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Microsoft GUI Operating Systems Software Windows Technology

The 30 Best Features of Windows 470

Posted by timothy
from the double-glazing-is-delicious dept.
Barence writes "PC Pro has picked out its 30 best features of Windows 8. Its countdown includes features such as the revamped Task Manager, the option to run ISOs and VHDs natively, and Windows To Go, which allows you to take a portable installation of Windows 8 with you." They've also listed ten features they'd like to see added to Windows 8, "including the return of the Start button on the desktop, virtual desktops and one-click sharing of optical drives."
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The 30 Best Features of Windows

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  • Re:True #1 Feature! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by cupantae (1304123) <maroneill@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Sunday May 13, 2012 @07:41PM (#39990327)

    As a Linux user, let me say, this is not insightful, interesting or informative. It's flamebait.

    #1 Feature: You *don't* have to run it!!!!! Stick with Win 7, or Linux, Mac OS X!

    Gosh, how clever.

    Remember, Windows 7 is really Vista ver. 2.0.

    Remember that thing that's not true, you mean? Think of what made Vista a failure before opening your mouth.

    Windows 8 will be another Windows ME, or Vista...

    It might be a failure. You could check out the missing features, if you'd like to try R'ing a FA.

    Don't pay to be a Beta tester for Microsoft operating systems!

    You can do that for free. It's called a developer preview.

  • by devent (1627873) on Sunday May 13, 2012 @08:09PM (#39990497) Homepage
    #1, delete opened files.

    It is so annoying everytime if I just want to look at a file or to open it in different editor, or delete I file I need first to search the app that opened it. In Linux you just open the file with whatever you want, move it, delete it, etc. no problems.

    #2, virtual desktops.

    If I work on a project and then want to look something up, or someone comes with an USB stick and I need to copy it, and open the files, I just switch the desktop. It's like you have one table full of stuff, then you go to a different table to eat your pizza, and then you go back to your work table. You don't put away your work stuff so you can eat the pizza, you just go to the kitchen table.

    #3 Fast file system checks.

    The fsck on Linux takes only 20 seconds for 100GB (ext4) why does Windows need minutes for a check?

    #4 A good command prompt

    I really hate the 1990 DOS command prompt. Can we please have a modern command prompt in the year 2012? A modern cmd prompt is: any true type font, any size also full size, completition of commands with tab key, searchable history of cmds, different background, different text color, etc. For an example of a modern cmd prompt, see Konsole (KDE).

    #5 Ease change of the desktop environments

    I mean a complete change, not just like a theme. I really like to replace the whole Windows desktop with KDE.

    #6 Good SSH integration.

    In Linux I can type in anywhere: ssh-add and it adds my ssh key for every program. Why can't it be that easy in Windows?

  • Hide The Features (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tverbeek (457094) on Sunday May 13, 2012 @08:28PM (#39990633) Homepage

    Clearly Microsoft hears complaints from users that computers are too complicated. Their solution, unfortunately, is to keep hiding things. Like that helps.

    I think it started with "personalized menus": the menu items you haven't used in a while get hidden... which rather defeats the purpose of menus, because you're less likely to remember seeing those less-used features to know they exist, and when you go looking for them, they're concealed. Filename extensions apparently confused some people, so now they're hidden... making it easier to trick people with trojans disguised as Word documents, befuddling them when they see two files (of different types) with the same name, and rendering files "unopenable" if they get saved somehow with the wrong (hidden) extension. They've been doing it with IE in a big way: taking buttons off the standard toolbar, removing button labels, and recently hiding the whole damn pull-down menu bar! The MS Office "ribbon" left me scratching my head trying to find the "print" button (or menu option) the first time I encountered it. The Start button has lost the word "start"... not exactly hidden, but no longer as easy for newbies to find when told to click on it. In Win7 (maybe it was Vista), the "log off" and other I'm done-using-the-computer options are now hidden under a non-descript arrow button. And now in Win8 (which I've looked at in preview only long enough to get frustrated trying to re-orient myself) they've hidden the Start button altogether, and made Shutdown even harder to find.

    Instead of actually simplifying the system, what they're doing is the equivalent of sweeping the complexity under a rug. It's still there. And often you still need it. But it's harder to get at. They're shoving more and more features into the system... then hiding them away. Along with a bunch of the old ones. Eventually it will get simple enough for my aged mother to use it... but by then I will find it totally unusable.

  • by darthdavid (835069) on Sunday May 13, 2012 @09:07PM (#39990867) Homepage Journal
    Here's the problem with unified Console/PC multilayer: the mouse and keyboard. It's a much better interface for certain types games and if you let console and pc gamers into the same sandbox the console users are gonna get their heads kicked in and not have a very good time of it.
  • Re:True #1 Feature! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@@@gmail...com> on Sunday May 13, 2012 @10:12PM (#39991191) Journal

    I have to agree, after running both the dev and consumer previews, as well as setting up a machine with consumer preview in the shop to let common folks try it there is one thing we could all agree on and that is "Metro UI sucks on desktops".

