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Windows 8 Wish List

Get In Sync

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.

  • Wow. There was a lot of stuff on that article that makes it seem like the write has no idea what she's talking about - especially that whole tirade on signed code and absolutely everything on the page about batteries.
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  • seboj
    Anonymous132098uWow. There was a lot of stuff on that article that makes it seem like the write has no idea what she's talking about - especially that whole tirade on signed code and absolutely everything on the page about batteries.
    I'm not sure what this guy is talking about, but I thought most of the points were pretty valid, and need serious attention from M$.

    For example, hasn't Linux already moved to an update process that almost never requires a restart?

    As for UIs, M$ should hire the people behind the Rainmeter Omnimo 3 UI. It's super impressive.
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  • LuckyDucky7
    Some problems:

    2.) Are you nuts? Microsoft isn't Apple and 99% of us want it to stay that way. I REFUSE to pay 25 bucks for the right to make a program, and I REFUSE to let go of any old program that isn't. Besides, Windows 8 is still going to ask me if I'm sure I want to scratch my butt (I mean, open that deliberately-downloaded program).

    7.) Ever heard of Splashtop Linux, which does exactly that? I guess not.
    Also, UFEI won't take that long, and neither do most BIOSes.
    A long wait = old hardware that your mainboard doesn't like.

    8.) Two things- RDP is slow (so there's noticeable lag when you start things in XP mode), and the My Documents backup is already performed by Windows Backup (and is also movable by power users).

    11.) Recycle Bin contents are transferred during upgrades. If you deleted it from the Recycle Bin, why do you need to recover it? Why did you delete it in the first place? That's what 500 GB hard drives are for!

    I also don't trust Windows. If I don't want/need a backup, I don't want Windows doing it for me.

    12.) Windows already does all of that. Also, you can have my Core i7 notebook when you pry it from my cold, dead hands. The only thing is that, well, you can't predict the future (when you're going to use a program).

    Other than that, some of these are reasonable expectations, but some of them aren't going to be ready for release even within this decade.
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  • davewolfgang
    I was thinking that some of these things would get M$ right back in court the way they were in the EU with "including" IE and then having to give users a "choice".

    As was stated in a previous post - there's a REASON most of us can't stand Mac's - we WANT to be able to do things our self. Here's an idea - have at the Install a couple choices:

    1) I'm a novice and want Windows to handle everything.
    2) I'm an expert and will make all the decision on my own.
    3) Let me see each choice and decide.
    4) Etc. etc.

    As for the "signing" thing - why can't there be a check-box in the properties that I can tell Windows that "Yes, I approve this program." so that it doesn't ask me every single time I want to open it if I "Approve". I downloaded it, and installed it - I WANT it. Yes that first time, sure, but then make it "Approved" after that. Same thing for Programs that have to run with Admin rights (especially for us Gamers and Vent/TS - because they run in the background). If it GAVE it Admin rights (and had to "Approve" that), then - by golly - I actually do want it to run as Admin every time I open it!
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  • sgtmattbaker
    Meh, most of these things sound good, but I can't think of very many that would affect me. Gestures seem like an annoying way to do something that I can do with a mouse and keyboard. I don't trust the cloud enough to sync all my documents with it. I don't need Windows to organize documents for me, I'm already used to organizing everything myself because that is the only good way to do it currently.

    The fixing of update nagging would be a good thing. The biggest thing for me that isn't in the list is the implementation lf a system like the software repositories in Linux OSes. While doing thngs on Linux can sometimes be annoying, the software repository is brilliant. Ever tried keeping Windows applications up to date? You have to have applications that notify you themselvex or you have to periodically check yourself whether there is a new version out. It is a real pain in the butt.

    Touch interface is a big one. Tablets running smartphone OSes just don't cut it for me. There are so many more programs for x86 Windows and an OS like Windows is so much more versatile than iOS or Android. You can't quite bend it to your will like a BSD or a Linux OS, but I don't know many people that need that level of customization. If Microsoft can get a version of Windows made that is tablet friendly then companies can start making tablets that a truly functional devices instead of smartphone/laptop hybrids.
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  • DavidC1
    System on a chip processors use less power than the usual combination of CPU, GPU and extra chipsets, but still more than the ARM processor.

    Is the author an idiot? Please educate yourself before making an article with such nonsense.

    Do you understand that ARM chip + GPU + chipsets = System on a chip?


    Here's a VERY challenging question for the author. Why is it called "System on a chip?"
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  • amigafan
    More and more I stumble upon such consumer-oriented articles here on Tom's which I don't welcome since I always regarded Tom's to be oriented towards enthusiasts and people who know their stuff. I don't like this trend and I hope Tom's won't become just another Engadget or something like Gizmodo.

    With that said, why does the author promote "user stupidification" agenda?
    For example;

    1) why would Windows have to store documents from Google Docs in my local My Documents folder? If I create something on the cloud that's where it should be until I download it (where I want to), not scattered around *automatically* god knows where. It's like replacing folder/directory paradigm in the OS with "search bar". People should be organized, not expecting for their files to magically appear where they randomly need it.

    2) if code signing gets enforced, there couldn't be any free programs (from individuals at least) and hobby programmers would be screwed: what if I create some super useful program and I can't distribute it on the net to those who need it (and who trust me)? We would be confined to running capitalistically created software only (similar to Apple AppStore). For me, it's just another nail in the coffin of the liberty. They do it all to help the "layman" people out of the trouble with the computers, but what about rest of us? It's not fair to limit us enthusiasts by designing the systems for "layman" which becomes trend nowadays.
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  • Zingam
    I have two wishes.
    1. That it isn't crap
    2. That it cost a reasonable price - $50!!!!
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  • mayankleoboy1
    virtualization is now enabled on all intel cpu by a windows update.
    the cpu need not have hardware virtualization.

    PS: i didnt like the authors dumbing down of windows users.
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  • I dont like that programs are bundled into the word "app"

    Having an App list with a phone GUI is one way to copy apple. The start menu is fine, why change it for a graphical interface if it doesn't need to be?

    There is a difference between app and programs.

    Apps are 1 shot items like a weather monitor, but programs are things like firefox or Word. Using the same word to describe that fart app that you downloaded on your phone to describe a productive program makes them seem useless.
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