Windows 10: What we wanted, what Microsoft delivered
One reason users hated Windows 8 is because it was thrust upon them. They had to like it or lump it.
With the Windows 10 Technical Preview, that's all changed. Microsoft wants to know what you want before the OS ships, and it's provided a feedback mechanism: The Windows Feature Suggestion Box. Users can suggest and vote for new features to add.
The great thing is: Microsoft listened! In October, we listed the top ten features Microsoft users demanded to be put into Windows 10. Now we've gone back and shown which ones made the cut.
Updated on June 9.
NOT ADDED: Add tabs to Windows Explorer/File Explorer
With over 1,600 votes last October, adding tabs to Windows Explorer and File Explorer was the most popular feature request when we covered it. (Note that this feature is already available for Windows 8, via plugins like Ejie Technology’s Clover2.)
“Every other OS has this feature and Windows is severely lagging behind,” according to the submission. I’d have to agree—multiple windows are sort of a drag. And they still aren't in Windows 10 yet.
NOT ADDED: Make Windows Update a one-stop shop for ALL drivers
This is my favorite: With just under 1,400 votes as of last October, I'd totally agree that Windows should be the hub of all driver updates, without the need to load special utilities or visit the manufacturer's website.
Some users have suggested that Windows Update be a one-stop shop for stable drivers, while letting users download experimental or beta updates from the manufacturers. The problem, however, may be the hardware makers themselves. What if they want to launch a package that allows users access to games, or bundles in third-party offers?
ADDED: Kill off all Aero-themed objects
There's a war brewing among the Windows faithful. Some want all remnants of earlier Windows purged, at least the objects, with redesigned icons similar to the "flatter" icons at the bottom of the screen in Windows 10. With 1,020 votes at press time, this was the third-most popular suggestion.
Microsoft began recently updating the Windows 10 icons, and it says the process will continue.
ADDED: Bring back Aero Glass!
Withn 1,016 votes last October, there was a large contingent that felt that Microsoft should take a page from its past and bring back the Aero Glass themes from the Windows 8 Developer Preview. Well, you know what? It did. That's a screenshot from Build 10074 up above. Will the Aero Glass transparency make it to the RTM version of Windows 10? Hard to tell, but at least they're thinking of the Aero Glass faithful.
ADDED: Persian calendar
With 1,223 votes at press time, this suggestion is doing surprisingly well. And Persian calendar support was added to Windows 10 in January.
ADDED: Make Windows free!
Just 648 people demanded last October that Microsoft make Windows 10 a free upgrade for Windows 8 and even Windows 7 users. Lowering the price of Windows—or making its free altogether—would be in line with moves from Apple, Google and others to lower the barriers to entry on the operating system itself.
But, of course, Microsoft did. Windows 10 won't be free for those who have to buy a new copy, but it will be a free upgrade from both Windows 7 and Windows 8.
ADDED: Pin ANYTHING to the Start menu
About 1,110 Windows 10 Technical Preview users said in October that they wanted the ability to pin just about anything to the Start menu, to allow them to quickly launch a particular document or website—not just apps and programs. Well, they can. All you need to do is drag a document or folder down to the Start button in the lower left. It will pin itself to the Start menu—or it should; it doesn’t seem to workin Build 10130.
NOT ADDED: A new Notepad.exe
Windows 10 users clamored for a new Notepad.exe application—well, 1,332 of them, anyway. Suggestions include something like Notepad++ (seen here, left) or, well, something more like OneNote. It all seems a bit trivial—unless, of course, if you use Notepad routinely.
NOT ADDED: Remixing the Volume Mixer
With speakers now appearing in tablets, computers, monitors, and HDTVs—let alone headphones—users have a greater degree of freedom to choose which devices are playing back their audio notifications. We’d agree that it might be nice to be able to set an external laptop speaker to chime when a new email is received, for example, but not to interrupt a song playing through a user’s headphones. So far, we haven't seen anything that says we can do this in Windows 10.
ADDED: Drag-and-drop apps between virtual desktops
One up-and-coming suggestion (at 833 votes, last October) was to allow users to drag and drop applications between virtual desktops. Hurray! It was added, in April.
So—out of the top ten features Windows 10 users wanted last October, Microsoft’s added six to the list. Soon we’ll have a list of what users want now — and what Microsoft may deliver next.