What Should Microsoft Change in Windows 8 to Make All Users Happy?

NOTE: We advise you to first install and test Windows 8 in your system and post your feedback about it in your comment. Different people have different opinions.

When Windows 8 was under development and news were coming about its features such as implementation of Ribbon UI in Windows Explorer, new Start Screen, etc, everyone was very excited about it.

We all were under impression that Microsoft will provide an option to end-users to switch between Start Menu and Start Screen and other stuff but when Windows 8 Consumer Preview (Public Beta) released, we all got disappointed.

They forgot that we know about these new features because we are reading about them on various blogs and websites since a few months. But what about those average users who don't visit blogs, who just check their emails on Internet?

There are many users who don't know what is Desktop? What is Explorer? They just know about Start button, Start Menu and My Computer. How will they know where to click to open My Computer? How will they know how to open programs without Start button?

In past, Windows was known for its customization ability. I can remember Windows XP days when we could customize almost each and everything in the OS. And then Microsoft launched Windows Vista and started forcing things on users.

First Microsoft removed customization ability from Windows Explorer toolbar (command bar). You can't add/remove buttons from Explorer command bar although its possible using Registry. Then they removed classic start menu from Windows 7 assuming that its useless for users. After that they removed the whole Start Menu from Windows 8 Developer Preview build and now the poor Start button has also gone.

Why Microsoft? Why not provide users options to enable features which they want to use? Why do you remove the features instead of providing choices even though those features are just hidden and can be enabled using Registry tweaks or 3rd party software?

At the moment, Windows 8 seems a perfect OS for tablets but the story is different for Desktops or laptops. IMO Microsoft should fix a few things in Windows 8 and it'll please everyone.

2 Separate Versions of Windows 8 for Tablets and Desktops

Microsoft should create 2 separate editions of Windows 8: one for touch devices such as tablets and one for Desktops and laptops.

Windows 8 setup should detect the hardware and should install the appropriate edition of Windows. Tablet edition of Windows 8 should come with new Start Screen but the Desktop edition should come with old Start button and Start Menu.

Microsoft should also provide an option in Taskbar and Start Menu Properties to switch between Start Screen and Start Menu as shown in following image:

Windows_8_Start_Selection_Mockup.png

That would be the best way and users will be able to use what they want.

Bring Back Start Button

I can understand that Microsoft has replaced Start Menu with Start Screen but I can't understand why did they remove Start Button from Taskbar? Its absolutely a wrong decision. I don't see any requirement of removing Start button. It doesn't take much space on Taskbar. Even after removal of Start button, there is a big blank space remaining on Taskbar.

If Microsoft wanted to provide more space on Taskbar to Windows 8 users, they could have replaced Start ORB with another small image which doesn't take much space.

I have created a simple mockup of Start button which doesn't take much space and uses the new Windows 8 logo:

Windows_8_Start_Button_Mockup.png

Its a quick mockup. Microsoft designers can definitely make a better looking Start button which doesn't take much space on Taskbar.

Believe me Start Screen thumbnail doesn't look good on Taskbar and without Start button, Taskbar looks very ugly and incomplete.

Clicking on the Start button is one of the first things which Windows users do after login.

Windows Explorer Ribbon Vs. Standard Toolbar

Implementation of ribbon in Windows Explorer is a good idea as ribbon provides quick access to many useful options but on the other hand, ribbon takes more screen space compared to old toolbar or command bar.

Netbook or tablet users will definitely face low screen space problem while working on Windows 8 Explorer.

Although we can minimize the ribbon but that's not the best solution. Instead Microsoft should provide an option to switch between ribbon and toolbar in Folder Options as shown in following image:

Windows_8_Explorer_Toolbar_Selection_Mockup.png

Since command bar still exists in Windows Explorer, there should be no harm in providing options to enable it again.

In this way, users will be able to use what they want to use and no one will complain.

Power Options: Restart, Shut Down, Hibernate, etc.

The most annoying thing about Windows 8 is no direct access to power options which are the most essential parts of an OS. Currently users need to access those options from Settings charm. What? Why would a user think that these power options are present in Settings charm? "Settings" word means you are going to change options, it nowhere means you can get power options there. Completely confusing!

Restarting, shutting down system was a lot easier in previous Windows versions. Users could access them from Start Menu.

IMO the best place to provide these options in Windows 8 would be User picture given at Start Screen. When we click on it, we get options to lock, sign out, etc. Microsoft should provide all power options there as shown in following image:

Windows_8_Power_Buttons_Mockup.png

This way users will be able to find them quickly and easily and again no one will complain.

