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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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.

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 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 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 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.)

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.

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

Yes, since IE10.

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.

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.

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...

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.)

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.

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.

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.

These might be ideas for Win8.2, but most of them won't happen.
All the suggestions are to make Win8.2 more like Win7 again.
That's not going to happen, unless they decide to do a 180.
People keep forgetting that the Metro environment is touch first so why would you want everything on a tablet on the bottom, sides make much more sense

Mr. Dee said,
It will likely be called Windows 8.5
Windows 3.0 > Windows NT 3.1 > Windows NT 3.5

The 8.5 is possible/likely with the stepped up release cycle Microsoft is going for; however, the lineage you offer is not correct and might confuse other readers.

Windows 3.1 NT started at that number, just to have version parity, with no true relation to Windows 3.0.

Who said I was talking about relation between the two? I am talking about branding and marketing here.

Just like how the kernel version has no relation between brand:

Windows 8.1 - Windows NT 6.3

Just like how Windows 7 is actually not the 7th release of Windows.

I'd prefer 8.8.

I like Windows 8, good quality Metro apps I still use on the desktop either fullscreen or snapped. Looking for more Windows/Windows Phone convergence.

I know MSFT is desperately wanting to kill Windows XP support. But if they want Windows 8.x to succeed in the enterprise -- as well to prove that despite Metro, "Windows is still Windows", why not add Windows XP mode like they did for Windows 7 (I mean as a free download) -- perhaps at least for Enterprise customers only?

Whether they like it or not, a lot of companies out there think it is too soon to kill XP support (I don't necessarily agree with it).

pmdci said,
I know MSFT is desperately wanting to kill Windows XP support. But if they want Windows 8.x to succeed in the enterprise -- as well to prove that despite Metro, "Windows is still Windows", why not add Windows XP mode like they did for Windows 7 (I mean as a free download) -- perhaps at least for Enterprise customers only?

Whether they like it or not, a lot of companies out there think it is too soon to kill XP support (I don't necessarily agree with it).

Companies that have a 'true' need for Windows XP Mode, can just use the new integrated HyperV features. There is no need for a dedicated VirtualPC XP environment.

As for "Windows is still Windows" - there is something you and a lot of others are NOT getting. For Enterprise with a lot of custom Apps and solutions, Metro is THEIR future. Instead of custom Intranet solutions of the past that were browser based, Companies can build more functionality into a Metro App for their workers that is less complicated and more functional. They can even recycle a lot of their existing HTML code that had them locked into the IE6 era of Intranet Application support.

XP just doesn't have the underlying systems and security structure to continue as its own product or to be allowed to run as a main OS for users anymore. Can you imagine companies demanding a Linux installation to use a 10 year old build aka XP Mode - this would be insane, yet somehow is a reasonable argument.

There are very good and clear migration paths for companies moving from XP to 7/8. With 8 and the ease of creating Metro Application solutions being the long term better choice. Companies that are 'unable' to migrate from XP to 7/8 at this point no longer have excuses, unless their IT staff is lacking understanding, and then they need to hire a tech company that handles migrations.

(Especially when the majority of the migration process can be setup and fully automated using Microsoft solutions and Ad technologies. A migration plan, a few custom scripts and rebooting the clients that seamless move all users to Windows 8 is insanely easy and requires no hands on work for each client system. As Windows 8 does better on low end hardware than even Windows 7, there is little excuse.)


Mobius Enigma said,

[...] there is something you and a lot of others are NOT getting. For Enterprise with a lot of custom Apps and solutions, Metro is THEIR future.

Here is something YOU and MSFT aren't getting. Your views on the benefits of Metro over an Intranet are subjective (and I use "subjective" here as an euphemism). Good luck trying to convince ICAP or REUTERS to go Metro.

pmdci said,

Here is something YOU and MSFT aren't getting. Your views on the benefits of Metro over an Intranet are subjective (and I use "subjective" here as an euphemism). Good luck trying to convince ICAP or REUTERS to go Metro.

You are accidentally making my point.

They don't have to do Metro, a seamless browser experience also works well, which Microsoft pushes as strongly as they do native/custom Windows Apps.

Companies that 'need' a closed App for their internal workings can go Metro, and use the same HTML code they are using for users accessing the content/services with a browser. (Security, restrictions, access to additional content, client side features, etc are reasons they may want to implement a custom App.)

Mobius Enigma said,

They don't have to do Metro, a seamless browser experience also works well [...]

