Monday, October 06, 2014
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Technology Today Magazine:
What we can probably expect in the next version of Microsoft Windows
By Jim Youngquist

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[October 06, 2014]  LINCOLN - Every other version of Microsoft Windows is either a dud or is hated.  Windows 8 is both: Hated and a dud. 

Windows 8.1 made this OS almost tolerable. The major sticking points:

  1. The movement away from mouse and keyboard control to the touch screen.

  2.  The movement from neat, clean, managed desktop screens to desktops with every icon on the computer cluttering up the screen.

  3.  The absence of the start button which was our focal point since windows 3.1.

Other problems with Windows 8 have plagued Microsoft in every version: “Let’s move everything around and label everything differently and make everything behave differently.  All the users will love it!”  Well, users don’t love it.   There is a significant relearning process every time a new version of windows comes out with no real payoff; there are really no new embedded applications or features.


So to sum up the windows 8 flop: they made us give up Windows XP which worked, we knew how to use it and where everything was and they moved everything around and took away the start button, to replace it with a cluttered screen of ugly icons which we have to memorize to know how to get to our software and features.



If the pattern of the past holds, (we hated Windows ME, loved Windows XP, hated Windows Vista, sorta-loved Windows 7, despised Windows 8) we should like and appreciate Windows 9.


So, what should Windows 9 be like?


The thing we can count on in Windows 9 is the continued reliance on the touch screen.  This will influence the look, the feel, and the behavior of Win 9.  Windows 9 will be a cross-device operating system just like Windows 8.  You will see Windows 9 on the Windows phone, Windows tablet, and Windows computer.  All three devices will rely at least in part on input from a touch screen.


In Windows 8, the touch screen has only one cool use: flipping through digital pictures.  If the touch screen is to become integral with computing, it needs to become as useful and cool to use as the touch screen was in the movie “Minority Report” where Tom Cruise used a huge touch screen to review and manipulate data, flipping this and pushing that.  The touch screen needs to be more than a Neanderthal tool for choosing applications and thumbing through photos.


Windows 8.1 brought back the Start Button but it wasn’t anything like what we were accustomed to in a start button from any past versions.  It was modern, stylized, and uses tiles for touch-screen ability.  Windows 9 will likely be hybridized and give you back the start button in both a modern style and a classic Windows 7 approach and you can toggle the look and feel that you want.  Losing the Start Button lost users and made them long for Macintoshes.





Windows 9 needs to go where Macintosh has been most successful and integrate Malware defense and protection.  The biggest reason Windows users left in droves and went to Macintosh was because they were less likely to get infected on that platform.  Virus and Malware infections mean downtime, poor performance, expenses to prevent and expenses to clean the infected system.


Previous versions of Windows starting with Vista tried to take a Mac-like approach to prevent Malware infection by requiring administrator mode permission to allow the installation of any program.  All this did in the past was to make it a hassle for the computer user to install programs, while viruses found their own back door entrances where no one asked and no one answered.


Windows 9 needs to close up the holes and prevent Malware infections by seeking administrator-level permission for every type of program and code installation just like Linux.  It needs adequate tools integrated to analyze performance and get rid of tagged inappropriate code that slows down the computer and causes bad things to happen.  Windows 9 needs to be Malware Proof!


In addition Windows 9 needs to include the ability for the user to refuse the installation of nuisance-ware such as performance utilities, button bars, search tools and browser add-ons that currently plague us.

[to top of second column]


Internet Explorer


Although there are better browsers out there, IE continues to be necessary for many web-based applications because of active-x controls in most .net applications.


In Windows 8, Microsoft threw in two different versions of Internet Explorer that is really confusing and not at all helpful. 


Windows 9 should sport a single version of Internet Explorer for those times you absolutely can’t use anything else.


Windows 9 needs to be an intelligent interface


Windows 9 could be so smart that it detects our location and our context, and allows certain program icons to be on our desktop that fit that context such as Home and Work. 


Windows already detects to what network I am currently connected.  Windows 9 should change appearances to allow access to applications and data that fit that context.


Windows 9 needs seamless integration with devices


Current versions of Windows treat my devices as orphaned stepchildren.  They are treated as being outside of the ubiquitous Windows interface, difficult and not uniform in usage.


My scanner, my phone, even my game system should integrate into Windows 9 to allow me to access their features and control them from within Windows, shifting sessions easily from my phone or tablet to my computer.




Windows 9 needs to unify and simplify features related to the display


Windows 7 and 8 both made it difficult to design and operate the preferences users want on the screen.  A real advancement in the interface to make display related choices would be refreshing.


In addition, there are a bunch of new high resolution screens out there on the market now, and Windows 9 needs to address these with adequate screen scaling for usability.


Windows 9 needs to have a program included for graphics manipulation


The Macintosh has an included program for raw camera support.  Windows 9 needs to move into the 21st century and abandon their bmp editor for a real graphics editing program just shy of the features of Photoshop so that users can do minor edits - flip a pic on its side, resize, change resolution, and alter brightness and contrast of a photo in an easy to use interface.


WINDOWS 9 will build on the successes and learn from the failures of Windows 8 and with some luck, will be the operating system we will all want to upgrade to.



Read all the articles in our New
Technology Today Magazine

Introduction to Technology Today 2
Are we living in the "Next Generation?" 4
It might not be the weather you want, but forecasts have improved 8
What's new in electronic entertainment:  More interconnectivity, and yet evolving 13
What we can probably expect in the next verstion of Microsoft Windows 18
Internet Technology:  The ups and downs of computing in the cloud 21

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