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Reader Feedback: A Windows 8 Wish List

We asked readers to send us features that they'd like to see in Windows 8 (back in June...ahem), and wow, did Jon respond. This e-mail so is worth reading, but it's really long, so we're not going to comment at the end the way we usually do. So, enjoy, gentle readers, thanks again for your participation, and we'll see you next week.

"Thanks for asking about readers' wish-lists for Windows 8.

  • When you open and modify an attachment, then Return or Forward it, your edits should not die somewhere in Windows' large intestine. Simply relay the edits, as intuition would suggest, then also ask if the user wants to Save/Save As the document.
  • Retain common (and lost!) keyboard shortcuts from Word, and then propagate them throughout Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint -- because those aren't just all Windows programs. They're all in the same SUITE, so a command that works in Program A should do the same in Program B!
    • (E.g., in Word, ALT-O, P opens up the Paragraph formatting box. In Outlook, it's ALT-O, K, P.) There are many other inconsistencies. Standardize on Word, not Excel, as Word is most widely used.
  • Any user-defined Autotype or AutoCorrect entry should work in any/every Windows program.
  • Windows 8 should require every Windows-compatible program to contain an understandable, popup, functional description of itself and what it does! That will tell us what the heck we're affecting when we're clearing out junk with Remove Programs, or switching off/demoting running services.
    • E.g., since I will never buy a tablet PC, I removed the 'Tablet PC' listing. But doing so deleted Microsoft's very useful "Snipping Tool"—because obviously only people with tablet PCs will ever want to snip, paste and store copies of parts of their monitor screens.  Grrr.
  • In Remove Programs, Microsoft's idiot meter advising you whether a program is used Frequently, Occasionally, Seldom or Never needs its digital head examined. I could do better counting hash-marks on my wall. I don't see how so simple a function could be bonkers, but it is.
  • The Windows EasyTransfer function from old to new PC, from old O/S to new O/S, from Outlook Express (or its new equivalent) to the newer, grander versions should actually retain email contacts' addresses.
  • For Office: Outlook should automate the quick de-duping of addressees after one's second or third botched-up import from EasyTransfer.
  • All e-mail clients should contain a warning telling senders when their precious graphics are most likely to be stripped out or turned into Deadly Red X's.  Whatever 'Magical Rules' control that e-mail emasculation, senders should be pre-advised before sending, enabling (perhaps) one to remedy one's unintentional offense.
  • Microsoft shouldn't be so giddy-up eager to run small companies out of business by writing others' good ideas for Windows improvements into each new version of Windows. It's okay if a few small forest animals survive the meteor.
  • In Windows Explorer (or whatever more-fashionable new name it may have), when I define a certain viewing configuration for a folder -- including column widths and size-shape of the Explorer window -- please stop telling me I must be foolish by ignoring my preferences and returning it to a Windows default view each new time I open it.
  • In Windows Explorer, allow a user to apply a viewing configuration -- all of it, including column width and size-shape of the Explorer window -- to an entire tree by a top-down definition capability.

Thanks! I feel better already!"

So do we, Jon. So do we.

Posted by Lee Pender on August 12, 2010