Works for who? Certainly not for the companies I have mentioned.

pmdci said,
I know MSFT is desperately wanting to kill Windows XP support. But if they want Windows 8.x to succeed in the enterprise -- as well to prove that despite Metro, "Windows is still Windows", why not add Windows XP mode like they did for Windows 7 (I mean as a free download) -- perhaps at least for Enterprise customers only?

Whether they like it or not, a lot of companies out there think it is too soon to kill XP support (I don't necessarily agree with it).

Let Windows XP die already, please.

Dot Matrix said,

Let Windows XP die already, please.

You're barking at the wrong tree, son.

Tell that to Reuters, or London's Metropolitan Police, who just a few years ago upgraded from Windows 2000 to XP.

pmdci said,

You're barking at the wrong tree, son.

Tell that to Reuters, or London's Metropolitan Police, who just a few years ago upgraded from Windows 2000 to XP.

That's their problem that they need to fix. Microsoft has been quite vocal the past few years that the cutoff date would be April 8th, 2014. MIcrosoft is under no obligation to support their asinine moves.

Dot Matrix said,

That's their problem that they need to fix. [...]

You have absolutely NO idea how MSFT operates with huge accounts.

Take BNP Paribas, for example. Windows NT support is dead and gone a long time ago, right? Yeah for the majority of the public, but not for BNP, who had major deployments of Windows NT. In the end, MSFT had to put a lot of investment (both in time and resources) for such type of accounts in order to move them forward. Contrary to what some MSFT fans and supporters might believe, when coming to companies and organisations like the MET, BNP, Reuters, ICAP and others, Microsoft can't bend their arms.

Aren't we jumping the gun here? Before Windows 8.2, wouldn't we have a 8.1.1? What About 8.1.1 for Workgroups?

I think the point for jumping to a "point" release is to talk about more significant feature additions that a point release often carries, whereas 8.1.2 is unlikely to have more than bug fixes and minor improvements.

petrolly said,
I think the point for jumping to a "point" release is to talk about more significant feature additions that a point release often carries, whereas 8.1.2 is unlikely to have more than bug fixes and minor improvements.

I think you missed the joke :-P

Allow clock (date/time) battery status, etc to be on the background of the start screen, as part of the background design.

so true. If MS wants users to migrate to using the Start screen, then they need to migrate UTILITY to the Start screen. Such a simple concept that they seem to ignore.

That means a persistent clock and date display, connection status/wifi strength,, battery status, and volume. These are big reasons users still prefer Desktop and should not be discounted as keeping people there. I know for me, I hit the start button to get to Desktop to see the status indicators I mention.

Here is another idea: Translucent (semi-transparent) charm/search panel. So if I press WIN+Q on my desktop, I can see what's behind the search.

They need to bring back translucency and transparency as an option across the board including the desktop and outlook.com (think of gmail like themes with a translucent sidebar and top bar).

- option to run applications in metro mode instead of in desktop. window title bar would be gone and app bar would be automatically generated to handle things like taskbar jumplists etc.
- integrate Cortana / Speech in search capabilities etc
- notification hub
- two finger swipe from left to up bring up a horizontal task switcher that also enables you to close apps from the switcher

I like this more than the current one lol.

To be honest when I am using a desktop, I don't even bother with metro apps. Once I click desktop that's all..never go back. It's great for tablet usage no doubt about it but pointless imo for desktop and laptop.

I think 8.2 should share the same voice recognition/search features as WP8 (while making an improvement on the voice features/automation already built into desktop windows). It should be just a matter of holding down the windows key for a couple of seconds to access it like it is on their phones. That could be a killer feature feature imo.

My mom has her WP8 setup to automatically read and respond to all text messages via voice, since she has bad arthritis in her hands and bad vision. I'm extremely impressed by how accurate and well it works for her.

The real Start menu back. More focus on the desktop experience. Allow Metro apps run in windows on the desktop. Less blank empty spaces....

Windows 9 should be 2 complete different versions
desktop and tablets
Desktop = Just a awesome desktop with no metro unless uses tick 'load metro apps' otherwise metro apps load in a window on the desktop and not full screen.
This desktop version also includes a much requested 'print bacon' button.
Tablets = The mess that is Windows 8/8.1 as it is with with more useless functions such as a start button that takes you back to a metro screen.

What Microsoft did with Windows 7 turning it into Windows 8 was like changing tearing down the walls inside a house, changing the layout and renovating like new paint, fixtures, etc. I think detaching the metro and the desktop might be difficult.

