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Posted on January 29th, 2014 by Nicole Kobie

Windows 9: what changes would you make to Windows 8?


Windows 8 has been much criticised — with a lot of the complaining coming from our podcast. While some of the grievances levelled at the OS, such as the focus on Metro at the expense of desktop users, are fair, suggestions that Windows 8 is the new Vista may be taking it a bit too far.

Microsoft has made a few improvements in Windows 8.1, with more planned for its next update, and Windows 9 is widely expected to be discussed at Build in April — and to arrive as early as next year, as Microsoft hopes to ditch the 8 brand and get a fresh start. (So maybe it is the new Vista, then?)

That means there’s still time to make Windows 9 the OS we all truly wanted.

Here’s where you come in: what changes would you include in Windows 9 to make it the perfect OS?

Does it need small tweaks here and there, a major overhaul on the desktop, or a complete re-think from the ground up? Let us know your thoughts for fixing Windows 8 in the comments below, and we’ll include the best ideas in an upcoming feature in the magazine… which hopefully Microsoft will read.

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90 Responses to “ Windows 9: what changes would you make to Windows 8? ”

  1. David Says:
    January 29th, 2014 at 1:44 pm

    It needs the start menu back, and the option to completely turn off the metro interface. I, along with many desktop users, have no use for it or its ‘apps’.

  2. Paul Goldstraw Says:
    January 29th, 2014 at 1:49 pm

    I’ve been using Windows 8/8.1 at home and at work for almost a year, and for the most part I have quite a positive view of it. A lot of the changes being mooted for a future release (such as pinning ‘Metro’ apps to the taskbar) are positive ones, but one change I would like to see are Microsoft developed ‘packs’ for different types of users. For instance, when using a mouse/keyboard, shutting down the PC on 8.1 either requires knowledge of right-clicking in the bottom left corner, or hovering to the right-side corners to invoke the charms menu and performing the action from there. Downloading a tool that would add an icon to do so from the desktop would be useful. If Microsoft included tools for that as part of installation/setup users who aren’t power users would likely be less frustrated with use of the OS

  3. Paul Goldstraw Says:
    January 29th, 2014 at 1:56 pm

    Further to my earlier post, seeing David’s response has compelled me to add that not all desktop users dislike the metro interface or want the start menu back. I actually find the start screen more productive. When XP was released I railed against the new-fangled start menu that came with it vs the ‘classic’ start menu from Windows 95+, and swore blind the earlier implementation was better, but after a few years I decided to give it a proper chance and didn’t look back. How many people still use the ‘Classic’ start menu now? Not many I’d wager. Sticking to the old ways isn’t always a bad thing, but resisting the new isn’t always good either. Back-tracking just feels like the wrong thing to do now so many people in relative terms are used to the start-screen.

  4. TV John Says:
    January 29th, 2014 at 2:06 pm

    I’m with Paul: I far prefer the new start screen and I’m quite happy with a few Metro apps. However, I do think Microsoft was a bit arrogant with the way they tried to force it on users and we could certainly do with a few enhancements for desktop users.

    Since I now own a desktop PC with two big screens and a touch-enabled laptop I can see that some things which are difficult on the desktop are absolute child’s play with a touch-screen – shutting down being the classic example.

    As a power-user one of the first things I did was create short-cuts for restart and shutdown and put them in my start screen, but it really shouldn’t have necessary.

    In all other respects I have to say that 8/8.1 continues to improve upon previous versions.

  5. Alan O'Brien Says:
    January 29th, 2014 at 2:07 pm

    I get on pretty well with 8.1 which I essentially use in Desktop mode. The Metro system is sort of OK but I don’t like the limited way Metro apps open and close – I’d prefer them to open in flexible windows like old-style apps with the ability to have any number open. Even something simple like Solitaire opens full screen and you can’t minimise it to the task bar or close it by hitting an “-” or an “X”. If you reduce the Metro app to, say, half the screen with, say Word open in the other half, then closing the Metro app still leaves you with half a screen of blank black screen, which you have to close separately. It all seems clunky.

  6. Alan Byrne Says:
    January 29th, 2014 at 2:31 pm

    1. I like the new Start Menu, but why not give the option of a tradional start menu for desktop users if that’s what they prefer.

    2. App’s, app’s app’s, we need more big name app’s in the store.

    3. Include some exciting app’s as part of the OS and make them core to it- a fun and feature packed photo and video app’s would be a start.

  7. Derek Abbott Says:
    January 29th, 2014 at 3:08 pm

    The best software is always intuitive. This is achieved by providing visual clues so that the user is guided towards his objective. Windows 8 and much recent Google software fail dismally in this respect; while uncluttered screens are desirable, there is no excuse for failure to provide a well designed, easily accessible menu structure.

  8. Andrew Jones Says:
    January 29th, 2014 at 3:25 pm

    It would be nice if it stopped nagging me to use a “Microsoft Account” every time I use an app. I’ve got my own AD Domain, I don’t want to sign in online thanks.

  9. DaveyK Says:
    January 29th, 2014 at 3:30 pm

    1) Start Menu needs to be an option, plus it must be possible to disable Metro. This also needs to be supported via group policy to help corporate adoption.
    2) Needs some more interesting desktop themes. Windows 8 has gone far too minimalistic. Stripping out all the rounded corners, 3D effects etc. to create a series of drab, dour and bland themes. Add a bit of variety! Not everyone likes flat and square.
    3) Ability to create a “Microsoft account”, and the ability to install apps need to be customisable and easy to disable – again via Group Policy. Too many of these features are way too home-user-centric and put off business looking to adopt.
    4) Above all, CHOICE! Metro is fine, so long as it isn’t compulsory for example.

