18 Features Microsoft should include in Windows 9

Windows 9 logo purple

Windows 9 is setting to be the next best and greatest operating system, the one that fully improves and fixes the shortcoming of the confusing Windows 8. And after two significant updates the operating system has improved dramatically. However, consumers still fear to upgrade, as such Microsoft is moving quickly to abandon the bad publicity that is hunting the “Windows 8” name. For Windows 9, the company is going back to the drawing board focusing on those who use it the most, desktop users. Now here are the 18 features Microsoft should include Windows 9:

1. Better displays scaling: Although Microsoft has improved in Windows 8.1 automatic scaling, it only works per computer, not per display. If you currently have a Windows 8.1 Ultrabook with retina display, Windows will look beautiful automatically, but extending to another monitor, let’s a say a 1080p display, it will mirror the same scaling settings from the primary display, which is not optimal. As such in Windows 9, Microsoft should consider adding more scaling options to allow scaling per display.

Automatic scaling in Windows 8.1

2. Wi-Fi Sense: This is a great new feature introduced in Windows Phone 8.1 Update, it allows the operating system to detect and connect automatically to Wi-Fi networks that offer free internet access. Even more, this feature will automatically agree to the terms of service when required. It also allows you to share Wi-Fi networks with contacts on Outlook.com, Skype, and Facebook friends, even preventing other from seeing your passwords. It a really convenient way to quickly access online while saving data usage for those on metered networks, and Windows 9 should include this flexibility as well.

3. Action center: As we are now in a mobile world and we’re accustomed to many features found in our phones, Microsoft has to realize that an “action center” for Windows, something like what’s in Windows Phone 8.1, is needed. The one place where users can get access to notifications and quick settings for wireless, Bluetooth, airplane mode, VPN, and perhaps also combining notifications from the Windows Action Center that only displays system alerts.

4. Universal dictionary: There is a Chrome extension called “Google Dictionary” that allows users to look up any word definition and synonyms. The extension shines when you are reading an article and by simply double-clicking the word it automatically pops up its definition with the option to hear how the word is pronounce. Windows 9 should include similar functionality throughout the operating system and apps.

Google Dictionary for Chrome

5. Remote keyboard and mouse: Many users work with multiple computers and having two, three, or four sets of keyboard and mouse can get messy, so it would be really useful if the next version of Windows (Threshold) included a functionality to share one set of keyboard and mouse between multiple computers over the local network without the need of extra software.

6. Remote audio: Let’s face it, integrated computer speakers suck and chances are that you will only buy one set of good speaks for the PC you use the most. As such, the idea here would be to include a functionality that could allow other computers to stream audio to the main computer via the local network to make use of those good speakers in your primary PC.

7. Smart volume: This is a very simple approach, when you’re listening music using the computers speakers, you set the volume at one level, when using headphones, you set the volume differently, and when connecting a new set of speakers, you again set the volume differently. Windows 9 should include “smart volume” functionality that sets the proper volume, if external speakers or headphones are connected through the headphone jack or Bluetooth, or when using the computer speakers. And while at it, Microsoft should also add a close button to the on-screen volume notification as it gets in the way when changing volume or skipping songs.

8. Remote to control other computers: We’re now seeing more often that people connect computers to their televisions. But having to buy a separate “media center keyboard” may not be ideal for everyone. For Windows 9, Microsoft should create an app for tablets and phones that allows to use those devices to control a remote computer with a virtual keyboard and mouse, something similar to what SmartGlass does for Xbox One and OneGuide.

9. Internet Explorer extensions: Let’s be honest IE doesn’t have any good extensions compare to Google Chrome or even Firefox. In future versions of the popular web browser I would like to see Microsoft poking developers to create more and useful extensions. Particularly, I would like to see services integration like Buffer, bit.ly, Twitter, Google Docs, Microsoft Office, and many more. (This will help users do more without having to switch screens.)

10. One Internet Explorer: Today still a bit confusing, you have one version of IE on the desktop and if you’re in a tablet you get another version, the “modern IE”. It’ll be fantastic if Microsoft can somehow manage to marry the browsers into one consistent experience, even more now that Windows 9 will finally feature windowed Metro-style apps.

Modern IE snapped with desktop version of Internet Explorer

11. Better bookmarking on Internet Explorer: One thing none of the web browsers out there can do well is bookmarking. We’ve been compiling many years of finding in the internet and today it’s becoming really hard to access all those links. For the next version of Internet Explorer, Microsoft should looking into making bookmarking a better experience on IE and not just a simple saving the link operation.

12. Better sharing experience: The rumor has it, Microsoft will strip away the Charms bar in Windows 9, though charms functionality will still exist but in different form. However sharing have to improve. Sharing among apps works fine, in here I’m referring when sharing a link on Twitter, Facebook, and other social networks. The software giant should include an option plug other services to share links like Buffer, bit.ly, Goo.gl, and other shortener services, this will make more convenient and cleaner to share content with others.

13. Internet Explorer tweaks: The modern version of IE is perhaps the best experience browsing the web using a Windows tablet, but there is always room for improvement. One thing that I find frustrating using the software is getting the hang of tabbing. The options are confusing and hard to identify for normal users, also opening a new tab in a new window is tricky. You have to open a new tab, then press and hold, and then choose “Open tab in a new window” – too many steps. A simply press and hold the new tap button should pop-up a menu with the option to open a tab in a new window. But overall the address bar have to be re-thought to be an easier experience for users.

14. Internet Explorer notifications: Toaster notifications are a great way to stay on top what’s going on in your digital life, almost every Metro-style app in Windows 8 has notification capabilities. However Internet Explorer has no notifications, one idea could be to enable per-site notifications and it could work by simply adding an option that can alert users of certain activities within a web page: new Twitter direct message, getting a new email on Outlook.com or Gmail, via RSS feed you can get notify of a new article from your favorite website and much more — all without the need of additional apps.

15. Flat design: If you look the Windows 8 desktop, you’ll notice that is practically the same as Windows 7. The only major difference is the Start button, if Microsoft keeps betting on a modern design language, it should be consistent through the entire operating system, and as such the Windows Desktop should have a metro-flat makeover to match the new modern environment you see in the Start screen.

Windows flat desktop design concept

16. Cortana: She is the digital assistant introduced in Windows Phone 8.1 that assist you to set reminders, appointments, answer questions, and even tells you jokes, all to help you plan your day accordingly, similar to Apple’s Siri.

Cortana would be a major addition to Windows, just think of the possibilities, just imagine, setting a reminder on your Windows Phone and Cortana reminding you what you need to do in your PC.

17. Better guidelines to build apps: Although this isn’t a feature I would like to say that it’s getting very frustrating finding apps in the Windows Store that have really poor design. Icons, color theme, and images look horrible, sometimes I just skip installing or I uninstall an app because it looks terrible. And many others, not only look bad, but they aren’t what they claim to be. Microsoft should create a set of guidelines for modern apps publish in the Windows Store, so they don’t suck in design.

18. Make it free: One way that Microsoft could make sure everyone is running the latest version of the operating system, using its apps, and cloud services is by stop charging to upgrade to the latest version. It should be a per-computer deal, for example, you bought a new computer with Windows pre-installed, then you should be able to update to the latest version until it’s time to replace it. It isn’t yet clear, but the rumor is that Microsoft may be planning to let Windows XP, Vista, 7, and Windows 8 update for free to Windows 9.

Note: Features that we know are coming to the operating system such as the new Start menu and windowed modern apps.

Do you like to see other features and changes in Windows 9? Let us know in the comments below.