Windows 8.1 Reddit AMA session reveals development secrets like ... Katy Perry?

As promised earlier today, several members of Microsoft's Windows development team took part in a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) session to answer questions from an online audience about the just launched OS update, Windows 8.1. Some of the answers were very informative, and others were just meant to be a little funny. Here are some of the more interesting exchanges:

  • Microsoft team member Jason Beaumont was asked if a notification center was in the works. He replied, 'Notification center is something we've talked a lot about, and I kind of have to leave it at that for now :) ."
  • Beaumont was also asked why there was no "Me" Live title for Windows 8.1. He stated, "Great question. I have my wife and family contacts pinned to my Start screen but I never thought to pin myself. I like the idea. Luckily that team is just down the hall and I'm literally going to walk down there after lunch and give them your suggestion."
  • A person who asked if Microsoft was going to offer its own eBook store for Windows, much how Apple has iBooks and Google sells eBooks via Google Play got a response from an unspecified Windows team member, who said, "Definitely on the radar and something we're working on!"
  • Windows team member Ian LeGrow was asked about being able to publish Windows 8.1 apps for smaller businesses internally through a company without needing to go through the public Windows Store. LeGrow replied, "Great question on the distribution, we've gotten a lot of feedback that we need to make it easier for smaller organizations - nothing to say yet, but we're figuring this out."
  • Windows team member Katie Frigon was asked about adding support for pinning music albums to the Windows 8.1 Start screen, which is already supported by Windows Phone. Frigon replied, "We are working on pinning. In addition to pinning albums and playlists, we've got a lot of great improvements in the works for Xbox Music on Windows. In fact, the team hopes to release much more frequent updates."
  • Frigon was also asked if support could be added to sharing something via the Share charm to the clipboard. She replied, "Good feedback! We'll look into it."
  • Finally, Frigon was asked to reveal something about Windows 8.1 that few people know about. She stated, "A little known fact outside of our team is that for all the design mock ups of SmartSearch we used Katy Perry as an example. Our conference rooms were covered with Katy Perry images for a year!"

Source: Reddit | Image via Microsoft

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34 Comments

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Always amazed on how slow these dev teams pick up on simple features. Seems like they are locked up in a closed eco system. Hope they will keep improving instead of much hype and than letting it bleed to death (MS style).

Does that mean no notification centre for Windows?

And like someone else mentioned, their answers really imply that they haven't used WP

pratnala said,
Does that mean no notification centre for Windows?

No. I'm pretty sure it means that it is in the works, but you'll have to wait a little longer for it. They're quite obviously working on it, or planning to do so in the near future.

The top question right now is an IT guy complaining about things missing from 8, and the response is something like "thanks for the feedback". I don't often call Microsoft names (Xbox music for wp8 team not withstanding) but that was a pass poor response.

Yeah, I'm sure they're just itching to give answers to a guy who's "complaining" best way to not get answers from engineers is to sound like a whiny brat.

THE_OBSERVER said,
Was a weak AMA imho. There were alot of questions from I.T. people which they never answered.

That always happens with the Reddit MS AMA's.

Necronos said,
Been 5 hours, update is still downloading at 30%
I updated 2 computers during downtime at work today. My 3rd laptop has been downloading it since 10am and as of an hour ago was maybe 1/2 way done. definitely hit and miss.

so from the answers above, assuming they were picked fairly by the author *cough* we come to the sad conclusions

1) the windows 8.1 team doesn't use windows phone, or they'd know how great all the suggested features work

2) the windows 8.1 team doesn't use windows, where you can just install any app from anybody anytime as long as you agree to the risks.

3) the windows 8.1 team just like the windows 8.0 is less interested in collaborating and more interested in re-inventing the wheel. no doubt a result of MSFT ridiculous stack rank system where in if you borrow or help your peers, you pretty much ensure you get fired next year.

"Finally, Frigon was asked to reveal something about Windows 8.1 that few people know about. She stated, "A little known fact outside of our team is that for all the design mock ups of SmartSearch we used Katy Perry as an example. Our conference rooms were covered with Katy Perry images for a year!""

Plain stupid. This has put me off from buying Windows 8. I look at Kate as blasphemous and a bad example. Remember when Microsoft used to have "class" back in the 90s? I'm guessing developer offices are much like kindergartens today.

No, I'm upset at this: "Our conference rooms were covered with Katy Perry images for a year!" It's just stupid. I would never let my staff do that.

68k said,
No, I'm upset at this: "Our conference rooms were covered with Katy Perry images for a year!" It's just stupid. I would never let my staff do that.

But they're not your staff. It's called "having fun". You should try it sometime. You wouldn't believe what it does for productivity.

I love how everyone here didn't pick up the fact that you were joking. Or am I not picking up the fact that you're serious?

IanHead said,
I love how everyone here didn't pick up the fact that you were joking. Or am I not picking up the fact that you're serious?

b.

Dot Matrix said,

But they're not your staff. It's called "having fun". You should try it sometime. You wouldn't believe what it does for productivity.


It is official.... The hell has frozen: I agree with Dot Matrix...
Well, what is true, it is true. :-)

IanHead said,
I love how everyone here didn't pick up the fact that you were joking. Or am I not picking up the fact that you're serious?

Haha, this is how I'm reading it too. Dry humor.

Just upgraded to 8.1 earlier today and have been loving it so far It's really fun to use now and damn it's so fast! Those suggestions listed in the article are awesome, I can see those added in the next update can't wait.

I still find it funny I used almost every alpha, beta, and release candidate of Windows 8 both leaked by pirates and officially released by Microsoft yet never actually used the final version of it, or any version of 8.1 really...

MASTER260 said,
I still find it funny I used almost every alpha, beta, and release candidate of Windows 8 both leaked by pirates and officially released by Microsoft yet never actually used the final version of it, or any version of 8.1 really...

Don't. understand. point. of. this. post?

Mr. Dee said,
Doing those things are waste of time, its 2001 to 2005 anymore.

Beta testing is an evergreen....
I remember W95 delivered by mail in 3.5 diskettes... The good old time with Paul C.