What would you like to see in Windows 9 / Blue?

Martin Brinkmann
Dec 28, 2012
Windows, Windows 8

Rumors have it that Microsoft is already working on the next version of Windows, and while it is not clear if it will be called Windows 9,Windows Blue or something completely different, it appears as if it could be released as early as next year. An early release would be a fundamental change to the development cycle of the operating system. It took Microsoft five years to create Vista for instance, and almost three to create Windows 7 and Windows 8. A less than two year development cycle likely means a refresh of the existing OS instead of a complete redesign or fundamental changes made to it.

The most likely scenario is that Microsoft will refresh Windows 8 by adding, removing and tweaking parts of the operating system that could do better. It is unlikely that the system will ship with a feature set that will blow the mind of Windows users from all over the world, more likely are marginal changes made to it, especially if it will launch next year.

It is also unlikely that Microsoft will revert from the path it has taken with Windows 8, which may mean that we do not get the start menu back, that the start screen will remain the main hub of the system after boot, and that focus will be on Windows Store and the apps it makes available.

As far as I'm concerned, I'd like the company to make a couple of changes to the operating system that have bothered me quite a bit. Here is a short list of what I'd like Microsoft to improve in Windows Blue / Windows 9 / Windows 8 Refresh.

  • Windows Store needs better sorting algorithms, options to follow developers, track apps, display changelogs more easily.
  • The Charms Bar is something that I can't get used to at all. It is highly impracticable on a desktop system and an alternative would improve my workflow quite a bit.
  • If the start screen is the center of the system, I'd like more customization options. Let me add more icons per row or column, let me scroll horizontal or vertical, and give me freedom to select icons and backgrounds I want. Ideally, give users a choice to boot to the start screen or to the desktop.
  • Let me turn off the hot corners.
  • Let me manage app settings from a control panel and not only the Charms Bar when the app is loaded.
  • Implement Microsoft EMET into the system.

Besides the start screen and missing start button, is there anything that you would like to see in the next installment of the Microsoft Windows operating system?


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  1. Sad Win 8 user said on January 8, 2013 at 7:17 pm


    Steve Ballmer needs to understand a simple fact that it is always profitable deal giving users what they want on their computer. THEY ARE PAYING FOR IT.

    Business users don’t have all the time in the world to play with those crazy charms windows 8 offers as of now.

  2. Matt London said on January 6, 2013 at 8:29 pm

    Let me work from my desktop, don’t assume I want to get the tablet experience when I have a keyboard and mouse which give me much better control over my computer.

    I use lots of applications, not just the latest and greatest. My Start screen is now over crowded with useless items and extras that used to be hiden in side menus. I like the new start page but its not as functional and requires too many mouse clicks to get to what I want. Make it easier.

    Too many of the detailed options in the file system explorer on the desktop are hidden or hard to get to – I don’t need to see them all the time but don’t want to have to tweak my system just to get what was available in older versions.

    Don’t be so limited with apps. Apps are great, I can understand why they need to be simple on a tablet but a desktop has so many more possibilities, don’t limit me.

    Don’t open everything in the basic apps. If Im on the desktop then Im there because I need more control, not because I have lost the basic start screen and apps. Images should open in the picture viwer, on the desktop, not in the app, its annoying and takes time to get back to the desktop.

    Give me some options when it comes to the desktop interface. The new window frames are so basic and look like I am working in safe mode.

    Consider people with RSI. It takes more time to select items than it used to, Windows and the mouse should be the best of friends, not worst enemies.

    Let me customise Internet Explorer. I don’t use Firefox or Chrome, I grew up with IE but I want to be able to move my toolbars where I want and not where the designers think they should be. Please fix this.

    Make it easier to shutdown. I have had to find shortcuts from the net, I doubt most basic users would think of this and would be left having to click a number of times.

  3. Michelle said on December 31, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    Return to window 7 UI.

    Microsoft you don’t want to OK, that just meens windows 7 is the last system I have and will buy from you. Enjoy nothing Microsoft.

  4. sades said on December 29, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    Who need close button and title bar when I NEVER leave my tweet window, amirite?

  5. lainiwaku said on December 29, 2012 at 11:38 am

    we don’t all have simple windows taskbar, me i use a dock , and he is not in horizontal but vertical, and hidden ^_^

  6. Jaswinder Singh said on December 29, 2012 at 10:34 am

    The Metro UI needs to be improve and more integrated with the desktop ui. Now the switching between the metro and desktop awkward. For some things you have to go to desktop and for othes to metro. Its not practical and eary for a desktop user.