Anarkii said,
Windows 9 should be 2 complete different versions
desktop and tablets
Desktop = Just a awesome desktop with no metro unless uses tick 'load metro apps' otherwise metro apps load in a window on the desktop and not full screen.
This desktop version also includes a much requested 'print bacon' button.
Tablets = The mess that is Windows 8/8.1 as it is with with more useless functions such as a start button that takes you back to a metro screen.

The worst idea ever.

Mortis said,

Why?

Because it relies on the assumption that your computer is primarily for a single purpose only, and does not cater for hybrids or the unification of Windows across all of Microsoft's platforms. It is a stupid idea often touted by those who have no idea, in a similar vein to those who for years would advocate the removal of the Windows Registry, with no real idea how powerful it is, and how much of a leap backwards the alternatives were.

If I have a Surface Pro, which of the two UIs should I be forced to use? The Surface Pro is one ideal example of a computer that uses both UIs for different purposes that changes depending on your context. To have to restart the computer to change the UI, simply because morons couldn't grasp how to do something new, is a massive backwards step.

Windows isn't like the apple model of two completely different systems for the different platforms. Ultimately, all platforms will converge in a nice unified way, and Metro is assisting in that regard.

Mortis said,

Why?

It would result in fragmentation, and overall the wrong type of software running on the wrong hardware (like a tablet OS only on a All in one) And it is exactly what apple is doing.

ians18 said,

It would result in fragmentation, and overall the wrong type of software running on the wrong hardware (like a tablet OS only on a All in one) And it is exactly what apple is doing.

If you bring the platform to the lowest denominator, for high-end devices like PCs, that will mean that in the future, all PC apps will be in fact ****ty tablet applications, limiting the platform.

On the PC, we need proper business-scale (Autocad, Photoshop etc) applications, that's what many people here fail to understand...........

These kind of apps have thousand of buttons and functions.
If you tell me that we have to ditch them and to have one ****ing retard app platform, I say very politely "No thanks".

Did you not read the part that said 'windows for DESKTOPS' and one for 'OTHER'

Desktop version is the power version, so no Metro.
OTHER would be all ure tablets and surfaces that are for non-power uses who use it for word, email and internet.

Seriously what is hard to understand about that?!

The desktop version would cater for a 80% at least of the Windows market and I would upgrade from Windows 7 if thats the case. But Windows 8 and 8.1 is currently still a mess for desktop power users, and always has been.

Mortis said,

If you bring the platform to the lowest denominator, for high-end devices like PCs, that will mean that in the future, all PC apps will be in fact ****ty tablet applications, limiting the platform.

On the PC, we need proper business-scale (Autocad, Photoshop etc) applications, that's what many people here fail to understand...........

Quite clearly it's you who doesn't understand. You seem to think that the desktop is going to completely disappear soon and all we'll be left with is Metro. There's no evidence that's going to happen, but a lot of FUD.

You can have both, so it's not going to do anything like what you proclaim. Windows 8.x works perfectly fine as a desktop operating system, JUST FINE. That's what people like you fail to understand. You see the Start screen and thing "Oh for God's sakes! I can't do mah desktop applications anymore, Windows 8 sucks!", when in actual fact, you can and it works just the same as it has previously, though with some new features and refinements, specifically in the desktop environment.

Anarkii said,
Did you not read the part that said 'windows for DESKTOPS' and one for 'OTHER'

Desktop version is the power version, so no Metro.
OTHER would be all ure tablets and surfaces that are for non-power uses who use it for word, email and internet.

Seriously what is hard to understand about that?!

The desktop version would cater for a 80% at least of the Windows market and I would upgrade from Windows 7 if thats the case. But Windows 8 and 8.1 is currently still a mess for desktop power users, and always has been.

What's seriously hard to understand is that you completely fail to see the big picture. Your bias and cluelessness is so vain it's incredible. You completely and utterly failed to accommodate the changing landscape where some consumers wish to use a touch screen. You don't? That's perfectly fine, you're 100% supported in your pursuit.

However, your approach completely stuffs those people who do elect to use one for whatever reason. You are not the case study Windows must evolve to satisfy, you are but one in a billion who have a way of using it, and Windows caters to your needs just fine.

Perhaps instead of hyperventilating on the Internet over a complete and utter non-issue, you have a look and see how exactly you're being completely gimped by Windows 8.1 and your desktop purist world. As someone who roams between the two platforms, I very much appreciate the seamless transition I'm able to use from my desktop computer which is very much primarily used for desktop applications, with occasional Metro apps, to my tablet which is virtually exclusively Metro, to my Surface Pro which I use both environments somewhat equally, depending on task and context.

