Future Tense: Ten Ways To Improve Windows

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alexamica

I think that the best way to improve your windows is to have a good registry cleaner and tho make File Extensions for your programs , to have a great firewall that locks almost every virus and to make updates every once in a while .

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sappha58

There is a browser standard out there, if only Micro$oft would follow it: Acid 2.

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Caboose

 Wow! Spelling Microsoft with a dollar sign! How original!

Wasn't that the "thing" to do back in the late 90's and early 2000's ?

 

-= I don't want to be dead, I want to be alive! Or... a cowboy! =-

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FunkySquirrel

The Dropbox link is the same as the Fences link.

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Athlonite

hows about bringing back proper previews of animated GIFs i hate having to open a browser window every fricken time i really don't understand why they removed it from picture preview and even live photo gallery doesn't display them properly BASTARDS bring it back  and License RAR and 7zip why bother with those when peazip is already free and does everything those two do combined and comes in x86 and x64 bit flavors

 

Play till it breaks then learn how to fix it!

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gtubbesing

And that's why Windows 8 was my idea!

 

(Are these the worst commercials ever?  Especially the French ones!)

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Arrowdodger

Still better then the "I'm a Mac" ones.

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arch-chancellor

I've noticed through the years how OSes and other apps seem to get more and more complicated. I use MS Paint A LOT. While significantly improved has been rendered annoying in its unnecessary complications. Go take a look. You can draw a one pixel wide line and a three pixel wide line, but not a two pixel wide line. You could do all three in Vista and XP. Someone at MS thought that was a great idea.

Another great MS flash trickle of a brain storm was removing the Quick Launch. Sure, pin the apps to the task bar, but you can only open one instance of it this way. You need to click on the start menu and then click on the program again. Or click on show desktop and click on your program. I have found a way to get the Quick launch back.

Okay, I did try the Betas and RCs. But I just used them to see what apps still worked, and what needed to get updated. Most of the stuff I found was only after a couple of months of continuous use.

By the way, XP Paint works in Win 7, but not Vista Paint.

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Arrowdodger

What? You just have to right click the TaskBar icon and the icons name, right above Close and Remove from Taskbar and it'll open another window.

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Lhot

 ...the registry is one of the few GOOD things to come out of MS.  It provides a location for REAL removal methods.

Sure it gets bloated..sure there are great reg cleaners out there...and I do remember comps from before the registry...not pretty  :/  MS has all but removed the DOS command line....I guess if they remove the registry too, I may as well just give MS MY computer, as I sure the h3ll won't be able to affect UNwanted changes via some MS updates etc.,  that are a LOT easier to tackle in the registry.  IF, I wanted a mindless gaming slab or some such, I just buy an Xbox or PS3...I LIKE the extra control the registry offers.

Did you know that after you UNinstall Google Earth...it leaves behind over 50,000 registry entries, and of those about 3-5 of them require "taking control of the entry, via permissions" to remove those last few.

For anyone that doesn't like the registry, maybe it's because you just don't have the proper tools to handle the registry...aka....JV16 Powertools.

 

 

The "CLOUD" is the biggest mistake this country has made...EVER !

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thinsoldier

"it leaves behind over 50,000 registry entries"

You honestly don't see a problem with this? 

50,000 USELESS entries is MY fault because I don't have 3rd party registry tools?

wtf? 

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Raspop

I feel that Windows is approaching the barebones maximum, feature-wise.  I don't want it to do everything because there are plenty of times where a 3rd party app does the job better.  IMO, cleaning house on a bunch of crappy default apps was one of the smartest moves for Win7.

For the sake of polish:

Windows Explorer, tabbed interface, please?

Now that we can burn an ISO, why shouldn't we be able to mount it without burning to a disk first?

I'm in the minority here, but I prefer Quicklaunch over the new taskbar.  How about a simple checkbox option to get it back?

WMC is too damned clunky for my tastes. You can't navigate a terabyte+ video library any other way than horizontally - one click at a time.  Perhaps there's some good themes out there, but the XBMC themes rock the pants off of WMC's interface.

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Raspop

I feel that Windows is approaching the barebones maximum, feature-wise.  I don't want it to do everything because there are plenty of times where a 3rd party app does the job better.  IMO, cleaning house on a bunch of crappy default apps was one of the smartest moves for Win7.

For the sake of polish:

Windows Explorer, tabbed interface, please?

Now that we can burn an ISO, why shouldn't we be able to mount it without burning to a disk first?

