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Windows 8 Wish List

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Connecting to the cloud needs to mean more than Web browsers that remember your password.

Connecting to the cloud needs to mean more than Web browsers that remember your password.

There are rumors galore about what Microsoft might or might not include in Windows 8, when it might come out and what it might look like. We don't know the real answers to any of those (not even whether it will be called Windows 8), but we do know what we'd like to see in Windows 8 - and which Windows 7 bloopers we'd like to see eliminated. Here's our Windows 8 wish list. It covers a lot of different areas: speed, reliability, interface options... but they all have one thing in common: they represent an operating system designed from scratch for the actual users, not the PC companies that buy Windows licenses to pass on to the users.

We're sure you'll have your own Windows wish list; do tell us what you need the most and hate the most.

Windows Live Mesh syncs files from one PC to another, or into the cloud, and it syncs some useful settings, but Windows should do more.

Windows Live Mesh syncs files from one PC to another, or into the cloud, and it syncs some useful settings, but Windows should do more.

Few of us use the same computer all day, every day and even if we do, we scatter files and information around. Whether it’s your netbook and your office PC, your phone, the Web site you keep photos on, Twitter, Facebook, or Gmail – the files you create, the links you follow and the other useful things you need to remember are in a lot of different places. Windows shouldn’t just be the platform you use to open a browser and your Windows account should do more than let you log in to your PC: it should keep (secure) records of your accounts and usernames and passwords so that when you use your PC, you log in to your services without having to type or click. If you browse a Web page on your phone or on a PC at work, you should be able to see it in your history in Windows – whatever browser you used. Files should follow you; photos from your phone that upload to the cloud should copy into your Pictures folder, the most recent versions of documents you create in Google Docs should be in your local Documents folder as well, and the files that you create on the PC in your den should show up on your netbook without you having to put them on Dropbox yourself.

You can copy files from an old PC with Windows, but once you tell both PCs who you are, we’d like to see the right files transfer automatically.

You can copy files from an old PC with Windows, but once you tell both PCs who you are, we’d like to see the right files transfer automatically.

When you buy a new PC, settings from your old PC, such as your Live ID, mapped drives, custom spelling dictionaries, toolbar customizations and desktop wallpaper should just flow across to the new computer. Most apps need to be installed rather than copied but there’s no reason the configuration shouldn’t just show up automatically on the new machine.