  10. Andrew Robinson Says:
    January 29th, 2014 at 4:37 pm

    Having been a Windows advocate until I got an iPhone the best way to improve it would be to merge with Apple

  11. tech3475 Says:
    January 29th, 2014 at 4:38 pm

    Based on my experience:
    1) Require OEMs to have a decent UEFI implementation e.g. optical support, Linux support, not easily bricked (like Samsung or Lenovo (the latter couldn’t access ‘cmos’).
    2) Require a good disc based backup method like the old recovery discs (again, I’m looking at you Lenovo)
    3) No secureboot watermark
    4) Officially allow Windows 8 keys to get 8.1 isos and clean install
    5) Allow clean installs without a previous install using upgrade keys.
    6) minor upgrades be treated like Service packs (8.1 screwed up my install)

    But ultimately the biggest one that I care about the most:
    7) Include the start menu by default

  12. Graham Richmond Says:
    January 29th, 2014 at 4:40 pm

    @DaveyK Yes this exactly.

    1) Obvious thing, optional new functions/looks that the user can choose. With their telemetry Microsoft could then work out when to stop supporting one of the options or ‘encourage’ a slow shift to one or the other. i.e. start menu on desktop!

    2) Apps that can run within a window… wow that sounds so 1992…

    3) WinFS, that has yet to make a major appearance so far.

    4) Ability to integrate LastPass or other equivalent across the board.

  13. Simon Hudson Says:
    January 29th, 2014 at 4:56 pm

    For the most part I like W8.
    Metro us fine, though I wish I wasn’t dumped into Metro apps from the desktop if I have a desktop client running.

    Keyboard shortcuts for Metro apps and tooltips would be welcome.

    Biggies fir me are to return features that gave been lost. In particular
    - remote access via Skydrive (available in W7, removed in 8 1)
    - Return of Media Centre. Or just adopt XBMC
    - Adopt WP8 features, such as recently used Office docs
    - Fux the stupid bloody offset if letters on the onscreen keyboard that causes 30% faulty typing

  14. Chris Says:
    January 29th, 2014 at 5:10 pm

    I am with tech3475, I did the 8.1 update, and that killed 8.0, I have had it with metro and have thrown the towel in, out come my win 7 rescue disks,I am now back running win 7 and could not be happier, I am grateful to Microsoft for pushing me back to Win7, many many thanks to you

  15. Ian Says:
    January 29th, 2014 at 5:20 pm

    Great to have the Metro apps available as desktop windows as discussed. Just a shame that these wonderful app windows would be locked in to Microsoft platforms rather than available available anywhere. Available anywhere would be awesome. You know, like a real cloud. Like, uhm, you know, a website.

  16. DNML Says:
    January 29th, 2014 at 5:45 pm

    Minor point: I miss Aero Glass – it made Windows 7 a pleasure to use. Windows 8 looks drab in comparison.
    Major point: The idea of Safe Mode is that it lets you start when Normal Mode doesn’t work. In Windows 8, Safe Mode has to be accessed from Normal Mode. What the eff, Microsoft?

  17. tech3475 Says:
    January 29th, 2014 at 6:11 pm


    8) No easy way to access safe mode.

    There is actually a kludge, using easybcd I was able to restore the OS selection menu and a delay which also gives access to the old F8 menu.

    I’m surprised they didn’t have what Apple do and just require you to hold down the button on boot.

  18. Edward champion Says:
    January 29th, 2014 at 6:19 pm

    Umm. I dont like full screen apps, especially if its on a desktop. The whole point of windows, is that it is a windows manager! Change that please!

  19. Kim Zang Says:
    January 29th, 2014 at 6:48 pm

    I would like control of my computer back for one thing windows 8 controls everything I do, why do I have apps on a computer it makes no sense… People may want to make their tablet into a computer but they do not want to make their computer into a tablet… WTH

  20. Paul Says:
    January 29th, 2014 at 7:25 pm

    1. Bring the full featured Start menu back.
    2. Completely remove the ‘Metro’ interface for non touch and/or desktop devices. The full screen apps only really work on touch devices. At the very least have an option to disable the full screen apps. The clue is in the name.
    3. Menus shouldn’t be invisible. See point 1.

  21. DNML Says:
    January 29th, 2014 at 7:32 pm

    Thanks for the tip!
    There are rather a lot of 3rd party solutions for Windows 8. I already use Startisback, Modern Mix and Aero Glass for Windows 8…
    BTW I am all for choice, if someone else wants the OPTION to use the Start Screen, that’s fine by me. Glad to see PC Pro readers have kept the conversation civilised and avoided the bitchiness this subject inspires on other forums.

  22. Andy Says:
    January 29th, 2014 at 7:44 pm

    It needs the option to permenently display the new start menu on a second screen to make metro useful – so you can keep an eye on apps

  23. tech3475 Says:
    January 29th, 2014 at 8:20 pm

    I know this may be minor but it is a wish list:
    9) Restore solitaire as a native desktop app.

    I had to patch the old W7 versions since by default you have to use a metro version.

    I normally play solitaire when I waiting for something e.g. a long install so I don’t want to leave the desktop mode.

  24. Paul Maguire Says:
    January 29th, 2014 at 8:22 pm

    I recently made an enforced change to 8.1.
    I have always used two screens. That turned out to be the answer for me; desktop on the main screen and Metro on the secondary.

  25. Mike Henson Says:
    January 29th, 2014 at 8:41 pm

    I’ve always felt that the OS was an interface between the user and the soft/hardware. I see no need for all these bells and whistles, we don’t need them. I’d be happy with a list of software apps and control panel. Maybe a bit simplistic but you get my drift.

  26. Chimera Obscura Says:
    January 29th, 2014 at 8:49 pm

    I want the Aero glass effects back too…
    I would like to see them return Media Center too…
    I would like the Start Menu back. Have it as an option so that people can choose, Menu or Start Screen.
    I think the Metro UI and apps will fade away the same way “gadgets” did. No support, no interest…
    Finally, what I’d like to see is a compelling reason to upgrade. There really wasn’t one with Windows 8 and I think that was a big part of it’s failure. People might have been a lot more forgiving of the shortcomings if there had been a really, really good, reason to upgrade. There really wasn’t, so no one upgraded. I have both Windows 7 PC and a Windows 8.1 tablet. Honestly, If I could, I’d put Windows 7 on the tablet too… Windows 8.1 just seems too lame and plain and for me, I fail to see any benefit.