    Maybe it'll be nice for tablets and smart phones, who knows, but considering that MSFT owns less than 5% of the smartphone and tablet market and 90% of the desktop taking a big old dump on the desktop for a shot at smartphones is a DUMB fucking idea. I ran it for nearly a month on my home desktop before I wiped it, Metro UI just seemed to be fighting me every step of the way. And I agree with you on the suckage of resources as well, all the updates of those stupid always on metro "apps" slammed my network constantly and the thing was blowing through more than 2.2Gb of memory. Compare this to win 7 with all the bling, aero, AND more than a half a dozen tray apps and it would top out at a little over 1.3Gb.

    So please, everyone who doesn't believe, try it for yourself here [microsoft.com] and you'll see what all the hate is about. Some have pointed out I hated the QL on win 7 but TBH after seeing what a slow uptake there was on Vista i didn't think companies would jump to support the new QL like they did. Without practically every application supporting jumplists the Win 7 tasklist would have been IMHO a serious step back over the XP QL but I'll be the first to admit now that its widely supported the Win 7 way is nice.

    There is just NO way that I can see that one can take a cell phone touch based UI like win 8 and make it a nice experience for your average laptop or desktop user, the differences between designs is just too steep. Watch the MSFT videos talking about win 8 for yourself and count how many times they say "touchscreen". last one i saw i quit counting at 30. Now does ANYBODY think with the x86 PC business being so damned cutthroat they are just gonna eat the $100+ cost per unit to include touchscreens?

    I'm sorry but win 8 is a BAD design and I'm just glad I've gotten the majority of my customers as well as my family onto Win 7 so we can all just skip win 8 completely. Touch UI is fine and dandy for a tablet, much better than the pen approach, but I have NO desire to poke my netbook or desktop all damned day. As for TFA frankly I don't see much there that can't be had for free with third party products such as process explorer for Task manager. BTW check out #4, even for the "old kit" they used for Win 8 was a touchscreen laptop! Seriously how many current laptops and desktops are touchscreen? 2%? 3%? Kinda sad when even the ones plugging the OS aren't putting it on non touch devices...hmmm...wonder why?

  • Re:Oh, yeah! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jaymemaurice (2024752) on Sunday May 13, 2012 @11:17PM (#39991507)

    X is awesome but seems nobody knows how to really use it. I run Cygwin with X on Windows and everyone keeps asking me what operating system I am running when running Unix apps and Windows apps at the same time.

  • by Waccoon (1186667) on Monday May 14, 2012 @12:14AM (#39991757)

    Use two explorer windows, one on the right one on the left.

    The thing that drives me nuts about Windows7 (and OSX and other "dock" UI styles) is that the new pinned taskbar was designed to allow only 1 instance of any program. Click on the Explorer icon again, and it will only minimize/maximize the window in focus -- not open a new one like the old Quick Launch menu would.

    Yeah, you can try to tweak it to look like the XP taskbar, but it doesn't work the same -- unless there's some kind of magic Ctrl-Shift-RightClick trick I'm missing.

    I would welcome an app that worked like Total Commander, but putting two Explorer windows next to each other is only becoming more of a hassle as time goes by. Windows8 looks to turn something as simple as window management into a nightmare. Isn't that the problem that the Win95 taskbar solved? Who actually benefits from these idiotic taskbar changes?

  • by jaymemaurice (2024752) on Monday May 14, 2012 @01:11AM (#39991987)

    No sorry, I am not. I wish I was because I am sure to get down modded for my blasphemy.

    Entry points:
    http://web.nvd.nist.gov/view/vuln/search-results?query=LINUX&search_type=all&cves=on [nist.gov]

    Hooks:
    any shell script/start-up script (many execute with user write permission out of your home folder) do you have a compiler on your system?!

    The only thing saving linux from beeing rooted often is its userbase. Does Linux have anything like windows SFC? No not really. At least there are only a handful of auto-run methods in windows and a subsystem that does a somewhat decent job of enforcing no new hooks are created.

    Sad fact is because Linux is so open it's mostly a race between white hats and black hats. Add desktop users and desktop apps into the mix and there will be more black hats and a longer delay between applied fixes.

    You may argue that most linux problems are third party software or configuration, but I can argue the same for Windows.

    That said, I use both... but in by no means is my descision to use either based on this false sense of securtiy about the mal-ware eco-system.

  • by asdf7890 (1518587) on Monday May 14, 2012 @04:04AM (#39992679)

    I have a pretty ordinary Debian Mint desktop, and I just tried playing a video in VLC and previewing music files with Nautilus at the same time. It worked fine - both played without missing a beat.

    He was making reference to something that long ago was a significant issue. IIRC as late as the early 00's it was a problem - and while the sound system was maturing rapidly at that point there were a couple of solutions floating about and were not mutually compatible, not always stable, and none were particularly widely supported.

    While Linux and other unix-a-likes were ahead of the game in server related areas for a long time; there are a lot of things in desktop environments that just work out of the box now and that we therefore take for granted that either did not work at all or did not work without much user effort five or ten years ago (when they were working well enough in the Windows desktop world).

    I'm a Linux fan myself, but he does have a point: the threshold beyond which something constitutes and innovation rather than imitation seems a lower in one direction than the other. This might be completely unfair though: Linux (and xBSD and others) are community efforts without the money thrown at desktop use Windows sees (most of the investment made in Linux related areas by companies is still aimed at server environments not desktop ones (I'm not counting Android here as doesn't fit in either category IMO)).

We don't know who it was that discovered water, but we're pretty sure that it wasn't a fish. -- Marshall McLuhan

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