Microsoft is encouraging people who have downloaded the Windows 10 Technical Preview to provide feedback on the embryonic operating system. The Start menu is something that users have been begging for, and changes to the Command Prompt have been a very long time coming, but just what do testers think of Windows 10 so far? There's still quite some time to go until Windows 10 is released giving Microsoft lots of opportunity to respond to user feedback. This is what Microsoft is all about these days after all.
With help from one of the readers of his Supersite for Windows, Paul Thurrott has pulled together a list of the top ten requests that have been received so far. The methodology may not be entirely scientific, but it does give an interesting insight into how Windows 10 has been received and what people would like to see changed.
The (frankly stupid) dedicated search and taskview buttons top the list of pet peeves. Actually, this is only true when the numbers relating to both buttons are combined, but as both are equally irritating, equally immovable, and equally unhideable, it makes sense to group them together. Next in line appears to come from the aesthetes. There is apparently a general feeling that having the Start menu simply pop into view is not good enough - testers would prefer there to be an animation effect of some sort. There's a bit of a niggle that Windows 10 users are encouraged into using a Microsoft account rather than a local one, but as this is central to the idea of syncing Windows 10 between computers, requests to make local accounts "easier" to implement are likely to fall on deaf ears.
A reasonable proportion of people giving feedback have suggested that File Explorer should have tabs. This is something that crops up time and time again, and there are a number of third-party tools that can bring this feature to existing versions of Windows. This is not a new request, but it is one that Microsoft has managed to ignore for years. Will the company listen this time around? The inability to activate the Charms bar with the mouse - something that is probably just a quirk of the preview - comes in at number 5, followed by a request for a "beautiful boot screen".
Next up is another complaint about the Start menu, this time pointing out that it is not possible to select multiple tiles when the Ctrl key is held down. The mish-mash of desktop vs modern is raised at number 8. The existence of the Control Panel and PC Settings is causing frustration, with many people suggesting that Microsoft should finalise transitioning to the latter. Rounding off the top ten are two more cosmetic requests: that icons should be updated, and that virtual desktops should be able to have different background images.
What's interesting about this list is just how conservative it is (no mention of Cortana? Seriously?). Whether this is an indication that Windows users are not actually all that demanding, or that only a certain type of user is providing feedback is not clear.
It seems that only a relatively small number of people have taken the step of giving feedback. Of course it is very early days for the preview at the moment and as time goes by, more and more users should start to try out the preview, and Microsoft may well find that it is inundated with feedback.
The question is, how will it respond?