Letters to Redmond

Letters: More of Readers' Windows 8 Advice for Microsoft

What do you all want to see from Windows 8? Here's what you told us.

In his August Barney's Rubble column, Doug Barney asked readers what they wanted from the next Microsoft OS, code-named "Windows 8." A number of you shared your opinions:

I'd like to see the OS return to being an OS. Remember the days of DOS? It ran the computer -- that's all. You then loaded applications you wanted and needed. Why does Microsoft continue to bundle Solitaire and Paint? What do those programs have to do with running my computer? Why should I have a Novell client when I don't run Novell?

My dream is that you'd buy a kernel, then download the "stuff" you need. That way, bloat would be determined by the user or organization, not delivered via Microsoft.

Rich Gracyk
Lompoc, Calif.

1. An OS that will boot in 30 seconds on a classic netbook, Atom processor, 1GB memory and 160GB hard drive.

If a fast SD card is available it should automatically use that memory to speed up processing. No selling junk like Windows 7 Starter.

2. Full operation on ARM processors, and use of all the netbook tricks. Microsoft Office on ARM is as important as the OS. None of the Windows CE office viewers -- but keep the PowerPoint show function that shows the notes on the computer screen and the slides on the video.

3. Keep 32-bit for netbooks and tablets.

4. Exploit multicore processors better. If someone buys 16GB of memory and 12 cores of processing they expect them to be used.

5. Clean up patch management. Use more service packs and clean out junk.

6. Incorporate the functions of Norton 360 (disk cleanup, defragmentation and so on) as base OS functions and automatically turn them on (alerts if you must). Make updates of machines that aren't hooked to the Web less of a pain.

7. Learn from Apple that less is more. The clean Snow Leopard and Lion screens are popular for a reason. Even Ubuntu is simpler.

8. No damn Ribbons. It was a disaster in Office and we don't need any more.

Mark Smith
Mechanicsville, Md.

I'm not going to say I understand Windows 7 inside and out, but I'm not sure what parts of Windows 7 haven't been done very well.

I don't think I've seen a stronger Windows OS. The security features of Windows 7 make those of Windows XP look like junk. Doesn't Windows Resource Protection protect registry keys/folders/critical system files?

As for Barney's statement that "while a Lamborghini is nice, a reliable diesel truck is preferred for the grind of day-to-day computing" -- personally I would rather drive a Lamborghini than a slow, polluting truck. Maybe he was talking about an F-450 King Ranch V8 turbo diesel truck, but for the most part people are going to think nasty, polluting, dirty truck. When you say Lamborghini, you think of quality, speed, power and cleanliness.

I'm a Microsoft fan. I never had any problems with Windows Vista and saw nothing wrong with it. But I'm 100 percent with Barney in that something needs to slap everyone in the face that says "Windows is the OS you want." A new UI won't do it, and little security tweaks won't do it. This new OS needs to say "We're Microsoft, we're the best -- and Windows 8 proves it."

I'd love to see standard encryption -- no BitLocker, no TrueCrypt; just do it and don't make me think. Microsoft should integrate Forefront into the OS, stop making me think about protection and just protect me. You can't stop users from installing the Zeus virus, but you can stop the virus.

Kevin Bishop
Christiansburg, Va.

Bing Gone Bad
A reader comments on "Microsoft Backing Bing," Mary Jo Foley's August column on the Microsoft support for its search engine:

I continually remove Bing as the startup page and search engine on all my clients' PCs. It's terrible; it never returns what you're searching for; it looks ugly; and Google is simply a far better engine. I even hate the Bing commercials.

Thomas Gibson
Lowell, Mass.

About the Author

This page is compiled by the editors of Redmond magazine from your letters. Write to us at letters@redmondmag.com and if your letter is printed in the magazine, you'll be entered into a drawing for a free Redmond T-shirt.

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