9 Changes We Want to See in Windows 9
UPDATE: Microsoft is expected to reveal Windows 9 at an event in San Francisco this Tuesday.
The latest scoop in the Microsoft world is that Windows 9, the follow-up to the company’s fairly unpopular Windows 8 operating system, will be unveiled at the end of September. The drastic changes that Windows 8 brought to Microsoft’s OS — a confusing new system of tiles on the home screen, the removal of the Start button, a two-faced system that split itself between a new, touch-friendly interface and the more familiar mouse-and-keyboard Windows of old — were met with customer ire. Those complaints felt validated after the company backpedaled on the removal of the popular desktop Start button, announcing that it would soon return.
We’re not yet sure whether Microsoft will look to quell dissatisfaction by returning to the old Windows way, or maybe come up with some new tricks to improve usability and stoke excitement (or maybe a mix of both). But here are nine items that would sure make us happy if Bill Gates’ buddies were to decide to bring them to Windows 9.
1.Minimize the split.
Microsoft tacked the new tile-based Windows 8 interface (once called Metro, now called Modern) onto the classic Windows desktop that we’ve seen for years. It resulted in a schizophrenic operating system. And even if Microsoft’s ultimate goal was once to move completely over to its new Windows 8 look and “app” way of doing things, the numbers show that folks are not biting yet.
The Modern UI of Windows (top) and the desktop UI (bottom). (yungchou.wordpress.com/Microsoft)
Although we don’t expect Windows 9 to go all in on the “Start screen and apps” look, it would be nice to see at least a bit more intersection: Perhaps allow for the operation of Modern apps inside desktop windows, or completely replace the Start screen with the desktop Start menu. If Microsoft can somehow ax the disjointed Jekyll-and-Hyde feel of its OS, either by moving further forward or taking a few steps back, it’ll be an all-around better experience.
2. Bring back the desktop Start menu.
This was mentioned above, but it’s important. Whether Microsoft decides to supplant Windows’ new Start screen with a revamp of the desktop Start menu (unlikely), or simply augment the Start screen’s functionality by bringing access from within the desktop side of the OS (probably what will happen), we’re in favor.