That's all for now...





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Posted in: Windows 8 / 8.1


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Comments

  • I totally agree with you...
    This is the what i think too...

  • "why Microsoft?"
    I think I know why, it's developed by Microsoft, it isn't developed by "normal human beings" like Ubuntu.
    so people just use Ubuntu precise pangolin 12.04, and enjoy Unity, speed, safety and more.

  • Written in stone

  • I don't understand why these people are +#*&!@? such a fabulus os for a quite few changes. I think they don't lookup closely. If they did, they'll not +#*&!@? again.

  • If Microsoft didn't agree, Windows 8 should be called Windows Vista SE.

  • If your ideas were implemented, windows 8 would be worth my time and money

  • I second whatever what Vishal says. Vishal why dont you organize a sort of poll where people can express their vote on this matter. Then ms would come to know how many are satisfied or dissatisfied with windows 8. Actually i am using Vista Sp2. ITs not so bad or a resource hog as advertised but yes xp has highly customizable and customization has become difficult with every new version of windows. I love customization but now it has become more and more difficult and more reliant on 3rd party tools

  • @VG pointed here everything what suppose landed in Win 8, at this stage we have big tablet system for desktop, yes I know, short cuts, keyboard etc, but I like work with my mouse, I don't have touch screen, also running with cursor on 21" lcd is waisting of time, in standard Menu Start I've everything what I need to work, on desktop I've 4 icons with most important programs for me, in Start Menu I've another 10 apps which I need every day. close to each other simple to run....

  • great ideas!
    I totally agree with yov VG!
    Hope microsoft realize they're in the wrong way!

  • I think that the option to choose the start screen or start menu would be an essential change to ease acceptance.

    The power options issue seems like an oversight in the beta, this must be resolved and made easier or more obvious in a release.

    The ribbon I can live with, MS has already pushed this for a couple of years now for Office and other software vendors have adopted it as well.

    Having said this, my wifes parents - 70's - found the windows 8 preview easy to use and liked the new interface compared to the windows 7 version I have installed for them now. I am sure I will swap them to Win8 when it is released.

    On the other hand I am a developer and found some of the new UI changes annoying, the VS11 changes are worse though from a UI point of few - plain gray for everything - what's up with that!!!

  • I agree in principle, yes they shouldn't leave desktop users without these basic features. Microsoft should implement both, but make the installation of the OS "smart" where it will automatically detect your hardware. If you have a tablet, it disables the start menu on install. If you have a touchscreen desktop or laptop, it gives you the option at install whether or not you want the start menu. If you have an old school desktop with mouse and keyboard, it automatically enables the start menu and start button.

    If Apple can set up their operating systems to do this, then surely Microsoft can. When I updated my G4 to Leopard, some features were not installed because my hardware wasn't compatible, the install disk detected this automatically. Microsoft NEEDS to get on this boat for Windows 8!

  • Agree on everything. Ribbon looks cool but isn't always useful...

  • I like the idea of being able to use the new windows 8 features but still use some of the old things (old start menu)..

  • They also need to up date windows theme to match their Metro UI. Lots of beautiful Metro theme or visual styles out there. Currently it looks like Batman's 2-face!

  • How to pin START SCREEN in windows 8 on taskbar?? Help me asap :)

  • Start button is back in Windows 8.1 but no Start Menu. By the way, Ribbon is much more better than command bar, in my opinion.

  • I've been using Microsoft since "Control Program Monitor" and my Osbourne went out of favor, I even deviated from Microsoft to OS Warp for a while. I've used them all. The last good OS I've used was XP. I have windows 8.1 now and regret it every day. I wish I had enough money to buy a Mac. Is anybody at Microsoft Listening, or you guys just don't give a $#@%^.

  • Just replaced wife's XP desktop with one running Windows 8.1 and her major complaint (so far) is that folder icons can't be set to display a few thumbnails like they could in XP.

  • On XP, I could use my computer as a go between to download my pictures from my phone and onto a external hard drive. Apparently that function isn't available without adding another program to my computer. What and WHY??? I dislike all the stupid boxes everything is found in now. And I can't even find a kid that will deal with Windows 8 or 8.1. It's like they all knew how trashy it was going to be, and NEVER even went near it. Its seems it was us unsuspecting older folks that did, and now...we are all on a sinking ship. My brother spent 3 hours setting up my desktop to handle almost all my needs -so I seldom go near any of those stupids boxes.

  • Windows 8 is 500% gr8.

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