Microsoft’s credibility has hit an all time low, has the big dog finally bitten off more than it can chew?, when it comes to desktop operating systems Microsoft’s in knee deep water. Windows Vista, the utter failure that it is, left many consumers disappointed, unWowed and its never a good sign when most large corporates have IT policies in place that forbid Vista Clients on their network.
Microsoft have an opportunity to make right and restore their lost honor. The next Windows will have to exceed public expectations, the bar has been raised. You can’t fool us again with empty promises of WOW! Microsoft need fresh ideas and new blood. Sooner or later it’s highly possible Microsoft actually might deliver us an operating system that we like.
The following is my wish list, the top 20 best ideas I can think of which would greatly improve the next version of Windows, now it took me less than 30 minutes to come up with these recomendations, feel free to add ideas to the comment section, if you want to expand on this list. Amazingly Microsoft aren’t in the habit of asking the public the right questions. Sure they have public surveys, how about a global campaign, get involved and help design the next version of windows. collecting data from real peoples user experience, actually becoming interested in us, the users of this new OS they’re in the process of building.
1. One Version but modularized (strip the hard edges between server and client versions of the OS)
One clean base version of Windows, every option defined as a feature, like in Windows Server 2008. It is essential that the base version is as clean and lean as possible. So clean that even the UI should be a feature. This way templates could be applied to the base install. This model is great because the feature model could always be extended by 3rd party vendors, and features on a whole could be upgraded, swopped out and replaced. This is every Network Administrators dream, to have an OS thats easy to slipstream or sysprep, and then have network profiling install system remotely, when required.
From a corporate perspective, stripping the hard edge between Server and Client makes a tremendous amount of sense, Machines could easily morph to perform business functions taking on hybrid roles, for example – a workstation development server. Features could require seperate activation a realistic licensing model could be applied. Microsoft will not loose any revenue from this deployment model. This would mean that developers would finally be able to perform a great deal more on their base operating systems, without having to install server versions of Windows, or use expensive virtualization solutions.
2. Far more inventive User Interface
Microsoft are one of the richest companies on the planet, they have offices in nearly every country in the world, they are able to take on projects of enormous stature, yet ask them to deliver a rich user interface that satisfies the imagination of the most creative of users, and they just can’t seem to get it right. A really superb user interface is not too much to ask for, by utlizing state of the art design concepts, they could even accomplish this without hogging all of the sytems resources.
3. Speed scaling
Some users love the flashy stuff, others really get annoyed to see their system being brough to its knees trying to render flashy 32bit icons and transition effects. For once it would be nice to have a system so customisable it can run looking like Windows 95 or as “Flashy” as Compiz. Give this control back to the user to decide which they want. 1GB of RAM Reserved for an Aero Theme is completely unacceptable.
4. No Registry
Other operating systems don’t rely on a registry, it adds major bloat to the system, and is also subject to corruption. Most 3rd programs that rely on the registry tend to add loads of keys and values, and when you uninstall these programs, its highly unlikely they remove all that junk. It would be great to do away with the registry model completely and use application configuration files.
5. Built in RAR Support
Most consumers tend to use .zip or rar, but since RAR is the more flexible solution, why not have it built into the operating system. Full RAR support, a professional polished solution, not just extract to folder, like the current zip integration, thats so basic it makes you want to run out and buy winZip.
6. Better Sound Recording Support
This is not the 60’s, a lot of technical users need to produce web, screen or podcasts. Sound recording, editing and producing to useable formats should be built into the operating system. Simple WAV out, just doesn’t cut it anymore.
7. Video Conversion Wizards that work
AVI, WMV, XVID, etc – it would be nice to be able to have right click shell integration and a convert to -> output format option, with real useful output options, wizard based publishing size/quality considerations.
8. Windows Driver Updates that actually work
More collaboration between Windows and Hardware vendors is required to allow Windows Update to communicate with Hardware vendors update sites. Better ability to determine if certain devices require software to be bundled with the driver.
9. Ghosting Support / Rollback and backup
It would be nice if the OS had a save snapshot option, with the ability on boot to restore a previous state. This would also require a rethink of the boot menu, and the ability to recognise external devices or network locations prior to the OS being loaded.
10. NO UAC
Its a daft idea, just remove it completely, everyone just disables it anyways. UAC sucks ASS! Who approved this feature anyways? Someone who never has to use it.
11. Better search
Implement search any other way than its currently implemented. Even better give us back the search from Windows 2003/XP. The requirement is not too hard, I want something that helps me find stuff on my computer!
12. Don’t be ashamed of the command line – embrace it, and enhance it
Learn a lesson or 2 from Linux, the command prompt is important, implement a real programming model into batch files.
13. On the fly defrag
The file system should be intelligent enough, not to get fragged in the first place. a better IO interaction in the operating system should prevent fragging completely.
14. A real mail / blogging client
One that handles, POP and web based mail, something that can really filter out junk, and that looks good and polished, not like Windows Live Mail, or Windows Vista Mail
15. Auto logins to websites