  27. Josh Dyball Says:
    January 29th, 2014 at 10:09 pm

    Win 9 is going to have to be really good. MS are going to have to eat some humble pie and listen to their customers/fans.

    For me, Win 7 is everything Windows was always intended to be. It’s sexy Aero interface, ease of use and reliability are hard to beat. When you’ve been waiting since Win 3.1, it’s joyous to have finally got the OS you always wanted.

    Win 8 is bland and very clunky to use. Yes, there are benefits, but they’re completely overshadowed by the many mistakes.

    It’s hard to believe that MS can recover and get it right for version 9. But I expect they will. Otherwise, when does Win 7 support run out? And we’ve seen this ‘good version, bad version’ pattern for a long time now…

  28. Stewart Says:
    January 29th, 2014 at 11:28 pm

    @Chimera Obscure

    The killer upgrade for me came when they integrated SkyDrive (sorry, “OneDrive”) directly into W8.1 – especially if you have a desktop and tablet, as it allows simple synchronisation directly in your folders, as well as having your documents available wherever you go.

  29. MKJ Says:
    January 30th, 2014 at 12:11 am

    I have been using Win 8 for almost a year. I liked it enough to quickly install it on all the family PCs and also the two laptops we have. Even my wife, an official rated technophobe picked Win 8 up with no fuss.
    However, the upgrade to 8.1 broke two desktops and a laptop. My search function has been crippled with huge problems resulting. The cludgey fix meant I had to doctor a recovery disk and reinstall 8.1 using a windows 8 key. Lots of hassle.
    MS, please respond quicker to problems like that and please allow us the keys for which we have paid
    Bring back Media Center
    Allow people the option of using Metro.
    Apps to come as sizeable windows.
    Bring back Start as an option.
    Be adventurous and allow us to customise with 3d/rounded corners etc etc
    Treat us as adults.
    Make a push, a real PUSH, for more QUALITY apps.
    Tighter integration with Windows Phone.
    Finally, coming back to the horrible roll-out of 8.1, be willing to provide more free support. Don’t expect your customers to have to pay for solutions to the problems that arise from incomplete or faulty upgrades/updates.

  30. Ron Watson Says:
    January 30th, 2014 at 12:20 am

    I think they can improve Windows with some subtle tweaks and a better naming convention. From what I have heard about Threshold, it sounds like they may be going in the right direction.

    I would do the following:

    Make a clear distinction between Windows desktop and Metro. One approach would be to rename Windows RT to Surface OS. This would make it clear that Surface OS cannot run traditional Windows applications.

    ARM devices would only run Surface OS. X86 devices would run Windows with Surface OS as an option. Surface OS would obviously be preinstalled alongside Windows on X86 tablets. Users of traditional laptops / desktops would not suddenly be presented with Surface OS full screen apps such as the picture viewer.

    The Start Screen has grown on me and it is much better in Windows 8.1. I am sure they could improve it further for desktop users. One improvement could be to have folders similar to iOS.

  31. Ethan Says:
    January 30th, 2014 at 7:13 am

    I’ve been a strong advocate for this platform but the upgrade policy really ticked me off. MS you NEED to sort this out and allow us to install a Win 8.1 ISO without first installing a legacy version of windows then Windows 8 and finally Windows 8.1. This is unacceptable.

  32. R Jones Says:
    January 30th, 2014 at 7:29 am

    1) Forget the our way or the highway approach.
    2) Allow TIFKAM users to have TIFKAM if that is what they want.
    3) Allow desktop users to have a desk top.
    4) Remember it is an operating system not a marketing exercise, stop trying to oversell OneDrive and other MS options. The NSA and GCHQ might love it, I have no need at all for things like that. My desktop is, my desk top. My phone is surprisingly a phone, only. If users want them make them accessible even pin-able but let others ignore them without penalty.
    5) I have no use for an instant buy things account, stop pushing the MS account its of no use for those who do not need or want it.
    6) Make back up and restore an easy option, including full restore from a system image. Too many have major issues with this style of restoration.
    7) Forget charmless hidden daft ‘charms’, it was so awful to find I used the power switch for shut downs.
    8)Do not try to force Tablet mode on desktops. I hate touch phones and tablets (which are something I swallow in large numbers everyday). Have touch mode on a non touch device DOES NOT WORK.
    9) I never found a use for the built in ‘apps’ and deleted almost all as worthless, do not dump desktop users onto the TIFKAM junk mini program when they want to read a pdf, etc. I know what reader/editor I want to use and it is NOT some touch screen toy program.
    10) Provide a proper easy to find (but harder to use accidentally) power off option.
    11) Recognise that different devices may require different interfaces – at the user’s choice. Allow successful customisations.
    12) Forget the marketing people’s desire to force everyone to waste time and money at some tatty market stall, sorry app (apparatus?) store.

  33. Mike Buzzing Says:
    January 30th, 2014 at 8:10 am

    Bring back “windows Safe mode”. I’ve not been able to access it, whether that be because it’s not available any more, or the time window in which to select it is so narrow, lord only knows.

    Personally, I think M$ should separate the front end from the back end, and continually develop the back back end, but let users CHOOSE which front end they wish to use, and not try compromising both by making a hybrid which doesn’t suit both.

    Hell, why not sell Windows with Metro and then sell the different front ends in the store!

  34. Ben Says:
    January 30th, 2014 at 9:24 am

    As a small business owner I’m in the process of rebuilding 15 business PCs from XP Pro to 8.1Pro having taken advantage of the cheap upgrade offer last year.

