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Windows Blue wish list: 15 must-see improvements

Brad Chacos | April 19, 2013
Windows Blue is barreling down the pipeline, promising to fix many of Windows 8's flaws. We have a few suggestions.

Even if Microsoft decides against this for economic reasons--it has to pay licensing fees to enable DVD support, after all--it could allow users of the standard version of Windows 8 to download the $10 Media Center pack, which enables DVD playback. Currently, only Windows 8 Pro users can partake in optical disc fun.

10. A modern file explorer

Even if you fully buy in to Windows 8's vision of a touchy-feely future and pick up a device with multidigit support, the lack of a modern-style file explorer means you'll have to dive into the decidedly un-finger-friendly desktop mode to sift through your files. That's a major design flaw. Hey Microsoft: If you've coaxed someone into the Start screen, don't give 'em an excuse to leave!

Fortunately, yet another recent Windows Blue leak suggests some sort of file explorer interface is indeed coming to the modern UI.

11. Beefier PC Settings

Continuing that thought: The original Windows Blue leak contained a bulked-up PC Settings menu packed with goodies like new SkyDrive and display resolution options--but that's not enough. Everything you can do in the desktop control panel, you should be able to do in the modern UI PC Settings. As much as it sucks to be dropped into the Start screen while you're mouse surfing, it's far worse to have to navigate the desktop using a touch display alone.

12. Run Internet Explorer and Chrome simultaneously

If you set a third-party Web browser such as Firefox or Chrome as your default desktop browser, Windows 8 won't let you use the modern version of Internet Explorer. That's stupid.

13. A clock tile

While we're talking annoyances, why does the Start screen lack any sort of time indicator unless you open the charm bar? That's stupid too, especially since the charm bar is one of those frustratingly hidden interfaces. There's a reason a clock app has graced both PCWorld's "Best Windows 8 tablet apps" and "10 best Windows 8 apps to download first" roundups--it just plain makes sense.

14. Better system integration for charms

When PCWorld contributor Ian Paul recently spent time navigating Windows 8 using the modern UI alone, he found the system integration of the oh-so-crucial charms severely lacking. The Search charm went wonky when he tried sifting through a massive downloads folder, and he wasn't able to Share a file he found using Search, either. When searching for files (rather than apps), the Search charm frequently says "No results found."

The tools are there, they just are not working right, and an unreliable tool is no tool at all.

15. More Live Tile customization options

The Windows Blue leak is already on this case, packing new sizing options that allow you to make Live Tiles itty bitty or ginormous. But again: Why stop there? Give us the ability to select tile colors, Microsoft. Give us the option to choose an image for a tile, or add a bit of text!

 

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