concept.)

I'd like to see portable tiles that move between devices, especially desktop or web, to mobile. E.g. if I have a useful tile, I should be able to share-charm the tile to my phone. 1 step. Don't expose me to the app strata to do this. A unified app store between W8 and WP8 certainly helps this along, but I want productivity benefits. Purchase-once is a pretty minor benefit compared to what you can do when app code runs anywhere.

I'd like to have a 1-step way to get paid apps installed on kids' accounts. Here I do want the benefit of purchase-once, but also install-once. Windows 8.1 may have already fixed this but I've not had a chance to try the scenario. In Windows 8 it was quite allowed, but took many steps multiplied by number of kids and number of devices (yuck.)

Related, I'd like more than just a summer college intern to work on the Family Safety service, particularly the website & reports. I'd pay good money for this facet of Windows to be more awesome than it is... right now its awesomeness is a function of existence.

I'd to launch apps in context of what the tile is showing (e.g Bing News shows a headline on the tile, and when I tap the tile it's because I want to read that.) I'd also like to be able to launch apps without that context. In 8 / 8.1 it generally works the later way through laziness of developers primarily, and awkward requirement to have 2 tiles to have both behaviors. I want developers to have an easier time with this, and both behaviors should be accessible from a single tile.

I'd like someone to take the word "Start" off the start screen. It's a waste of space. We got that word removed finally in Vista/7, why's it back in 8?

I would like to see it become part of a set of pivots (like on the Xbox) for the start screen. I believe that's where it's headed, perhaps not in "8.2" but in 9. In the meantime I'll concede that this particular corner of the start screen, anyhow, is designed for monkeys.

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