I'm in the minority here, but I prefer Quicklaunch over the new taskbar.  How about a simple checkbox option to get it back?

WMC is too damned clunky for my tastes. You can't navigate a terabyte+ video library any other way than horizontally - one click at a time.  Perhaps there's some good themes out there, but the XBMC themes rock the pants off of WMC's interface.

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Sierra

You are forgetting the days prior to having the registry. I'm not saying that it’s the perfect solution but doing away with it leads to more problems (by far) than it solves. Remember dll hell? For those that don’t, it was the quaint name of the tech support nightmare that happened when installing older software installed an older version of a shared dll, replacing the newer version of the file.  Leading to breaking functionality in other programs without any indication that installing some older piece of software was the culprit.  Trying to get the newer one reinstalled (once you figured out WHICH dll) usually caused more frustration than seeing a democrat elected when you are a republican (or vice versa). Maybe even more frustration than the tribbles caused the klingons. 

Without the registry (or some form of it) how do you use common code across multiple applications? e.g. directshow filters or even DirectX? Each program would have to be completely self contained and that is a nightmare scenario as well. So much for ideas like OLE and COM, heck even security certificates would be effected, I’d have to install a cert for every secure website I use in each individual browser? I’ll pass on that one. How in the world would you deal with things like Active Directory that the entire Microsoft enterprise system is built on? Text files lying all over the place? There is already a very large OS using that system that has been trying to figure out for YEARS how to make it a friendly OS for average users.  

As to the idea of a .reg folder for every app, why in the world would you want to have to scan the entire hard drive(s) each and every time you install or uninstall an application? You really want to put more load on the biggest bottleneck of any computer?  Have to wait for 5 minutes each time you rebuild the registry? How would that work when multitasking and you need access to make changes while the registry is being rebuilt?

Your article has a couple valid points like explorer needing a makeover and faster search is always nice. The rest is poorly thought out (no offence) and the registry idea is just flat out wrong. Again, no offence meant but it seems like you are looking at things very superficially in this article. 

 

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greymist08

Is the reason they don't "integrate" this (pdf, ogg, etc.) functionality into the OS. Even if the software is free, because they are a company, and therefore making a profit from the sale of the thing, they would have to pay a share to [insert x company].

Go get them, since they're free. Never gonna happen. 

Remember, these people don't actually live in "reality". Words get redefined all the time to fit what they currently want them to mean.

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dread_ire

I somewhat agree that having rar and 7z support included would be nice. But really how hard is it to install 7zip and then be able to have the full functionality of 7zip's interface including advanced encryption and its support of almost every compression type.

Media Center and media player serve different needs.  Also, from what I have heard Media player is going away and will be replaced by the Zune software in a future version of Windows.

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Nyarlathotep

The fact that I cannot view folder size in Explorer without opening a folder's properties window is just dumb. As for the redundant interfaces, I have always assumed that MS design groups must be too compartmentalized to avoid the overlap. This just should not happen within an OS itself.

I would add that startup programs should be managed from one location. Not either the registry, startup folder, MSCONFIG or combinations of the three. Especially when spyware is so prevalent today there should just be a control panel item for startup programs (not just a command line tool).

 

"Sheesh, it's just one man's opinion..."   -Me

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Arrowdodger

Forget Dropbox. Mesh is way better. Can't wait until it gets out of beta.

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dread_ire

I love using Mesh, it is more powerful than dropbox, as you can use multiple different folders instead of dropbox's one location.  I just wish mesh would start implementing differential sync.

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Cooketh

I agree whole heartidly about the registry.

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SuperiorBeing

You forgot to mention a built -in PDF reader. The thing I hate about Microsoft is their hit-or-miss approach to software, where some things are really good, like MSE, and others are terrible, like IE8.  If all of their products had the built-in functionality that only half of them do... well, it'd be a lot easier to find reasons to look down on Mac users. Every time some pretentious Mac user tells me how great spotlight is I can only shoot back "Yeah? Well Windows 7 is a lot better than XP, because XP was terrible."

 Not the snappiest of comebacks. :(

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omen3330

Why don't you ask everybody to abandon their software and program using the same platform and language while your at it.  First three points are reasonable, the rest are just nonsense. There is already viruses that detect a system running a virtual environment and wait until the virtual environment is shut down to infect the system, switching everything over would just see a rise in these kinds of attacks. 