I appreciate that you're very much self-centred and only interested in your needs, but my needs quite obviously differ to yours, and believe it or not, Metro+the desktop actually improves my productivity by allowing me to transition across my platforms and continue to interact with my stuff in a standard way. I don't lose much across devices, and I use the right tool for the job. I don't have to live in a world of compromise like I would with idevices or android, I can enjoy the power and flexibility of both, with a consistent user interface.

Windows 8.1 offers a number of benefits for desktop users over Windows 7, but you appear too blind to see them, or even appreciate them. Why I seriously don't know, but Metro can be somewhat negated and avoided in 8.1, with minimal to no productivity changes incurred in a desktop-exclusive environment.

The Start Menu for one sucks. Get over it, seriously. After a serious evaluation of how I used it in Windows 7, I use it to launch Computer, Control Panel and Printers. That's essentially it. Everything else I launch from my taskbar, or press the Windows Key and start typing then press Enter. I'm not losing anything with Windows 8, and none of this experience has changed. I now have a new platform though that allows me to conduct my work in a mobile fashion much more efficiently, so I'm not siloed into the most stupid "That app can only be used on your tablet, not your desktop" mentality designed to disrupt my productivity; I can continue to use and operate across platforms just fine.

I honestly recommend you stay on Windows 7.

I don't. The old Start menu turned into a disorganised mess for app launching, and the rest is neatly incorporated into the Win+X (right click start button also) menu. With 8.1 even power control is there.

"ensuring that Metro applications do "NOT have second taskbar on the left. They should be located in the original taskbar""

This is a crucial feature for tablet users, ensuring that they can task switch with their thumbs. This feature isn't going away, and if anything, the old taskbar should be moved into it.

Strongly disagree.

All apps should appear on the standard taskbar at the bottom, which should be visible at all times (including on the Start Screen). The size of the taskbar could be increased on tablets to accommodate the touch interface, though the size of the icons isn't much different than the smaller tiles introduced in Windows 8.1.

The biggest problem with the Metro switcher is that it is hidden by default and the location of apps changes, as well as being hugely oversized.

theyarecomingforyou said,
Strongly disagree.

All apps should appear on the standard taskbar at the bottom, which should be visible at all times (including on the Start Screen). The size of the taskbar could be increased on tablets to accommodate the touch interface, though the size of the icons isn't much different than the smaller tiles introduced in Windows 8.1.

The biggest problem with the Metro switcher is that it is hidden by default and the location of apps changes, as well as being hugely oversized.

But that's not going to happen. It being on the side, and hidden by default is on purpose. These gestures were designed so that a person holding a tablet can easily move about the OS, with as little movement as possible. Same with the Charms Bar.

Dot Matrix said,
But that's not going to happen. It being on the side, and hidden by default is on purpose. These gestures were designed so that a person holding a tablet can easily move about the OS, with as little movement as possible. Same with the Charms Bar.

Then unify everything into the taskbar and have users swipe up to switch between apps. Or have two separate interfaces for touch and mouse.

theyarecomingforyou said,

Then unify everything into the taskbar and have users swipe up to switch between apps. Or have two separate interfaces for touch and mouse.

Swiping up while holding a tablet requires more movement in the hands and fingers than holding it and swiping with your thumb. Like I said above, if you want to unify everything, it should be into the new Metro switcher, or if you want them separate, then why complain over the way it is now?

theyarecomingforyou said,

Then unify everything into the taskbar and have users swipe up to switch between apps. Or have two separate interfaces for touch and mouse.

No, the swipe up is already being used. Anyway, I would hate it when they move it on the taskbar. They just have to keep the app switcher where it is right now. It's good as it is.

Dot Matrix said,
Swiping up while holding a tablet requires more movement in the hands and fingers than holding it and swiping with your thumb. Like I said above, if you want to unify everything, it should be into the new Metro switcher, or if you want them separate, then why complain over the way it is now?

The Metro switcher is horrible to use on the desktop - I despise it. As for complaining, the problem is that desktop users have to use the Metro switcher for Metro apps - they don't appear in the taskbar; the opposite is true for tablet users. The implementation I was proposing would have all apps appear in the taskbar for desktop users and in the Metro switcher for tablet users. The current implementation is a mess.

theyarecomingforyou said,

The Metro switcher is horrible to use on the desktop - I despise it. As for complaining, the problem is that desktop users have to use the Metro switcher for Metro apps - they don't appear in the taskbar; the opposite is true for tablet users. The implementation I was proposing would have all apps appear in the taskbar for desktop users and in the Metro switcher for tablet users. The current implementation is a mess.

