Software // Operating Systems
News
5/9/2013
11:54 AM
Jeff Bertolucci
Jeff Bertolucci
Slideshows
Connect Directly
Google+
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

8 Things Microsoft Should Fix In Windows Blue

Windows 8 has left a lot of folks fuming. Can Windows Blue win them back?
Previous
1 of 9
Next


Microsoft has been busy lately defending Window 8's honor, and for good reason. The din of user gripes, focused mostly on the new operating system's tile-oriented Modern interface, hasn't lessened much since Windows 8 launched last October. Industry analysts have dumped on the new OS too, claiming it bears some of the blame for weak PC sales worldwide.

But is Windows 8 really so bad? This won't come as a surprise, but Microsoft thinks it's pretty good, if you'll just give it a chance. The company recently confirmed that its Windows 8 update, code-named "Windows Blue," is slated for release later this year. A public preview of Windows Blue will debut at the Microsoft Build Developer Conference in San Francisco at the end of June.

Redmond is a bit less forthcoming about Windows Blue's new and updated features, which is the subject of the slideshow that follows. So what can we expect? "[Blue is] an opportunity for us to respond to the customer feedback that we've been closely listening to since the launch of Windows 8 and Windows RT," said Tami Reller, chief marketing and financial officer of the Windows division, in a May 7th Q&A session with Microsoft's Brandon LeBlanc. Well, perhaps "feedback" is a friendly word for "grievances."

Whatever the case, we'll find out in a few weeks just how responsive Microsoft is to Windows 8's critics.

Microsoft claims it has sold more than 100 million licenses for Windows 8, up from 60 million in January, and that there are now more than 2,400 certified Windows 8- and Windows RT-certified devices. And Windows 8's acceptance in the marketplace, in terms of license sales, is on par with that of Windows 7 after its debut, the company says. But as InformationWeek associate editor Michael Endler makes clear, there are many more PCs in the world today than when Windows 7 arrived at the end of 2009. To match its predecessor's market share growth, Windows 8 would need to sell significantly more licenses than Windows 7.

So is Windows doomed? Hardly. Even with the anti-Windows 8 uproar, there's no indication that enterprises are ditching the Windows platform. However, given that many businesses are still in the process of upgrading to Windows 7, there's a good chance they may bypass Windows 8 -- and perhaps even Windows Blue -- altogether and hold out for Windows 9. Consumers, however, may find iPads and Android tablets tempting alternatives to Windows-based laptops and tablets, and that has Microsoft worried.

Here are 8 things that Microsoft might fix in Windows Blue.

Previous
1 of 9
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Oldest First  |  Newest First  |  Threaded View
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
phuzz
50%
50%
phuzz,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/9/2013 | 4:41:27 PM
re: 8 Things Microsoft Should Fix In Windows Blue
I might have bothered reading all this if it wasn't split across 10 pages
Junis
50%
50%
Junis,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/9/2013 | 5:52:44 PM
re: 8 Things Microsoft Should Fix In Windows Blue
Splitting an article into 10 different web pages is an example of extremely poor web design. Shame on the online computer publication that allows this.
C. Moya
50%
50%
C. Moya,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/10/2013 | 5:17:51 PM
re: 8 Things Microsoft Should Fix In Windows Blue
Seriously. With full page postbacks too. They couldn't have the slideshow run in a nicer AJAX-y way?
Tronist
50%
50%
Tronist,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/10/2013 | 5:35:27 PM
re: 8 Things Microsoft Should Fix In Windows Blue
i might like Windows 8 if it weren't for all that crap cluttering up the desktop.
Stephane Parent
50%
50%
Stephane Parent,
User Rank: Strategist
5/10/2013 | 6:22:58 PM
re: 8 Things Microsoft Should Fix In Windows Blue
One thing I would like to see in Blue is Modern UI across multiple screens. Right now, I have it appearing on my primary screen with the secondary defaulting to desktop.
robin oliver
50%
50%
robin oliver,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/10/2013 | 6:36:00 PM
re: 8 Things Microsoft Should Fix In Windows Blue
trash-talking the latest windows os has turned into a regular pattern with informationweek... you guys really need to find a new drum-beat... there can be no question that user interface is lacking in every operating system... and it has been that way for 31 years since apple released its first gui on the lisa platform... but in every instance, we have learned to use it... or not... and when not, it has faded away (except in the minds of those who became irrationally attached to it)... but the following successive versions do seem to get better and more useful over time...

actually, no operating system will be worth a tinker's damn until the day it becomes completely ubiquitous but unseen, interacting with the user in the ways that our species has evolved to handle information, without the extraordinary attention to a keyboard or a mouse or a touchscreen, serving us with the information we need or seek, and otherwise completely unnoticed and unremarkable...

think in terms of a well-behaved HAL 9000...? rather than hammering microsoft or anyone else in this race, why don't you guys devote yourselves to helping to shape that vision...? as scoop nisker used to say, "if you do not like the news, go out an make some of your own..."

by the way, i also think this web site design for this piece falls way short... just sayin'...
WBCaiusey
50%
50%
WBCaiusey,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/10/2013 | 7:10:26 PM
re: 8 Things Microsoft Should Fix In Windows Blue
The only solution for Microsoft's operating system is and always has been an Apple.
jhines554
50%
50%
jhines554,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/10/2013 | 7:23:37 PM
re: 8 Things Microsoft Should Fix In Windows Blue
I hate the split up layout. It insures that I do not read this.
classicalduck
50%
50%
classicalduck,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/10/2013 | 8:09:38 PM
re: 8 Things Microsoft Should Fix In Windows Blue
I guess IW thinks that we'll buy their advertisers' products if they shove the ads at us ten times rather than just one.
taward
50%
50%
taward,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/11/2013 | 2:51:37 AM
re: 8 Things Microsoft Should Fix In Windows Blue
Enough already with this stupid Start Button/Menu talk already. I've had it, not only because I disagree on its merits but the argument is so hollow but so loud that it is now iles past annoying. So let's get into it.

So you REALLY want the start button back? Why? Considering that the exact same function is served by a button only pixels away from where the start button use to be except that now it's not taking up space when it's serving absolutely no purpose at all. This makes NO sense. If you're so used to the button being there, just move the mouse a hair down and to the left and voila, Start button. Does seeing the button soothe you? The start button is still there, it just auto-hides now and that's the way it should be. If it's not adding value to me, it should disappear.

Now on to the start menu. This is a little trickier, but the result is the same. Two important things to note here, the Modern UI start screen does everything that the old start menu did, but WAY better, and you lose exactly nothing by taking up the whole screen rather than just the corner. Let's start with the latter.

When you used to click and bring up the old start menu, what was the value of having 80% of your desktop visible? Were you ever using the start menu AND your desktop at the same time? Could you even if you wanted to? And if you could, would it have done you any good? Probably not. So having it take up the whole screen so you can actually fit things on it makes sense.

And that leads to the next thing, did the start menu ever actually work as promised? Those frequently used apps NEVER EVER EVER EVER worked the way it was supposed to. It would randomly mix your most recently used apps with the ones it thought you might use more frequently if it kept putting it there. And then if you pinned them to the top, how many could you really fit, 7? 8? 10? Whatever it was, the modern UI bests that by multiples. From that screen you can get to any program, search anywhere, basically do everything that the star menu tried to do.

I'm done. Please stop complaining about the start button.
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest - September 10, 2014
A high-scale relational database? NoSQL database? Hadoop? Event-processing technology? When it comes to big data, one size doesn't fit all. Here's how to decide.
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.