    I’m getting to know 8.1 pretty well and am happy with it once up and running – it’s quick to start, easy to use and looks after itself much better than XP. It also runs fine on 4 year old Core 2 hardware with no compatibility issues found so far. What is annoying me is that I just want a business desktop with Office and 1 piece of dictation software – I just don’t need the Metro interface and don’t want to have to retrain staff to use it. A significant portion of my set up time involves removing all traces of Metro from the everyday user experience. There just needs to be an “Is this is a work PC?” option in Control Panel to give you the choice to turn it off if you want to.

  35. John Haynes Says:
    January 30th, 2014 at 9:54 am

    I am a desktop user doing graphics and run 3 workstations using Win 7 and thought from running the beta Win 8 that it was a nonsense and MS had lost their minds. Having got a new laptop, it came with Win 8 which I quickly ’sorted’ by installing Stardock to restore the start menu so it now works fine for me. So the obvious thing is for MS to offer users the option of workspace/desktops and stop their arrogance.

    Perhaps because I have a Nokia Windows phone, I do find some of the “charms” stuff on the laptop useful but it just emphasises that the Metro/Charms interface is really for phone/tablets. I do suspect that if MS doesn’t get smart on Win 9, they will find that with Win 7, they have another XP situation where people hang on to the OS. If the price was low enough and having sorted the desktop problem with Stardock, I would upgrade my workstations to Win 8 but, the price is too high so I won’t bother and that is where MS is making a mistake. If they want to make Win 9 a success they really need to get users upgrading as a natural course of action as each version appears. So they really need to fix Win 8 first by offering ‘options’. The Stardock software cost less than £4 and makes me as a user happy, what is wrong with the idiots at Redmond, buy Stardock, write it yourself but basically, “Get your fingers out !”

  36. Paul Says:
    January 30th, 2014 at 10:10 am

    Love OneDrive integration, minor ongoing improvements is all it needs for me:

    1. Clock on start screen
    2. When I pinch to zoom out on the start screen would like my app sections (folders) to auto arrange to use the whole screen so text can be larger and not truncate.
    3. Love read mode in internet explorer, press the little book icon in the explorer URL bar. It gets rid of advertisements and makes for a beautiful read. Want option to make this the default mode or some way to create a list of sites that are better in read mode (like Wikipedia) and switch to that mode automatically.

  37. Paul Bristow Says:
    January 30th, 2014 at 10:31 am

    1 Separate Windows Desktop from Windows Touch completely.

    2 Provide start screen as previous Windows.

    3 Separate OS from data.

    4 Sort out a proper backup system and make it easy and almost compulsory to set up. Everyone needs an image backup *and* a data backup.

  38. Robert Hatcher Says:
    January 30th, 2014 at 10:58 am

    After reading all the comments so far the main problem for desktop and non touch screen owners seems to being able to turn off Metro Apps and having the windows 7 type desktop menu back. Having used windows 7 and now on windows 8.1 I agree with them.

  39. David Wright Says:
    January 30th, 2014 at 11:05 am

    I’d like to see better apps. I’m with Paul. I like the Paul Goldstraw; I much prefer the new start screen to the bungled XP start menu. The 9x version was controlable, but XP pretty much broke it, in getting it quickly and easily organised. Having to type in the admin password every time I moved an icon was a pain. Or having to work out which directories the icons were stored in, to move them around manually.

    I miss the categorised search from 8.0. Whilst the search in 8.1 is in some ways better, I miss things like settings elements being grouped together.

    Get rid of the silly Windows flag in the corner of the desktop! I have 3 hardware keys and the charms menu to call up the start screen!

    Do not separate desktop from touch! I use a tablet with a desktop dock, so that I have one device for on the move and working with multiple monitors at work. The last thing I want is a dumbed down tablet and having to go back to synching multiple devices!

    @Paul Bristow: The automatic data versioning backup in W8 isn’t enough? That said, I use Carbonite.

  40. David Wright Says:
    January 30th, 2014 at 11:08 am

    No more half hearted apps!

    I use Audible. It works brilliantly on iPhone, Android and even Windows Phone, but on Windows 8, it can’t synchronise your position with the other devices.

    Moving between WP and Android, I get a message saying that my position has changed, do I want to carry on where I left off on the other device?

    On Windows it just throws me to the beginning of the book!

  41. David Wright Says:
    January 30th, 2014 at 11:30 am

    @Chimera – Media Center is still there as an option, if you want it.
    As to Metro apps going away, we are in a transition period. MS want Metro to be the future (with more windowing features coming over time), whilst legacy cruft will be slowly banished to VMs.

    Think back to the days when DOS ruled and Windows came along, it was a crossroads for MS and I think we are at another crossroads. Then, DOS offered more than Windows could, but Windows grew into its role and gradually displaced DOS.

  42. John Cranmer Says:
    January 30th, 2014 at 11:37 am

    There’s much to like about the flat, modern simple Metro interface. But it conflicts with the 1990’s skeuomorphic document focused desktop metaphor and they make uncomfortable bedfellows. Instead of the taskbar the left-hand hotspot gives me access to running tasks and apps, the right-hand one system settings, we have a screen for live feed tiles, another for task orientated app launching. So if Explorer could be made over with the 21st century design as a document focused screen then as a user I would feel back in control of my filing, we could lose the desktop and enjoy a unified stylish and smart interface and it would feel a lot more “intuitive”. But please don’t lose any drag-and-drop functions!

  43. TV John Says:
    January 30th, 2014 at 11:38 am

    Unlike many users here I’m not that fussed about the loss of Aero Glass. However, I would like to have a bit more control over colour schemes as I find there isn’t enough contrast between active and inactive windows. And who on earth was the utter klutz that decided that the top bar on VS2012 would have exactly the same colour for both active and inactive? Idiot!

