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Brett Nordquist (Customer Experience Engineer)

Dear Microsoft

Written on April 14, 2017 by Brett Nordquist
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Dear Microsoft, 

Windows and I go back a lot of years together. Too many to count, but let's just say my first PC gave me the choice to login to Windows 3.11 or MS-DOS. While our relationship has been mostly great (XP, 7), it's also been bumpy (ME, Vista) at times. But I've stuck with Windows as my primary computing platform because it's versatile, familiar and supports the programs I rely on each day. 

This last week you released the Creator's Update for Windows 10. With that update you ushered in a feature I've wanted for many years: Game Mode. This allows users to prioritize CPU and GPU resources for a game while reducing background tasks. I've wanted something like this for a lot of years, and not just for games but for when I'm editing video or batch processing a folder of images. 

So this last update to Windows 10 gives me hope that you're listening to your customers. With that in mind, here are a few things I'd love to see in future versions of Windows: 

Bare Bones Windows - Put Windows 10 on the South Beach Diet and then give me a Windows without a single application. No mail, map, phone, messaging, photos, OneDrive, Sticky Notes, Voice Recorder, Cortana...you get the picture. I know you're going to tell me that some apps like the Edge browser are required to make Windows work properly. I'll play along with that, but you should know its first and only order of business will be to download Chrome. Why do I want a bare bones Windows? Because I want the absolute fastest balls to the wall version of Windows I can get! Removing all the extra baggage around Windows should also make it more reliable. I want the BMW E46 M3 CSL (no electric seats, AC or radio) version of Windows. Is that too much to ask? Also, I'll gladly pay about $100 for it. 

                                                                           The kitchen sink approach. I can't even. 


Dead Simple Backup Tool - I know you've got a few employees running Macs around Redmond. Send one of them on vacation and tell him to leave his MacBook behind. Then open up Time Machine and copy the living daylights out of it. Mock Apple all you want, but they knocked it out of the park with Time Machine. You actually include backup and restore options from Windows 7 in Windows 10 because that's not confusing. No need to reinvent the wheel here. Go forth and deliver a dead simple safety net. 

One-Stop Updates - Why do I need to run an NVIDIA service in the background to make sure I get the latest driver for my GeForce 960? I want something that combines Windows Update with FileHippo. But I want it notify me if new drivers for any of my hardware are available. I don't want half a dozen services in the background checking for updates. This will take some teamwork, but I know you can make it happen. 

Buy Spotify - Afford me one crackpot recommendation, will you? You need a killer feature that keeps people coming back to Windows, and music could be that feature. Both Apple Music and Google Play Music run well on mobile devices, but leave a lot to be desired on the desktop. Spotify actually has a well-designed desktop app for Windows along with apps for most mobile platforms. Take a chapter out of the Amazon playbook if you must. They include Amazon Prime Video and Music as part of your Prime membership. And if this gets you to charge for Windows, even better. 

I could come up with few more recommendations, but I'll stop at four. I want our relationship to work. But you've got to do better than churning out versions that include ads or that call home or that install apps I can't don't want but can't delete. I want a fast and stable platform. One I can leave on for days at a time without rebooting. One that just works. 

One last thing: My kids want to know when they can expect to see Halo 6. 

Regards, 

Brett

Tags: Microsoft, Windows, Spotify
Darin

"One last thing: My kids want to know when they can expect to see Halo 6.". Nice touch.

I don't remember which Windows 10 update that I didn't ask for pushed me over the cliff. Maybe it was the one that reenabled Cortana and all the telemetry spying. It might have been the one where all my work to customize my desktop to make it feel like mine was erased to look like a Microsoft default marketing campaign. Speaking of marketing, when updated to Windows 10, I don't remember signing up for advertisements or push notifications. In the end, what killed it for me was the inability to go back to Windows 7 because of some arbitrary 30 day period.

The train has left the tracks and so I got off. I'm happy with Ubuntu. The thing that surprised me was my workflow has not changed. My choice of games is now​ severely limited compared to Windows. Is that what Windows has become, a gaming platform??? My wife and kids use Chrome OS and have no issues. Much like hybrid and EV cars, the future will slowly - maybe slower than fanatics want - become a world of not Microsoft 10 in the consumer space. Windows 7 is end of life, even after the forced update debacle, it still has a 41% market share. Redmond chose to ham-fist the update process again by denying updates to older architecture (https://blogs.windows.com/b.... Now that I'm removed from the Crazy Train, it's blissful.

Posted on 2017-04-15 14:42:12
SteelCrysis

After seeing person after person whining about how Windows 10 somehow "reenabled Cortana and all the telemetry spying" when I've never experienced that in my use of Windows 10, after seeing person after person whining about how "Windows 10 did this" and "Windows 10 did that" when I've never experienced any of them in my use of Windows 10, I have to conclude that either there is such a thing as "Windows 10 Derangement Syndrome," or that everyone who says these things about Windows 10 are Linux zealots who may or may not be using sockpuppets.

Posted on 2017-04-17 16:17:32
Darin

If I understand you correctly, you are saying I'm either a whiner, deranged, and/or a linux fanatic with a sockpuppet. Did I get that correct?

Posted on 2017-04-18 21:35:28

I have 3 PCs running Windows 10 and had 3 different experiences when they all tried to upgrade to the Creator's Edition. On my 5 year old PC, it installed just fine. No problems so far. On my 7 year old PC it tried to install, errored out and rolled itself back to the previous working version. And the experience on my own Puget Systems Serenity has been frustrating to say the least. It appeared to install OK, but when I logged in, the system would totally hang within 30 seconds. Luckily, I'd taken a full system image a few days earlier and was able to roll back to it. Three PCs, three totally different experience with Creator's Update.

Posted on 2017-04-19 02:16:56
SteelCrysis

Is this any help? https://www.neowin.net/news...

Posted on 2017-04-19 15:09:05

"Bare Bones Windows" - I can't agree more on this one. It's even more frustrating when you buy the Pro version, the one for power users, that don't use the vast majority of these add-ons.

If only Adobe could release its Creative Cloud suite on Linux...

Posted on 2017-04-17 12:08:14

I'm strongly considering putting Linux on my primary PC. A few Steam games are all that's stopping me today.

Posted on 2017-04-19 02:18:28
AlbertS

XP was good but many of us suffered through Vista (I've had every Win ver since DOS thru Win10). Win 7 was better but flooded with updates and most were just patching the seemingly endless security holes in the OS and apps like Office. Operating systems should be user transparent and handle updates, cleanups and backups based on a few simple user options. I'm amazed at the simplicity and stability of Linux based Android on my mobile devices and know my Desktop would perform better with a free Linux OS and less bloatware but I have dozens of apps which are Windows based and the thought of converting everything and learning new apps is intimidating to say the least (old dogs- new tricks etc). Win 10 was supposed to be a clean re-write and I went for the free upgrade from Win 8.1 but was still bombarded with patches the first year, driver problems etc. Now Win 10 is the best of a bad lot of Microsoft OSs so far and I agree with your requests and could add many more but it's sad that we have stuck with it for decades, and like drug addicts, know it's bad but we keep using it.

Posted on 2017-07-03 09:54:04