What would YOU like to see in Windows 8?

What would YOU like to see in Windows 8?

Summary: There's an increasing amount of Windows 8 related chatter out there, and it seems likely that we'll see the first beta during the second half of this year. So, with that in mind, we've probably still got some time to get a wishlist of what we'd like to see in this new version of Windows into Microsoft.

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There's an increasing amount of Windows 8 related chatter out there, and it seems likely that we'll see the first beta during the second half of this year. So, with that in mind, we've probably still got some time to get a wishlist of what we'd like to see in this new version of Windows into Microsoft.

So, what would YOU like to see?

Let me kick off that list ...

  • Custom installer that has the ability to set up the OS on one drive and store data and settings on another.
  • An end to 16/32-bit support (or at least a version that is pure 64-bit only).
  • Proper touch/tablet support. Not just a theme but a new API that developers can tap into to make applications compatible for both desktop/notebook and tablet usage.
  • Rebootless update mechanism.
  • Microsoft Security Essentials included as standard.
  • Multi-display support for the taskbar.
  • Built-in .ISO support for image files.
  • Better support for compressed files (more than just ZIP files).

Your turn!

Topics: Operating Systems, Software, Windows

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  • RE: What would YOU like to see in Windows 8?

    They need to drop 32-bit all the way. The way they have the 64-bit versions are more than sufficient. Keep the editions to 3; Home, Pro, Ultimate (and Enterprise, but this is dealt with seperately).
    JT82
    • RE: What would YOU like to see in Windows 8?

      @JT82
      This would be premature because many apps still won't work with 64 bit.
      slloyd1000
      • RE: What would YOU like to see in Windows 8?

        @slloyd1000
        I agree with you, I don't think it would be feasible for another 2 years.
        jsdraven2000
      • RE: What would YOU like to see in Windows 8?

        @slloyd1000 Those who still rely on 32-bit applications should probably stick with Windows 7 (or 7.5). Windows 8 should not only drop 16 and32-bit software, but should also focus on the .net framework with a total transition to .net with Windows 9 (dropping support for 64-bit as well).

        Isn't .net supposed to be the future?
        wrcousert
      • RE: What would YOU like to see in Windows 8?

        @slloyd1000
        Agreed I would love to be on the cutting edge of Operating Systems as much as possible but, well I still need 32-bit support (Games, Crucial utilities, etc.) Stuff that won't work on a 64-bit centric system but I must say 64-bit is a gift. Microsoft Office 64-bit loads in a snap.
        Vasiliw
      • That's what...

        @slloyd1000
        virtualization is for.
        kc117mx
      • RE: What would YOU like to see in Windows 8?

        @slloyd1000 <br>MS could include the dlls needed to run 32-bit apps.Linux distros do something similar.<br><br>My list:<br>1) A boot loader that respects other operating systems and is non-destructive so that I don't have to field questions about how to dual-boot in Linux all the time.<br>2) Support for more file systems than just VFAT and NTFS. At least read them. Accept that there are more OSes than Windows (Is this a theme?).<br>3) Don't yet again gratuitously break network interoperability with Samba. Security fixes, sure. "It ain't done til Samba don't run?!?!" Please, no.<br>4) Eat your own dogfood. Move to .Net for just about everything.<br>5) Don't load the desktop three minutes before it's actually usable just to decrease "boot times."<br>In short, be a good citizen and respect your customers and the market.
        daengbo
      • RE: What would YOU like to see in Windows 8?

        @daengbo

        1) Other people write that already. Linux handles Windows and it's own OS fine. On a Mac, OS X is already loaded. Since you can't run OS X on your Dell, doesn't matter. Microsoft doesn't have to support other OS'es with the boot loader because the vast majority who would run another OS wouldn't use the MS boot loader anyway.

        2) It would be nice, but what file systems? ZFS would be nice perhaps. I'm really not sure what I would add. The few times I've had to access other file systems I've been able to find drivers to do so, so again. Other people do it already. And who would use the 3 year old MS driver for a cutting edge file system anyway?

        3) I agree. At least keep an open line of communication with the Samba devs. MS has been playing nicer with others so we can hope.

        4) 100% agree.

        5) I don't have that problem with Windows 7 at home. I've seen it, usually has more to do with the system than the OS. My desktop is responsive. The only real difference is Chrome or IE9 takes 5-6 seconds to open and hit the first page instead of ~1-2 seconds.
        LiquidLearner
      • RE: What would YOU like to see in Windows 8?

        @slloyd1000

        Solving the permissions problem would be a good start. Speeding up boot times and stop putting 'crapware' on OEM's also manage the OS with just one partition.
        ktechman
      • RE: What would YOU like to see in Windows 8?

        @slloyd1000 I must have misunderstood this. I don't think the intention is to stop supporting 32-bit software, just that there isn't any 32bit hardware out there anymore so why continue to support it?
        HugoM
      • RE: What would YOU like to see in Windows 8?

        @hugo: "<i>there isn't any 32bit hardware out there anymore </i>".

        Really? And what about the hundreds of millions of ARM-based devices released so far that are 32-bit only?

        64-bit is ONLY useful for operating systems and applications that require > 2GB RAM.