  44. Stan Says:
    January 30th, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    I’d like to be able to get to the desktop quickly, not after several mouse clicks. Change it from Vista back to win 7

  45. Brian Says:
    January 30th, 2014 at 12:48 pm

    I don’t care what Microsoft does because it has no direct affect on me. When I listen to your podcast, I am dismayed when it is intimated that XP users, and the like, can only update to some other Windows OS. You never say, look, do you really need Windows? Ask yourself, what can people be doing on XP that can’t be done on a modern Linux OS. So, you mislead people, by default, by not telling them that they can swap their current OS for a modern, free and secure OS such as one of the Ubuntu flavour OS.
    Lightweight: Lubuntu, Heavier:Xubuntu,more heavier:Ubuntu, Ubuntu GNOME and perhaps heaviest Kubuntu. It all depends on the hardware you run. There is really no need for the VAST majority of people to run Windows. You only need Windows if you need to run a specialised program. Other than that there are free (and a small number of proprietary) programs to do what you do already. So what should Microsoft do – start again from scratch because their current attempts are only successful because people think they have no choice and the hardware vendors are driven into a corner.

  46. NR773321 Says:
    January 30th, 2014 at 1:04 pm

    I get on fine with windows 8. Two things from me.

    1. as already said above, don’t dump me into a metro app when I’m working from the desktop
    2. Make the windows interface scalable so it properly handles hi resolution monitors without all the icons ending up tiny

  47. Steve.E Says:
    January 30th, 2014 at 1:30 pm

    I’ve always bought the latest version of windows up until 8, I may have given it a go if it had the start menu and was cheap enough, but I honestly can’t think of a single reason to upgrade from windows 7 any time soon, all I can say is for me to even think about it the price would need to be around £50 for the best version and a very good reason to upgrade. If they added something like word and outlook to the best version of W9 for around £100 all in then I would buy it.

  48. Simon Ball Says:
    January 30th, 2014 at 3:30 pm

    Better help files – one area microsoft are notorious for not including very much of.

    Why are the help files in one place so that the average user can find out how to use the software they have spent so much money on?

  49. Michael Karami Says:
    January 30th, 2014 at 4:09 pm

    I am a developer in VC++ 6.0 and I just installed it on Win 8 Pro and it worked fine; then I installed it on Win 8.1 Pro and it crashed and will not run. Here is my question; is it too much to ask if I want a 32 bit Microsoft Windows developer product to install and work in any new versions of Windows OS? Please Microsoft make sure that VS6 still works in Win9; after all more there are still millions of developers who are using this product to develop Windows apps!!

  50. TV John Says:
    January 30th, 2014 at 4:21 pm

    Move the Desktop App to the be first in the list of Apps, then just pressing the Windows key will toggle between the Desktop and the Start Menu.

  51. mpoirier Says:
    January 31st, 2014 at 7:32 am

    Simple, remove all that touchscreen/tablet crap and restore the desktop.

  52. David Wright Says:
    January 31st, 2014 at 9:24 am

    @Stan, then simply check the Boot to Desktop option, problem solved.

    @Michael Karami VC++ 6 has been out of support for doneky’s years. Hardly surprising they don’t test expired, 16 year old applications for compatibility.

  53. James Harvey Says:
    January 31st, 2014 at 10:03 am

    I’d like a consistent interface, the best of the metro and desktop combined. Metro style preview windows assignable on any window boundary by dragging a window. The ability to flip between full screen and windowed style retaining all open apps. Ability to assign protected or floating areas to place running apps as widgets.
    A different style menu system and App interface available for touch screens. More friendly consistent system interfaces like properties interface. More later

  54. Michael D Says:
    January 31st, 2014 at 10:12 am

    Since getting a Dell Venue Pro i’m really starting to see the benefits of the Modern UI. That said, it remains pretty pointless on desktops.
    1. Prompt users for their ‘Mode of working’ on first install. This mode will be Desktop default or Tablet default.
    2. In desktop mode, don’t bring the old start menu but tweak the Modern ui so I can collapse tiles.
    3. Make it clear in the Modern UI what apps/applications have recently installed, a small ‘new’ doesn’t work.
    4. There has to be a way of supporting Apps in a corporate way so they can be deployed. It’s currently not clear.
    5. Work out how the Microsoft Store account can work in a corporate environment. It doesn’t currently. Users or corp devices shouldn’t be required to setup their own MS Account.
    6. Create a keyboard shortcut for the charms, sliding down from the top righ is really difficult when RDP’ing to windowed desktops. OR make the show desktop bottom right button display charms on a right click.

  55. Rob Black Says:
    January 31st, 2014 at 10:18 am

    Ring-fence memory allocation for mouse interaction so that it never, ever, ever slows down or becomes unresponsive.

    Follow Shneiderman’s Golden Rules of UI design to the letter.

    Allow video desktop capture as simply as Print Screen.

    Ensure every mouse click always gives response indicating the action itself, not just the consequence of the action.

    Allow custom keyboard shortcuts to be set instantly for any task.

    Set scrolling to be what we’d expect from a mobile device five years ago. Smooth. Particularly in Office.

    Intelligent Font selection tool with seamless install access to new fonts.

    Insert Image from – popular Image websites incorporated as standard.

    Double clicking makes people a bit angry. Why do you have to repeat yourself to Open a program?

    Allow people to massively tone down the garish Metro colour palette which makes me want to throw up, not just change the background colour.

    iOS 7.1 re-introduces a tiny amount of shading and shadow, without being all skeuomorphic. Follow suit.

    Actions should be intuitive and instinctive with absolutely no garish visual effects between the user and the task.

    Do the ‘car radio test’ – Test it on the slowest, most rubbish computer going and see if the person can use it without going insane.

    Allow people to change the size of menus and toolbars to their preference.

    Allow people to resize a maximized window without windowing it first.

    The visual icons/charms of Windows 8 are totally lost on me, they look like alien heiroglyphics, ensure that onMouseOver information is informative, of a readable font size and instantaneous.

