Another 10 things I’d like to see in Windows 10

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Another 10 things I’d like to see in Windows 10…

(11) Better native support for Touchpads

Given virtually all touchpads are made by Synaptics, you’d think there could be better built-in support by now. It’s shocking how many settings you can adjust in Linux natively compared to Windows 10, which still treats many touchpads as PS/2 mice. Turn tap-to-click on or off, adjust sensitivity and swap primary button from right to left and that’s about it.

(12) Speedier Task Manager and Start Menu

Both now take around 3-5 seconds to appear on-screen, when in most previous Windows they’d appear instantly. The Start Menu sometimes doesn’t appear at-all unless you click again.

(13) Install better drivers from Windows Update, or at-least offer users a choice

On most PCs I’ve seen Windows 10 installed on, the sound card generally gets a generic “High-Definition Audio Device”, not the proper Intel or Realtek driver; touchpads also have some generic driver, not the full Synaptic one, and you’ll also often find generic drivers for things like hotkey support, so some functions, like keyboard backlight toggle, don’t work. There are times I think “basic drivers” are great, especially printers, to avoid the bloatware apps they otherwise come with, but losing functionality is not great. At-least give users a choice of drivers: perhaps prompt to ask which they’d like?

(14) Auto-disable the pagefile on high-RAM PCs with SSDs

If your PC has an SSD and loads of RAM, the pagefile can mean unnecessary additional writes which shortens their life. While some old apps may be hard-coded to expect a pagefile, most newer apps aren’t and it should get disabled on PCs where an SSD is present and no calls to the pagefile have been detected.

(15) Only permit Windows 10 to be installed on an SSD

Controversial one, perhaps, but we get constant cries from users at work of “my machine is slow” (even though all our Windows 10 PCs are minimum Core i5 with 8GB of RAM, though all more-recent ones have 16GB RAM and some even have Core i7s). A quick check in the Performance tab in Task Manager shows the culprit: the traditional HDD is locked at 100%. SSDs (either SATA or M.2) would really help user’s have a better experience, but where is the incentive for manufacturers to fit them unless forced-to?

(16) Allow Android apps to run in Windows

I agree with Paul that Microsoft should just replicate their old Windows 10 Phone UI and experience by creating their own Android phones, with their own launcher and apps pre-loaded. But is anything stopping Microsoft (as in legally, not technically) from letting Android apps run on Windows 10?

(17) Better replacement for HomeGroup

Removed in 1803, HomeGroup allowed really simple sharing of printers and folders on a workgroup. The workarounds: for printers, share them as you would via a print server, and connect via \\<computername>\<printersharename>. And for files, use an app like OneDrive, or e-mail them to other family members. I’d say neither are great. Especially given AirDrop on macOS has made file-sharing even simpler, removing HomeGroup seems a very backwards step.

(18) Improve the Virtual Desktops feature

If you switch between desktops after re-ordering Taskbar apps, then switch back the order gets lost. It doesn’t remember which apps you use on which desktop, so after a reboot, an app will open on whichever desktop you’re currently on, not the one you move it to.  And some pop-up messages will appear in the centre of the desktop you’re on, rather than staying on the one the app is running on. They should also add icons on the taskbar (e.g. 1,2,3) for each virtual desktop you have open to make switching between them easier.

(19) Remove Internet Explorer 11

Add a “compatibility view” style button, like IE has, so if a user comes across an old website, they click it and that site renders using the IE engine, but inside a tab in Edge. Then modify the iexplore.exe file so when a user double-clicks it, it opens an IE-engine tab in Edge. This will help prevent users accidentally using IE11 on Windows 10.

(20) Allow Xbox games to run on Windows 10

Remote-streaming of Xbox games is becoming a thing, but given Xbox was built around DirectX, why not create an Xbox Dashboard app for Windows 10 and allow Xbox games to be installed from the optical discs on Windows 10 PCs that meet the hardware spec for that title, or downloaded as you would on Xbox? Why not essentially see Xbox as a service, and for those who have money to purchase high-end PCs, allow that PC to also function as an Xbox?

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