Fixing Windows 8

I guess my only real complaint about Windows 8 is that it isn’t finished, not even close.

I currently have a desktop running Windows 7, a laptop running Windows 8.1, a tablet running Windows 8.1 and a tablet running Windows RT 8.1. I’ve used every version of Windows since 3.0.

The challenge is that the same user interface that works in a keyboard/mouse/monitor configuration won’t work on a tablet. There’s a ton of stuff in Windows 8.1 that you just cannot do without starting the Windows desktop, and all of that is what’s not finished.

Fragmented settings

For better or worse, Windows is incredibly complicated—just look at the Event Viewer, or the Group Policy Editor. Probably the single most vexing problem with Windows is that you can’t easily find out how to set things. With Windows 8.1 the problem is even worse because there are more places where things are hidden. Windows 8 isn’t done until there is a tablet-oriented user interface that gives access to ALL of the settings in Windows. The Windows desktop is unusable on a tablet, and a tablet user shouldn’t be forced to use it, ever.

Fix the search

The flexible search on the Start screen is cool, but it needs to default to searching within the application when it’s invoked from within an application, not search everywhere.

Put the Windows 7 start button back

Losing the Start button was the single-most dumb thing Microsoft did with Windows 8. If I understand the rationale, the Start screen replaced the start button—but it doesn’t. Desktop users don’t want the tablet interface—it’s hugely inefficient with a mouse. Also the lack of a start button makes it frustrating to move back and for between Windows 7 and Windows 8 machines when the button in the corner does different things: on one system you have to right-click and the other left click and even then it’s not the same.

A good start

I like the Metro interface a lot. It makes sense, it’s fast and responsive, it’s easy to organize, and it works great on a tablet. Now finish it, so I don’t have to keep switching to the desktop to do stuff.

About Kevin

Just an old guy with opinions that I like to bounce off other people.
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