    Shutdown needs to be acknowledged immediately even if the processing takes a while.

    The start menu should be smoothly resizeable, not just double and treble in height as it does in Windows 7.

    Screenshots should save automatically into an obvious, accessible screenshots folder.

    The clipboard should be a smart, active place with multiple slots which pop up instantly, incorporated into the Shell, not requiring poorly written additional 3rd party software.

    The calendar on the Start Bar toolbar should be synced/syncable with Google Calendar/Outlook.

    Microsoft should continue to portray themselves as the most open to interfacing with other manufacturers with no browser/device politics.

    Keystroke mapping should be incorporated into the shell to make interfacing with Arduinos etc much simpler.

  56. Southend Says:
    January 31st, 2014 at 10:59 am

    I already moved to Linux and Android for a lot of web stuff.
    I like Windows 7 but require something on the desktop that is NOT A GIANT MOBILE PHONE and has way to search for file that is better than Vista. XP reborn maybe. Otherwise Microsoft maybe the new Kodak.

  57. Mintz Says:
    January 31st, 2014 at 11:09 am

    W9 has to continue what desktop users had from Windows 2000, XP and W7 or I’m off to Linux or Mac. W8 is a nightmare. I resent having to spend time learning how to do in a new OS what I could easily do in the previous one. W7 is great, so dont impose any more unrecognisable and unusable ‘features’ on us.

  58. James Harvey Says:
    January 31st, 2014 at 11:43 am

    The metro interface can learn a lot from Android. Get rid of the square boxes for a start. It needs to allow a user to maintain context when working. Run another app or search without loosing sight of the app you are running. This way if you change your mind or another idea occurs you don’t get distracted getting back to where you were. I’d love to see definable flick out menus where I can decide what apps and links I want to see, in other words, something like the charm idea extended to be user defined. A multi panel file manager is a must or at least the ability to tie windows together so they can be recalled with one gesture. Far better mouse gesture features (see Apple for details ;) )

  59. kevin Says:
    January 31st, 2014 at 11:55 am

    performance wise w8 or 8:1 is ok.
    what needs changing for windows 9 is the start button from windows 7 or earlier windows versions need to be re-introduced. there needs to be a simple method to switch between the metro interface and the desktop. also when installing windows users should be given the chance to choose the metro interface or the desktop during installation. the user should also be given the opportunity between XP or 7 interfaces. this would mean that you would think you are using the mentioned operating system but under the bonnet it is pure windows 9

  60. Tony Says:
    February 1st, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    All sound files in my sound schemes are empty how about a fix that works.

  61. Tricky Dickie Says:
    February 1st, 2014 at 4:33 pm

    Wow! Same idiots come out en masse to complain as usual. “Waaaaahhhh! I won’t my Start Menu back! Waaaahhhhh!

    All of the complaints here are invalid:

    More than one app open? If you haven’t figured out that Windows can do this by now, you really shouldn’t be allowed near a computer. Seriously! On the Desktop, you can have two apps open side by side. And when you close or minimize one, the other stays where it is. This is different in Modern UI – You can have more than 2 open on screen at a time.

    Switching between Desktop and Start screen. Seriously? You can ALT+TAB or WIN+TAB. Have been able to do this for years.

    “Several mouse clicks”? LOL!!

    Also, to open the Start Screen, you can click the button or Windows key. Guest how we used to open the Start Menu…? All that has changed here is that you get a screen full of Live Tiles rather than a menu popping up.

    The new UI is called Modern UI. Not Metro.

    Moving to a new OS…? Don’t you think that this is biting off you nose to spite your face? I mean, learning a whole new OS instead of learning how to click a Live Tile rather than a menu item…? You’d probably be better off with a Mac. Much easier to use, apparently. Good luck with Linux if you can’t even figure Windows out lol.

    Let Desktop lovers have the Desktop? Hmmm.. it is actually still there. One click / key press away. Just like magic!

    No Media Center? You can still get it, and if you’d bothered to get Windows 8 when it came out (instead of whining about it and refusing to try it), you could have got it for free.

    I have used Windows 8 since the Developer Preview, and although it took a little time to get used to the new UI, it was not nearly as difficult as people make out.

    And as for it not doing too well, it is because pro-Apple rags like PC-Pro (I subscribe still, but these days I skip most of the articles except for Nicole and the security one) giving it such a hard time (like they did Vista), and everyone just taking their word for it and not bothering to try it for themselves, and / or giving a little time to get used to it.

    If you don’t like Windows 8, that’s fine. Don’t use it. Windows 7 is still available. Most upgraded from it anyway, so they still have the key, and you can down-grade too install Windows 7 anyway.

  62. Tricky Dickie Says:
    February 1st, 2014 at 4:38 pm

    WANT the Start Menu back.
    Bloody auto correct!

  63. James Harvey Says:
    February 1st, 2014 at 7:22 pm

    Tricky Dickie
    I imagine very few people listen to you which is a shame because – if you didn’t write so aggressively, judgmentally and condescendingly – you might be able to help people rather than put them down.

  64. Tricky Dickie Says:
    February 2nd, 2014 at 2:05 am

    @James Harvey

    There is no help for the whinging pricks here. Windows has changed. Deal with it and stop whining.

  65. Sad Mom Says:
    February 2nd, 2014 at 8:52 am

    I need to disable delete browsing history on my child’s account… can’t see how to do it without local group policy editor, which is not available on my version of win8.1- bought on a new home computer!!!

  66. Aberford Says:
    February 2nd, 2014 at 9:26 am

    I’d love to see Microsoft enable me to treat my Windows 8 PC as a mini cloud available to me from anywhere.

    The Android Remote Desktop App goes some way to achieving this, but only within my house. It would be great if I could easily log on to my PC from anywhere with the user interface intelligently changing based on the device

    I am accessing from (full PC, touch, touch plus keyboard). Making Metro Apps available as “windows” rather than full screen only would greatly benefit this.

