Microsoft Talks About Windows 8 Tweaks

Microsoft Talks About Windows 8 Tweaks

Now that Windows 8 has been out for about a month, most of us have had the time to play with it, use the new Metro interface, and then complain about what we don’t like.

In response to all the complaints (or suggestions) Microsoft wrote a blog post responding to the many detailed suggestions from users.

One of the suggestions that Microsoft implemented was a redesigned app screen. Commenter @aroush said:

“The current metro-list of all apps is not suitable, since that lists everything alphabetically and I don’t know the names of all those additional programs.”

In reply to that, Microsoft redesigned the App screen to group apps by categories instead of alphabetical order. This change is much like the change to the Control Panel that Microsoft made in Vista. Microsoft also made the apps more compact on the app screen so that more apps could fit on your screen at once.

Who remembers Jump Lists? The Jump List is the cool, underused feature that was introduced in Windows 7. It allows users to easily access certain features of a program such as opening a file quickly or going to a recent website.

Commenter @tN0 made a suggestion about jump lists in Windows 8:

“Implement Jump Lists to the Live Tiles at the Start screen. Swiping up on a tile or right click could bring up a Jump List.”

Microsoft said that Jump Lists for the Start Menu hadn’t become as popular as the Jump Lists for the taskbar. They said that 20% of users used the taskbar to Jump List while only 1.2% of users used Jump Lists from the Start Menu.

Microsoft said that there was a similar way to use Jump Lists in Metro,”[We knew] it was important to keep jump lists on the taskbar for your most commonly used desktop apps. But, we wanted to build something more customized for Metro style apps.

The downside of existing jump lists is that they’re limited to what Windows understands best– files. This is great for file-centric apps, but apps today are moving away from the notion of files and turning to hosted content, which makes the concept of document jump lists less relevant.”

So Microsoft is basically replacing Jump Lists with the Live Tiles which display the app’s data like weather on the app icon so you know basic information about the topic right now without having to actually open the app.

I had completely forgotten about the Jump Lists for the Start Menu until now, so I don’t really think that Microsoft taking away the Jump Lists in the Start Menu is a bad idea. I actually prefer the Live Tiles because they show me the basic information that I want right away without having to wait for the program to load.

I think this post was a good thing for Microsoft to do. It showed people that Microsoft listens to its customers’ and developers’ suggestions.

Believe it or not commentor @RJHS had the same basic point:

“Apart from every answer you gave, I think all users apreciate when you care about us. You’ve answered to many comments and feedback, and I think that it is a very nice way of treating us. Thank you very much, we like you’re new system, but what we most like is your support to us, we know feel we are working together, we feel we are being heard. :)”

This is great for a company to do, as a lot of companies ask for feedback, but don’t listen to it.

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