  7. john said on December 29, 2012 at 8:14 am

    tiles in the mainn screen: REALLY innovative, feel I’m in the future
    close buttons, title bars in windowed apps: nope, I’m still in the past

  8. Shai said on December 29, 2012 at 2:40 am

    There are a lot of things I wish for, but I think that the first and most important thing is to reassess and redefine needs.
    I’m not against the approach of unified user experience across devices, but in my opinion, in Windows 8 Microsoft took the wrong path while ignoring one fundamental aspect.
    To date, and for the foreseeable future, computers (desktops and laptops of sorts) and handheld devices (and for the purpose of this post I consider HTPCs that are used only for this purpose as part of this category) are used for different purposes. Handheld devices are mainly used to consume content whereas computers are mainly used to create content.
    Handhelds are great for consuming content (with the occasional content “creation” as replying to email, updating social network, etc.), especially on the go or freely around the house, and they are built to serve this purpose very well. However, I don’t see anyone making their cell phone or tablet their main, so called “productivity” machine, at least not without hooking it up to a proper keyboard, mouse and decent size monitor; even laptops, which are far superior for this purpose, are often times hooked to a larger monitor and to a better keyboard and pointing device when used in a permanent working place.

    This fundamental difference, and these different purposes cannot be dismissed and ignored.
    In Windows 8 there is a good amount of confusion and inconsistency exactly due to those different purposes. While on first look Windows 8 graphic envelope seems to look unified across devices, in practice that look is deceiving. There are only handful of “New Windows style apps” and the majority of programs still throw you back to the desktop; the different menus are scattered around (they should be organized, clear to navigate and unified even if deciding to make them “new style” menus) and from the desktop you are by default taken to the full screen “new style apps” just because you clicked a photo, music or video file from within Windows Explorer. This inconsistency hurts the user experience, not promote it.

    I think the Microsoft will do good by offering more customization of the work environment for desktop and laptops users. Offer an option to enable or disable the Start menu (the folders are still there), enable or disable the Start screen and the entire new graphic shell, thus enabling the users to customize and tweak their system to look “old” or “modern” as they see fit, even by offering a wizard that will ask on first boot and by demand, “What is this computer mainly used for? Productivity, Family Computer, HTPC, HTPC and Personal computer, Handheld like experience, etc. and configure the various elements accordingly (while enabling “power users” to tweak the individual setting at any time still).

    I think that the classic desktop has much room for improvement, and I would love to see productivity and usage improvements in this field (something like the approach Unity takes on Ubuntu. I’m not saying that Unity is necessarily the perfect example, just giving it as one) instead of an attempt to remove the desktop all together, which is needed and will remain so in a “content creating” environment.

    I would love to see a better search that uses the journal and not rely just on indexing (indexing should remain an option), but still integrates system-wide – this means control panel settings included; I would love to see a file/software launcher (although there are great free ones that will be hard to beat or even compare with) that integrates with the system. I would love to see Windows offering to mount Skydrive (and other online storage services, but I guess it is more up to them) as a network drive instead of just using the one folder solution (which I personally dislike); I want to see a better integration with handheld devices not by mimicking their interface, but connectivity and functionality wise (file browsing in essence, maybe even media streaming); and much more (some will probably never happen like a bare-bone install that enables one to install just what they need without all accompanied bloat).

    Windows 8 is not a bad system like some portray it to be, after all it isn’t much different from Windows 7. It just seem to be lost, neither here nor there. Trying to bring together two different worlds with two different needs and connect them through a GUI change that doesn’t carry much substance in practice.
    I think that re-evaluating this approach and building a more flexible system that improves the user experience when working with the “desktop” while at the same time tackling the challenges of using both a computer and a handheld devices instead of just trying to enforce one-size-fits-all graphic interface would be a much more productive and efficient route to take.

  9. *.* said on December 29, 2012 at 12:33 am

    To late. My next OS is Linux Mint probably but after 7 dies.

  10. Teiji said on December 28, 2012 at 11:39 pm

    I’d like Windows Defender to behave like Microsoft Security Essentials (in Windows 7). For example, 1) it should have an icon on the bottom-right, so I know I’m being protected and not some virus disabling it, and 2) scanning a file or folder WITH THE RIGHT-CLICK MENU.

  11. ilev said on December 28, 2012 at 10:02 pm

    Net Applications : Windows 8 sales are a flop greater even than Vista’s flop.

    Windows 8’s uptake falls behind Vista’s pace
    New OS can’t keep up with Vista, Microsoft’s 2007 OS flop

    With just a week left in the month, Windows 8’s usage uptake has slipped behind Vista’s at the same point in its release, data from a Web measurement company showed.

    According to Net Applications, Windows 8’s online usage share through Dec. 22 was 1.6% of all Windows PCs, an uptick from 1.2% of November. Windows 8 publicly launched on Oct. 26.

    At the same two-month mark in Vista’s release timetable, that OS accounted for 2.2% of all Windows systems, double the month prior…

    Vista had only 20% Windows share at its highest point.


    If Microsoft wants Windows 8 (and 9) to succeed it is about time to listen to its customers. For now, Microsoft doesn’t give a s**** to customers complaints/wishes regarding Windows 8.

  12. ilev said on December 28, 2012 at 8:21 pm

    A windows 8 complaint application has been removed from Microsoft store.

    Windows 8 Complaints app allows you to post your complaints and read/listen to the complaints of others. Whether you miss the start button or you don’t like the color purple that they use, let it be known and listen to the thoughts of others to gain new ideas on why you don’t like Windows 8.

