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Sabtu, 04 Agustus 2012

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

When Windows 8 was under development and news were coming about leaked 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.
It seems Microsoft has decided to force everything on Windows 8 users. Microsoft is assuming everything in Windows 8. They are assuming that users will find out how to access hidden start screen thumbnail to go to Start Screen. They are assuming that the users will find out how to access hidden Charms Bar. They are assuming each and everything.
But 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. How can they assume it? 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? 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?
Please don't make Windows 8 another Windows Me or Windows Vista. Microsoft launched Windows 7 to fix all the issues which were faced by users in Windows Vista and it seems that the same thing is going to happen with Windows 8, if Microsoft doesn't fix the things before RTM release.
At the moment, Windows 8 seems a perfect OS for tablets but the story is different for Desktops or laptops. I have started having a strong feeling that Microsoft started developing Windows 8 only for tablets similar to Android, iOS, etc but later they decided why not make it compatible with Desktops as well? In this way they can make more profit from it. That's why they are including everything which is best for tablets but ignoring everything which was best for Desktops.
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...
Microsoft! Please listen users otherwise Windows 8 would become Windows Me v2 or Vista v2. Or if you want to make Windows 8 optimized for tablets, then keep it for tablets only and make Windows 9 only for Desktops.

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