Tim Murphy's .NET Software Architecture Blog

January 2015 Entries

Windows 10 – Going Backwards

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I’m not sure how, but I seem to be an outlier in this point of view.  I am finding that almost everything they are doing to Windows 10 to make it more acceptable to the masses is taking away features that I preferred in Windows 8.  It isn’t that I thought everything was great and didn’t need to be improved, but these are features that I found at the very least useful and in most cases efficient.  I’m just going to hit on the big ones here.

Let’s start with the left swipe gesture.  In Windows 8 this gave us the ability to rotate through open applications.  In most cases what you are looking for is the first previous application used.  This meant that a single swipe would bring you back to that application.  Now you have an old Windows 7 Alt+Tab screen that pops up and sticks there.  You then have to pick which screen you wanted.

Another feature that I liked with the modern apps was mutually adjusting snapped apps.  If you had two apps snapped side-by-side and adjusted the border in between them both changed size.  Since the apps are now on the desktop this no longer works.

The new Start menu/screen is confusing and needs a lot of improvement.  Managing tiles needs a book to understand it.  There is a grouping structure, but there is no tip or visual queue to how it should be used.  On top of that the old start screen used to have a alphabet based jump feature that made it easier to get to parts of the All Apps screen.  This is not currently there which means the All Apps list is useless if you have more than 10 apps.  At that point you might as well just do a text search for what you want to run.

Now for the touchy subject.  I have always been a fan or the charms.  I’m not attached to the charms bar, and I’m glad they didn’t get rid of these contract.  The search and share features are one of the best features of Windows 8.  They have moved them to a button in the title bar of the apps which are near impossible to use on a touch device and are even harder to discover than the charms bar.

Don’t get me wrong.  I do like Windows 10 over all.  The new notification center is a nice addition.  I’ll be patient and see how things shake out over the rest of the preview, but right now I am frustrated..