Started something too big

Jun 4, 2008
Updated • Aug 2, 2012
Windows, Windows Vista

Windows 7 will be the Microsoft’s 7th incarnation of their OS kernel, hence the name (yep, pretty clever). As it evolved with time each successive Windows release still contained many UI elements from previous versions.

You’ve all seen them, the icons from XP, the interface left over from Windows 3.1, sometimes you wonder what’s so hard about simply updating a few icons here and there?

Well  it obviously bugged Long Zheng because last week he wrote a blog post entitled Windows UI taskforce: your help wanted. In it he suggested that he knows someone on the development team who may be able to follow some suggestion through.

With the development of Windows 7 speeding full-steam ahead, I thought this might be an opportunity as good as ever to make these problems known to Microsoft and hopefully get them all resolved.

The idea was to find the UI quirks, take a screenshot and post them on the blog. Two days and over a 100 submissions later Long Zheng had given up and decided it easier to create an entire new site dedicated to the issue.

The way I originally imagined it was to go through each of the suggestions by hand and add them to my post along with a pretty screenshot. Needless to say, I got tired about 20 entries in and couldn’t imagine doing 140 more. I had to come up with something more manageable.

With PHP in one hand, MySQL in another and some duct tape in my mouth, I’ve put together a voting-centric community feedback portal

This will work great if Microsoft actually uses it and people submit only quirks which need to be modified to fit the existing theme. The problem will be that some people seem to think it’s just a general suggestion box which really won't achieve much.

Problem: The sound panel requires too many clicks to change the volume for the recording and playback channels.
Solution: Make it much easier to change volume.
Severity: High
Impact: High
Status: Not fixed

Problem: UAC Prompts too much
Solution: Two options
1) Allow the application to list all of its actions at once and you check mark them.
2) Allow a time limit when the UAC prompts. when a specific process is given full access say for 30 sec.
Severity: High
Impact: High
Status: Not fixed

So if you’ve noticed some elements inconsistent with the Windows design this is as good a place as any to submit it. I’ll be interested to see if Microsoft pays attention and something does get done.


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  1. GRTerrero said on June 5, 2008 at 8:39 am

    Unfortunately MS routinely has their customers find bugs for them. They are called beta testers. And many are chomping at the bit to become one.

  2. Rarst said on June 4, 2008 at 5:56 pm

    I may understand contributing to open source and such… But contributing to microsoft? That company makes insane money, it’s not their customers’ function to find bugs for them.

    I think they were pretty clear with vista – microsoft doesn’t give a damn about what people need. Why bother trying to force help them?

  3. darkkosmos said on June 4, 2008 at 4:57 pm

    Takes about a day to fix all those problems, I’d suggest they fix some of the bigger problems in the kernel but I’m pretty happy with vista :)

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