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PawBear

 In my experience, there's nothing brilliant about the registry. The above statements about it are rational.  Also, a simple Google search will reveal the incredible headaches the "average" end user suffers from because of it's arcane and complex structure.

That said, I'd prefer a totally stripped down OS removing everything, all the bloat, allowing me the choice to install the browser of my choice, the paint program of my choice, the media player of my choice, etc., etc., etc.

*** "Either we conform the Truth to our desires or we conform our desires to the Truth." ***

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wk

why every program on earth has customize installer, except MS windows installation, they should let us choose what to install, in addition to typical installation way for anyone who don't want the hassle of customizing installation. 

 one could choose only bare bone windows system and then install his favorite application. this way windows not only will take less space on HD but also may become less problematic and require less maintenance.

 On the registry side, I totally agree that they should find a less complicated way, like (i hate to admit that) apple OS!!

MPC is my home page

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Sierra

The idea for the windows installation is to meet the needs of the lowest common denominator in order to reduce support costs along with keeping user confusion to a minimum. Every mainstream OS does this to make it a "pleasant" process after taking tons of criticism over the years when they try to cater to the enthusiast market. MS does provide tools for you to tweak the windows install, its just assumed that you would do this at the enterprise level rather than on a one time home install.

As far as the Apple OS is concerned I'd be interested in hearing how they do it better. Not being defensive, I'd really like to know. If they have figured out a way to support virtually every possible combination of hardware and home use through enterprise level applications better than MS then I may need to look into buying one.   

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Caboose

 nLite and vLite. And hopefully *Lite (where * = whatever the developer will use for Windows 7) for stripping down Windows stuff

 

-= I don't want to be dead, I want to be alive! Or... a cowboy! =-

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michaelsonline

Free Flac, OGG directshow filters for WMP @ http://www.xiph.org/dshow/

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Metonymy

I can't really relate to any of these. You made a reference to the registry file growing, but from the content of your post, it's clear that you, the user, are allowing the contents of the hard drive to grow out of your own personal control. I don't understand at what point you think a better virtual organization strategy is going to fix your personal habits.

Then there are other gems in there like 'virtual environments preventing the spread of malicious software.' Really? Because I was under the impression that more complex automation and security = more spectacular failure once someone with a brain figures it out.

Anyway, my point is that the registry is currently essential, and it's brilliant. Anyone who can't figure out what any given registry entry does couldn't guru their way into a light bulb socket. Your idea is decent, and I do prefer the days when software didn't have to be 'installed,' but the typical end-user isn't clever enough to benefit from that, and they never were.

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Nyarlathotep

I think you are contradicting yourself. Your point about the cleverness about most users is the very reason the registry isn't "brilliant". While I personally am comfortable working directly with registry entries the vast majority of users don't even know what the registry is. As the user installs and removes programs entries are left behind in the registry with no easy or effective way to remove them except for reinstalling Windows.

 

"Sheesh, it's just one man's opinion..."   -Me

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thinsoldier

How about a "registry folder" that's actually full of shortcuts to the exact registry entries created by the program in the actual registry. If a semi-experience user needs to edit one of them to fix an issue then it makes it much easier to find the registry items they need.

 If a program does not remove its registry entries during uninstallation then it's registry folder is left behind so the user can see what exactly was left in the registry and decide if anything needs to remain in the registry or be deleted. Deleting the shortcut in the registry folder would delete the actual registry entry.

The registry shortcuts wouldn't be actual files on disk (like .lnk). Instead the "registry folder" would be a shortcut to an application that utilizes the explorer interface to show shortcuts to areas of the real registry.

 

My #1 wish for Windows is a much more configurable task bar (so I can make it mimic the apple dock or have the most useful balance of features from both worlds.) 

#2 Split-screen gaming like on consoles.
My pc's more than double the power of the xbox1 but I can't play halo 1 in split-screen? I have 2 x-box 360 controllers after all. 

#3 Allow me to record stereo mix again.

#4 All the beryl/compiz features for users with disabilities.
For example middle-clicking any part of a window to move or resize instead of accurately targeting a corner or edge is a huge time saver. It would fit perfectly with the win+up, win+left/right features they've added.  

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ahopper

Another one for Windows Media Player, build in blue ray support, either in all versions or as a downloadable upgrade. Simple as that.

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Caboose

 I can see it being an addition in SP2 or SP3. For sure next Windows version though...

 

-= I don't want to be dead, I want to be alive! Or... a cowboy! =-

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Cruzg10

You're preaching to the choir baby

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vistageek

This ^

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