    If Microsoft then also enabled NAS drives to be properly integrated into windows libraries/explorer, so I can easily store all my files on the NAS and the C: drive just becomes Windows. Too often Windows encourages files to be stored on the C: drive.

    Extend all this to allow access to the PC whilst someone else (i.e. my children) was already loggged on and active would result in Windows becoming compelling again.

    Agree with other comments, e.g. Tabbed Windows Explorer, Metro Apps that open in their own window, some clue as to how to close Metro apps, not to mention how to shut down/restart the machine, retain/extend Windows Media Center.

    And finally, bring back colour – Too many programs are hard to use as the colours are such washed out greys, e.g. when dragging/dropping to folders in Outlook.

  67. JNeal Says:
    February 2nd, 2014 at 3:32 pm

    I’d like to see colored tabs w/labels on the left side that when you mouse over ,menus would balloon into options for different categories. I’d also like to see better tools, unlike the Fix It Center that never seemed to fix anything.

  68. Victor Says:
    February 2nd, 2014 at 9:32 pm

    I use Windows 8(.1) without ever needing to access its clumsy start screen. Thanks to the excellent and free Classic Shell (
    This displays a ‘normal’ Start menu and can emulate all start menu styles from 95 onwards. You can customize it to your ideal mix of styles. I have it setup to look like all other Windows 8 desktop applications, but with the pre-Vista ‘fold out’ programs menu. Love it.

  69. Mike Hitchcock Says:
    February 3rd, 2014 at 7:28 pm

    As a desktop user I never saw any point it upgrading from Windows 7 to win 8, it did not offer anything exciting or really useful for a desktop user who does not have or need a touchscreen. If Microsoft want to get users like me to upgrade offer me an exciting system with some useful upgrades from the already excellent Win 7 desktop system with the option of a dedicated selectable mouse/keyboard system or touch system. The tikram does not interest me and should be left for tablet users. I have an excellent android phone(Galaxy Note 2) and an IPad 4 and as far as I am concerned MS is too little and too late to attract me to their tablets or smart phones

  70. John Throssell Says:
    February 7th, 2014 at 5:05 pm

    Bring back outlook express. Live mail is a waste of logic and time.

  71. John S. Biggam Says:
    February 7th, 2014 at 8:59 pm

    Workgroups on Windows 7 does not allow Windows XP computers to be part of the Workgroup. I don’t know about Windows 8 but I would want the ability for my old Windows computers to be part of the Workgroup.

  72. AllanGay Says:
    February 8th, 2014 at 1:55 pm

    I bought Windows 8 but never use it beyond occasionally launching it in a VM to receive the latest updates. I was taught that it is rude to point, and I regard touch as infantilising. I don’t want my desktop machine pretending to be a smartphone or a tablet

    My Windows 9 wishlist:
    1. Make each UI completely self-contained and the choice of UI configurable.
    2. WinFS.
    3. Separation of installed program materials and data from the operating system, so that they become readily transferrable to the next new PC.

    I’m currently running Windows VMs in VMware Workstation to achieve the next best thing to point 3 in my list. Being merely a collection of files, a VM is relatively easy to move from one host platform to another.

    TIFKAM appears to be an attempt to invade and commercialise the home computing experience. We are not far off the point at which a broadband connection will be a mandatory corequisite for Windows operation. Such trends are to be deplored and should be resisted.

  73. Michael Says:
    February 11th, 2014 at 8:03 am

    I’ve used windows 8 for school projects and I’m helping a lot of people having trouble with their windows 8. What I miss is the option to select Windows 7 layout. Windows 8 is nice how it looks, but doesn’t work fine for an network administrator, futher for some options you must do a lot handling to get something done, what isn’t friendly to users. Windows 9 must have the option to Set a layout as W7 and W8 (user decides), option to split your screen in 4 parts instead of 2 and a better defender, it tries to delete a lot of things from my pc cause it could be dangerous (It’s just a backup of my drivers).

  74. Ian Says:
    February 11th, 2014 at 1:06 pm

    I am amazed that most of the stuff people are talking about is UI looks and start buttons. Windows has infuriated me for years. It needs all the old code thrown out and a start again approach. It needs to be a sandboxed OS that cannot be altered by any drivers/software. It should not slow down, the more software you add. All add on software should be sandboxed. All user data should be on separate drives, without even the chance of getting the two mixed on one drive. It should be able to access files on data paths longer than 225~250 character length. Whenever copying a batch of files, it should keep a list of files not copied (for whatever reason) so I don’t have to search for a needle in a haystack. Even today, 20 years after the original office suite, I watch and wait while MS programs load. I would like to see a movie maker that wasn’t limited to just a few file formats. MS keep changing the glossy UI, but it is under the hood where they should concentrate their efforts. Some aspects of Windows are truly rubbish. It is about time MS was bought to book over the rubbish they pedal; they make a fortune out of us. What is needed is real competition – a real alternative.

  75. Ivan Says:
    February 11th, 2014 at 4:23 pm

    Bring back start menu; we have 3 machines still on XPpro, a W7 laptop and a W8 netbook with touch screen. Personally I’d prefer a properly tidied up XP9 with a better choice of colour schemes etc. I don’t like the 7 + way of finding settings, not at all logical to me, and I like my trees to have visible branches! The netbook touch screen is not improved by greasy smears and I certainly don’t want that on a desktop monitor. Nor do I want a new large format plotter and scanner just because Ms says so…

  76. Milton Hey Says:
    February 13th, 2014 at 9:15 am

    Since downloading a third party start menu I am happy with most of the features of W8.1 except the loss of a system backup facility. There is a need for a traditional “close” button for the Metro programs (apps). I run my machines mostly from the desktop because the programs run the same as with earlier OS’s, the metro versions of IE and other programs seem to be a bad move and very frustrating, why move Tabs from the top of the screen to windows hidden off the screen?