How is it horrible on the desktop? Mouse to the corner or press WIN+TAB. I've had no issues using it the past year I've been running Windows 8.

Dot Matrix said,
How is it horrible on the desktop?

1) It is hidden by default
2) The location of apps changes
3) The mouse has to be moved to the top corner, then down, then up to select the app - it is difficult to do quickly
4) It is awkward to use on multi-monitor setups
5) It is inconsistent with the rest of the desktop environment
6) Its location cannot be changed like the taskbar
7) Apps can't be pinned to the Metro switcher
8) The Metro switcher doesn't support Jump Lists
9) Apps can't be rearranged in the Metro switcher
10) The Metro switcher is limited to 9 apps, meaning much of it remains unnecessarily empty

It would make much more sense for desktop users to be able to launch Metro apps from the taskbar.

@Theyarecomingforyou
Here is my take on trying to explain the app switcher:
1. There are tooltips in windows 8,1
2. In order of chronological (recently used) besides no one really memorized their taskbar in the first place
3. There is an option that says "When I swipe in from the left edge, switch between recent apps instead of showing a list of them" just turn that OFF. (this is for touch screens)
4. Why? You just move your mouse to the top left and BAM!
5. But it's consistent with the modern UI (except with the charms bar which should be a button you click in the top or bottom right instead of the top/bottom right then move to the middle gesture. Also you should be able to program one of the right edge "hotcorners" to your preference.
6.This needs to be fixed, To Microsoft: customization is key.
7. Okay, but what if you closed an app? This works the same as iOS and Android, wouldn't it take up too much space unless the icon is shrunk down?
8. One thing the apps lists needs
9. Again back to the chronological problem, it would create inconsistency, but I would be in support of rearranging.
10. The most important issue with it.

The desktop and Metro apps should be unified into one switcher. Either everything should go into the Metro switcher, or it should all go into the taskbar.

What about making the current taskbar more metrofied, and being really radical and say you can select where you want it like in Windows 95/98. And either keep the taskbar visible all the time, or have it appear when you swipe from the left and let the user swipe from the left to cycle the apps?

theyarecomingforyou said,

1) It is hidden by default
2) The location of apps changes
3) The mouse has to be moved to the top corner, then down, then up to select the app - it is difficult to do quickly
4) It is awkward to use on multi-monitor setups
5) It is inconsistent with the rest of the desktop environment
6) Its location cannot be changed like the taskbar
7) Apps can't be pinned to the Metro switcher
8) The Metro switcher doesn't support Jump Lists
9) Apps can't be rearranged in the Metro switcher
10) The Metro switcher is limited to 9 apps, meaning much of it remains unnecessarily empty

It would make much more sense for desktop users to be able to launch Metro apps from the taskbar.


Agreed. The Taskbar has much for functionality, much of it efficiency features... I have no issue with Metro being on the desktop, but not at the expense of Desktop functionality...

theyarecomingforyou said,

1) It is hidden by default
2) The location of apps changes
3) The mouse has to be moved to the top corner, then down, then up to select the app - it is difficult to do quickly
4) It is awkward to use on multi-monitor setups
5) It is inconsistent with the rest of the desktop environment
6) Its location cannot be changed like the taskbar
7) Apps can't be pinned to the Metro switcher
8) The Metro switcher doesn't support Jump Lists
9) Apps can't be rearranged in the Metro switcher
10) The Metro switcher is limited to 9 apps, meaning much of it remains unnecessarily empty

It would make much more sense for desktop users to be able to launch Metro apps from the taskbar.

1) Yes. It is. And? Metro is designed for this.
2) Yes. It works by selecting the last open app.
3) Then slow down. I can invoke it, and select the app without much trouble. I always invoke on my right most monitor, then drag the app to the screen I want it on.
4) See above
5) And? So? It's still consistent with the rest of the MetroUI.
6) Again, it is designed to be used with a thumb on a tablet, and a mouse on a desktop. It's not supposed to move.
7) It's not what it was designed for. It's a task switcher, not an app launcher.
8) See above. Metro apps do not have jumplists.
9) See number 2.
10) Ok, you have a point here, and as common screen resolutions get higher, I'm sure this will change.

The Metro task switcher is a touch equivalent of the Alt-Tab dialog... not an app launcher or taskbar. It's fine as it is for this purpose.

If you want icons on the task bar for Metro apps, use ModernMix. It does it beautifully. Or as mentioned Alt+tab is still one of the best ways to switch between apps.