Laundry List for Windows

15 Oct

Microsoft has been enjoying an almost monopoly in enterprise and consumer computing for almost as long as personal computers has existed. But as Android and iOS gains popularity, Microsoft needed to take necessary measurements.

The Metro Modern design language is in my opinion Microsoft’s doorway to dominating next generation of computing. But as it stands, compared to the desktop environment, it is still woefully lacking. This post is intended to be a “laundry list” of tweaks I believe Microsoft needs to do on Windows for a improved user experience.

Windows Desktop

Add podcast support into Windows Media Player. OR Update Zune.

Desktop can get Metro Interface elements like this.


Internet Explorer zoom settings should be independent of the Metro IE.

Desktop apps should be able to integrate with charms bar too. Do more than just screenshot share.

Windows Metro

Internet explorer’s tile should flip to show a thumbnail of the page it has open in the background.

Calculator should show last calculation.

Settings should show last settings changed.

System should have a list of all system settings changes.

Subtitle support for god’s sake.

Open links in specific app. (Or defaults by extension).

Every app should have a app specific settings of how much screen space it would retain when it opens another app.

Launch app from marketplace.

If a computer has enough power, let it have more apps to run in background.

Windows Phone

When you pause a video, it should interactable like an image. Zoom in to see something clearly, zoom out to access next and previous videos in the same playlist, like in a video podcast, TV show etc.

Charms bar. Probably. May help with implementing more features.

I should be able to swipe through albums of an artist, I should be able to do the same for episodes of an podcast, or TV shows.

Calculator tile should show last calculation.

Ability to select which apps do have lens integration. Ability to launch a selected “lens” directly. Switching between lenses directly.

Launch app from marketplace.

Add a OEM "nokia"/"htc"/"samsung" settings tab, in addition to "system" and "application". Should make it easier to navigate settings. Maybe a "favorites" too.

Each settings should be individually pinnable.

Lens select could be accessible from lenses directly.

Update 1 (Windows Metro)

Bring back 320px wide snap mode. New flexible snap modes can co-exist with that.

Let users turn off flexible snaps modes. I personally would like to have,

  • 50% – 50%
  • 25% – 50% – 25%
  • 320px – rest  of screen
  • 320px – rest of screen – 320px

The blank place should show start screen instead.Screenshot-12_thumb3

 Update 2 (Windows Metro)

When  a metro app is closed, Windows should go back to the screen/start screen the app was launched from, not always start screen. If from search screen, go back to search screen, if from start screen, go back there. If from the search pane in the Desktop, go back to desktop. The whole thing should act like a stack.

One thing I feel of paramount importance is Windows should be adjustable for right-left handed users. As the Metro part relies on a lot of edge swiping,left handed users should have the option to switch place of the Charms Bar and Navigation bar.

When the desktop background is selected as the background as the of the Start Screen, the background be changeable from this menu.


Update 3 (Windows Phone)

Swipe in any direction to dismiss a toast notification.

When locked, hold the last toast indefinitely until dismissed. Drag lock screen downwards to reveal. (Rubber band effect).

Allow phone to automatically go into code scanning mode from search screen if held in a particular way.

Auto-update of apps are coming, but also let users batch select which apps to update.

Internet Explorer landscape mode can have additional buttons, as it also have more real estate.Final_thumb1

Bring Windows 8.1 style time changer.

In outlook/mail app, need the ability to select alias as sender. OR port Windows 8 mail app.

Add a "all" tab in the podcasts menu, to be sorted by date. Also let the order to be changed.

Reading list in Mobile IE.

Auto enable Visual Search if phone held in a particular orientation. (Held like a camera.) By extension camera+search could launch visual search directly, volume down+search could launch Bing Music search directly.

Update 4 (Windows Metro)

All Microsoft softwares should come to Windows Store. Microsoft Math, Live Writer are amazing apps that will help with the image a lot.

Skype should become a full fledged Google Voice competitor.

Card like multitasking to Modern UI.


Again, this is a mere list based on my personal experience. I will update it whenever I feel necessary. Some screen caps will probably be added, things may get added or removed. feedbacks are of course welcome.


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