  77. David Wright Says:
    February 13th, 2014 at 1:33 pm

    @Milton you don’t need to close the Metro apps, they get closed automatically when Windows needs the resources. If you really must remove them, then you can call up the list of running apps (swipe from left or mouse in top left corner) and click on the app and drag it off screen.

    As to IE and “off screen” tabs, it means there is less screen furniture clogging up the display, so you actually have more content visible. I much prefer it that way.

  78. Gary Says:
    February 13th, 2014 at 5:02 pm

    Familiarity is the key in my case and as Windows 8.1 has taken that away from me I now have the option of two systems to choose from so I have gone for the OS X Mavericks. Why ? Simple, if I have to learn a new way of doing things then I will go for the one that I find more user friendly. What could Microsoft have done to keep me as a customer ? Again simple, they could have brought out an upgrade that was still familiar to existing users as it is they did not so have lost my custom this time. Whether or not I will return will depend on what they have to offer in the future.

  79. Marcelo Says:
    February 13th, 2014 at 9:32 pm

    The main problem i think, that can be applied to many things, is: don’t take away options from a product, always offer more options. The problem i saw with Windows 8 move is that Microsoft thought that it could shove down the throat of its users those changes and everyone woupd be quiet, like Apple users (i’m not a Apple hater, but its loyal fans are more likely to accept crap changes, for example, IOS 7 layout). What’s the point removing start button? Start screen and start button van coexist… Same for Metro interface and desktop, allow the user choose onde, another or both… The fail move was remove the options from the users, instead giving them more… This only tip could calm down 90% os the frustated users of Windows 8 and 8.1

    PS: I use Windows 8.1 but i don’t dare to install it at my parent’s house

  80. Trig Says:
    February 17th, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    To start, a large linked repository of vetted, malware-free no-charge software. A clear logical menu system. A choice of shell styles like we see in the Linux distros. And a “console” with access to DOS style commands. Plus computer must permit dual booting without fuss. As it is this is the last MS PC I’ll ever buy. Windows 8.1 has me going in circles clicking on boxes and pop-ups which a waste of time. I still get crashes more frequently than on Mint. Its better than Vista but then that was so bad that I wiped it without regret.

  81. Alisha Says:
    February 18th, 2014 at 11:42 am

    Is start menu is back in Windows 9?

  82. Keenan Says:
    February 18th, 2014 at 3:54 pm

    It appears that, somehow, 8.1 interferes with Microsoft Office Outlook 2010 search function. It doesn’t work and I can unearth no solution to the problem. Can Microsoft fix that with Windows 9?

  83. Sy Says:
    February 19th, 2014 at 1:17 am

    Windows Media Center
    PLEASE for all us XBMC USERS

  84. Backup Bob Says:
    February 19th, 2014 at 6:03 pm

    Microsoft made a bold move with Windows 8. Trying to tie several dis-similar systems together is not a simple task and Windows 8 seems similar on many platforms.

    Their big mistake, as I see it, is in trying to force something so drastically different on several billion users without leaving them a “back door” to doing things the old way. A satisfied Windows user will suddenly find they cannot function due to the many changes. When you are facing a deadline, you really do not need to be spending 15 minutes on Google trying to find the button to do a simple task.

    With 8 there are effectively two operating systems and the old tools, such as the Start menu, are either missing or hidden. In time Windows 8 can be learned but it is a big-time productivity killer at first.

    Their other big mistake was spending a year to address the many complaints and then taking a heavy handed attitude when the 8.1 upgrade came up lacking. When you have a few billion satisfied users, don’t tell them how stupid they are.

    Perhaps Microsoft will do the right thing and give the users what they want in version 8.2. If not, there may not be as many users waiting to upgrade to 9.0.

  85. Pete Says:
    February 20th, 2014 at 11:04 am

    We will NOT be using Windows 8. Even though the interface is ‘nice’ it reduces productivity on desktops (IMHO)and server 2012 is even worse for this. We will wait for Win9 to see if productivity is restored and if it’s not we’ll skip that one too!

  86. Pete Says:
    February 20th, 2014 at 11:07 am

    My question is this ‘Is the one interface model for all devices completely flawed’? After all I don’t want a car that looks like a lorry and gives you lorry features and functionality. To improve Win8 for all users offer a ‘feature pack’ for each type of user and let THEM choose.

  87. Pete Says:
    February 20th, 2014 at 11:10 am

    Finally I have tried to find a ‘Blunt Stick’ in order to operate Windows 8, still not found one yet…

  88. Jim Says:
    February 24th, 2014 at 6:28 am

    These discussions are all very interesting and comments are generally by computers ‘experts’ like myself.
    What they do not address is that most computers are bought by ‘ordinary’ people. A non technical friend has just bought a new laptop with Windows 8 and he is so flummoxed by it as to find it completely unusable

  89. Ben Says:
    March 30th, 2014 at 11:49 am

    It should be offered in two versions: desktop and tablet. The desktop edition would be similar to Windows 7, while the tablet edition would be more similar to Windows 8/RT.

  90. Kalkas Says:
    June 4th, 2014 at 2:37 am

    As a desktop user, I want to have option to work simultaneously with three or more programs and be able to see their “windows.” For instance having Internet running to copy some text and paste it in MS Words and at the same time have a videoconference using Skype. It seems that this can be done only in Desktop mode. Old Desktop UI and Modern Metro UI should be better integrated and not have separate set of applications that do the same job. For instance, why must there be two versions of Skype: one for Desktop UI and other in Metro? Moreover, why must old Skype users create a Microsoft Account in order to use the Metro Skype? Fortunately, Desktop Skype does not force users to get rid of their old Skype account. It is rather confusing in user experience to deal with two versions of the one and same program/application; or, are they actually two different applications? Very confusing indeed.


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