    The original page can be still found in Google’s cache :


  13. Nebulus said on December 28, 2012 at 6:06 pm

    What I’d like to see in Windows 9 is a return to a more classic approach (see Windows 7), though I doubt that this is going to happen. Also, some split between different devices (desktop/tablets) would really help, both for reducing complexity and to tailor each version to it’s target platform.
    It would also help if the new Windows OS would be more configurable (for instance, there is no need to remove hot corners, charms, or even to bring back Start for good; it is enough to let the user choose the behavior he/she wants).

  14. Tim said on December 28, 2012 at 5:59 pm

    Like you, built in EMET would be good, although with the option for protection profiles to be automatically updated via windows update.

    A decent front end for the built in Windows Firewall, that works something along the lines of Comodo Firewall.

    Proper file Sync software built in for syncing files between external drives for example. From what I can gather, ‘File History’ is pretty limited. They should have kept going with SyncToy, which was mainly let down by not deleting files/folders in destination that had been deleted in the source (even when check box was ticked to allow this).

    If they’re not going to continue with Microsoft Expression any more, they may as well include Microsoft Expression Encoder Screen Capture within Windows.

    Admit that Microsoft XPS is going nowhere and just include the ability to print to PDF instead.

    Bring back DVD video playback in Windows Media Player.

  15. ank91 said on December 28, 2012 at 5:48 pm

    Two seprate edition should be there.
    one for desktop user without start screen.
    & one with .

  16. Ibberman said on December 28, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    I would like Microsoft to make a decision about which screen they want, Metro Start screen, Desktop screen, more screens or a completely new screen…

  17. RG said on December 28, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    Open source ;)

    Seriously though, Windows should remain distinct in terms of cloud vs local. A version should exist which isn’t cloud based anything.

  18. Joe Sprocket said on December 28, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    a Frickin START BUTTON

  19. Matt said on December 28, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    I want the Metro start screen to slide over top of the desktop (rather than being full-screen), leaving the Taskbar always visible to give a consistent context and simple app switching.

  20. RiversideKid said on December 28, 2012 at 3:35 pm

    A unique name. Some of us use internet search engines to find product information or support and it would be nice if we could find a product by a name that isn’t used in a variety of other keywords like 2012, 7, 8, 2010, even the Windows name itself doesn’t narrow the search to a particular product.

  21. sades said on December 28, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    Something sane for desktop productivity. Not facebook machine.

  22. Robert said on December 28, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    I would like to see them fix the shutdown problem that many are having. The operating systems hangs when you try and shut down. I have tried many “posted solutions”, but none of them work for me.

  23. Xi said on December 28, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    Actually, the yearly upgrades itself is a worst thing Ballmer said. OS is not like browsers/media players/apps. And the new version(Blue), still doesn’t have Start Menu. And many more features even from Windows 8 too is being removed.

    And whatever we say here, won’t affect the even-most worst OS(Blue) yet to come. Ballmer will do all his bad surprises for MS users/fans.

    Ballmer thinks, speed is more important than features.

    If you ask most people, they’ll say Ballmer must not be in MS when Windows Blue is released.

  24. Andy Buford said on December 28, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    I would like to see a “Did you mean?” feature for the search and the command line. Example: You type Wprd and it will ask “Did you mean Word?”

    I would also like to see some type of storage for software licenses that can be backed up in case of hard drive failure or OS re-install. This would be a type of encrypted database that fingerprints your system and keeps the license information. When the hard drive fails, or if you decide to re-install windows, you just restore the license database from the backup. This will allow you to re-install all of the software you already purchased.

  25. marus t said on December 28, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    Meh,those points are valid but it doesn’t bother me to much,just one word “Classic Shell”,I disable charms with it and have an acordeon style classic menu,the world is better with Classic Shell!

  26. pgg said on December 28, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    Folder size in explorer in details view.
    Allow customizable snapping proportions on whatever resolution.
    Metro tiles ON desktop When you go on hot corner, you don’t get transferred to new screen but tiles just appear. background gets blurry or whatever, but taskbar is there at all times.

  27. luckyjoe said on December 28, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    A better(more complete) windows explorer..Tab management as stated,copy queque..And of course improved driver compatibility.

  28. thbb said on December 28, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    In another word “Let me turn of the metro altogether”. Lol

    I don’t know Martin. I find the hot corners really useful actually. Well the left-side hot corners anyway. I find myself not missing the start menu at all. I recently got the Start8 code from you ;) but I don’t really intend to use it. I’ll give it to my friend or something.
    I do agree the charms bar should be improved or be done differently.

    The one thing I wish Microsoft will do is allow all the metro apps function as windows on the desktop. This is pretty much against all their thesis, but on a 27in desktop, most metro apps are absolutely insane (except Netflix :p)

  29. ilev said on December 28, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    An option to totally skip installing Metro start screen with its 100 services and GB of disk space.

  30. lainiwaku said on December 28, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    1)a better “programme to start with computer” with advanced feathure like delayed launch and order
    2) a native tabs support for windows explorer

  31. Mister Antikorruption said on December 28, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    I would like to have Windows 7 colors on Windows 8 desktop.

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