Thursday, 1 July 2010

Top 10 killer features that Microsoft should consider for Windows 8

Windows 7? It feels like yesterday. And now, Windows 8 is just around the corner. if you want to know what Microsoft’s been cooking, head straight to the kitchen Recently, one of MSFT’s blog-happy employee leaked a top-secret slideshow, highlighting the main discussion topics about the development of Windows 8. In the slides, you can also see that Microsoft has an all-in-one PC up their sleeve that looks like an iMac if it had been invented by a 5 years old. What? Touch screen computing that can automatically detect your moustache and automatically log you on? Holy cow! What year is this? 1990?

So Microsoft is scared, .. real scared.. of Apple’s methodology of brainwashing people into becoming their cult followers. They stated it as ‘Product UX is designed to help consumer realize value…’. Big load of bull crap. Apple is NOT in any way identical to VALUE. Not in a lightyear, smartpants. Apple products are tailored to HUMAN needs. They have natural interaction for the UI, and they can guess what the customers want without needing the rocket science of opening the whole kernel or executing terminal commands. Well, I can do that, but my grandma can’t, yet she can operate the iPad fine to read books and browse cookbooks. Pricey? Yes. Difficult to use? No.

Hey, Microsoft! You want your Windows 8 to be a Mac OS killer? Here’s some things that need to be added to your homework checklist. If you can pull all of these off nicely, then I can guarantee you: people will at least buy your OS and they’ll consider torrenting it from Piratebay much less than you expect.

1. One-button reset for the whole OS
I’m a happy technician. Everytime there’s a problem with somebody else’s computer, I get paid to fix it, re-format the OS, and so on. So it’s good for ME, but I’m going to say this nevertheless: Make Windows idiot-proof by providing a one-button complete data wipe or hara-kiri button when something goes wrong and leave the core OS intact. Forget “System Recovery” because it’s too complicated and idiotic: A Conficker Virus can easily hide in Windows’ recovery files, not my idea of a suicidal mission.

2. Windows Store: App Store, Microsoft style
Now this is the idea I’m most excited about. Want to avoid software piracy and lower the price for software retails? Get rid of the physical form and start gathering developers to build app for Windows via an Internet distribution system. For games, leave it to the people at Valve. I don’t want your filthy hand to touch my sacred gaming delivery system.

3. Azure seamless integration
Right-click, choose: ‘send to D:\’ or ‘send to Internet’. That sounds nice, doesn’t it? Make people familiar with the cloud service. Make something similar to Drop Box. Get rid of all complexity and bureaucracy. Make Internet file-sharing and remote syncing as easy as drag-and-drop. You can charge people to use Azure’s service like Apple’s MobileMe, but in a cheaper price, of course.

4. Bing! Search integration to desktop
User may want to search images, but most of the time not from their own computer. That’s why Google’s and Bing’s Image search gets gazzilion of hits every day. Integrate the search so that it provides easy result-aggregation. So far a similar system for Windows 7 that I can find is a search connector plugin by chakkaradeep. Why not make it official?

5. Make iWork, oops.. sorry. I mean, Office, an opt-out package
Learn from Apple. Make Windows a whole package with Office, and reduce prices. That’s an effin easy job for you, Microsoft. See Microsoft Internet Explorer? It’s the most widely used browser in the world. Obviously not because it’s good. But because it’s shipped with Windows.

6. Make a unified Windows version
Starter, Basic, Home, WTF? Just make one smart OS that can detect 32-bit or 64-bit intelligently, then make a unified OS. Make it similar to Linux, where people can pick their packages to install at first, or make it similar to Windows Server, where people can pick a machine role, then the OS will take care of the rest.

7. Integrate uPnP services to Windows Media Player
Got an Xbox360? PS3? Make it easier to share media files through uPnP/DLNA. It’s not that hard. Make an app for managing media share devices. It’s the friggin future of home entertainment.

8. Multi-desktop environment
Again, learn from Linux. Multi-desktop is much efficient for productivity compared to that idiotic Aero peek. I like Aero peek, but not as much as I like Expose and Spaces in Mac OS X and Ubuntu Linux. Combine it with multi-monitor and you have a plethora of view options to abuse. That’s how I want my desktop to be, not one, monolithic space.

9. Simpler networking
Windows 7 and Vista’s networking is a joke. It’s too complicated for users. Of course, WiFi implementation is nice and all, but when it comes to configuring advanced networking options, all the steps are obscured. If I want to disable password-sharing I have to make a detour to the Start -> Control Panel -> Network and Sharing -> open side panel -> then click on ‘Advanced sharing settings’ the scroll all the way to the bottom. Steps to configure static IP address? I don’t want to even think about it. In Mac OS, I only have to go to System Preferences -> Networks, and it’s all there.

10. Change Windows’ name to something else
It’s the crappy name associated with a crappy OS so far. If Microsoft want to change the image of their OS, then they need to do something with the name first.

You might think that if Microsoft applied all these points to Windows 8, then it would be extremely similar to Mac OS. Yes it is. But it isn't a bad thing, isn't it? The majority of people still use Windows, and there's no way that people will change mindset in a snap of a finger. The most important thing is that Windows can be more easier to use, unlike Windows Vista, a bloated piece of crap wrapped in a fancy glass box.