        It's largely pointless to port apps that only use < 2GB RAM to 64-bit as they bloat unnecessarily and thus will consume more RAM, disk and IO than is necessary.

        64-bit is not some magical performance boosting thing - except for apps that really do need > 2GB RAM per instance.
        bitcrazed
      • RE: What would YOU like to see in Windows 8?

        @slloyd1000 In my perspective, if no one is brave enough to make this big change, software developers will still use their old knowledge and refuse to make a new up to date one.
        Try to think when they first introduce the mouse! People say, nobody will use it, it is so hard to use don't know how to use, not much software support, etc.
        Same thing, we need to accept the change and walk forward with it!
        sasawatc
    • RE: What would YOU like to see in Windows 8?

      Well I can hear the uproar now if they make Microsoft Security Essentials standard. I mean they will cry that it its unfair to the other AV packages out there. Just like they did with IE
      rparker009
      • RE: What would YOU like to see in Windows 8?

        @rparker009
        I personally like how they had it before they were forced to stop. If you did not have an Anti Virus installed MSE would be part of the windows security updates.
        jsdraven2000
      • RE: What would YOU like to see in Windows 8?

        @rparker009
        In the enterprise environments I have worked in, having MS Security Essentials baked into the OS would be a major disappointment. We already have enough trouble with MS Firewall interfering with things, especially as we install third party apps for this.
        dank953@...
    • Why eliminate x86 support f it is already built into the ...

      @JT82 ... x64 architecture. The bigger problem is that SOME x86 software includes its own x86 drivers. Today, Windows x64 only works with x64 hardware drivers. Make x64 compatible with legacy x86 drivers and you can get rid of x86 versions of Windows as well.

      I agree that all one really needs is Windows HOME, PROFESSIONAL, and ULTIMATE (= ENTERPRISE). The "BASIC" version for emerging markets and the "STARTER" version for netbooks (read "lame" hardware) are merely contrivances to apease foreign governments - not end users.
      M Wagner
    • RE: What would YOU like to see in Windows 8?

      @JT82 When Apple dropped support for old CHIPS they built a emulator so your old Apps would continue to run for a few years. With the advances in VM technology Windows should be able to do this even better. Run 16/32 bit apps in a builtin virtual environment until Windows 9 or 10 and then drop them completely.
      Ensorceled
      • RE: What would YOU like to see in Windows 8?

        Would MS ever copy an Apple idea? No way!
        john_gillespie@...
      • You're still talking about 16 bit apps

        @Ensorceled

        And it's 2011. Do you really think 32 bit is going to die this sudden, magical death?

        Ideally all applications will be virtualized by Windows 9, with Windows 8 starting to pave the way. Each application, each driver, with it's own little virtual environment. One crashes, one is compromised, the others go on about their business. Reboot each independently without a full reboot required.

        That said, 2008 R2 is already 64 bit only and Windows 7 was supposed to be the last 32-bit native version of Windows. Which means 32 bit drivers likely will not work. Much as 16 bit drivers didn't really work in 2000/XP.
        LiquidLearner
      • RE: What would YOU like to see in Windows 8?

        @Ensorceled

        Microsoft did the same thing in the early 90s, with Windows NT for MIPS, Alpha and PowerPC. They could all run 16-bit DOS/Windows software via an x86 emulator. For the 386 version of NT, there was no need for an emulator, since the 386 could run 16-bit x86 code natively. 16-bit apps still ran in virtual machines, though, called NTVDMs (NT Virtual Dos Machines). However, instead of running the full 16-bit Windows in every NTVDM, Win16 system calls were translated to Win32 and sent to the kernel, which was always 100% 32-bit. This was in contrast to Windows 9x, which took the opposite approach: a 16-bit Dos/Windows core with Win32 implemented on top of it. For 16-bit software, the Windows 9x approach offered much better performance and compatibility, at the cost of stability. That's why Microsoft initially sold NT to businesses, but sold 9x to consumers until the Windows XP (NT 5.1) was released in 2001.

        The situation with 64-bit Windows now is similar to 32-bit NT in the 90s, with 32-bit system calls translated to 64-bit and sent to the 64-bit kernel. There's no need for an emulator (or NTVDMs) on x64, since it can run 32-bit x86 code natively. On Itanium, however, 32-bit x86 code is run via an x86 emulator. As with 32-bit NT in the 90s, 64-bit Windows is 100% 64-bit. It doesn't actually support 16-bit applications either, and I don't think it ever has done.

        Wow64 is already optional on Windows Server Core, but there's a lot of 32-bit desktop software out there, so I don't think it's possible to turn it off on desktop Windows. I imagine Microsoft could make Wow64 it an optional feature on desktop Windows without much effort, which I'd be in favour of, but I don't see what you'd gain by actually dropping support for 32-bit apps, apart from a trivial amount of disk space.

        Another thing to remember is that Windows 8 will run on Arm, which is still a 32-bit architecture (although 64-bit extensions to Arm are being considered). Arm isn't compatible with x86, of course, so running 32-bit x86 software would require an emulator. It would probably be quite slow too, so Microsoft may not include any x86 emulation in Windows 8 for Arm, and only allow it to run software that's been recompiled for Arm. I think that's probably the best route to take, since allowing x86 apps to be run in an emulator could create a bad reputation if they run slowly.
        WilErz