After playing around with 8.1 on my main desktop for a while, I really like it. There are some things I like better than 7, such as it handles wallpapers for multiple displays way better and it has a sharper looking desktop UI, but 8.1 still has its quirks. Here I've complied a list of simple improvements the Windows design team can make that shouldn't cost them an arm and a leg to implement. I'm simply discussing things such as UI layout and design, so I'm not really getting too technical with the "under the hood" type of stuff in 8.1.
- Windows classic start menu
- More intelligent color picker for automatic color mode in windows themes.
I use multiple displays on my main system and the native support for different images on each display plus larger resolutions spanning across two or more displays is huge win for me. The images I use are original pieces of art with many, many colors, and on most of the the automatic color picker chooses this icky brown/green color that is just not pleasant to look at. My desktop rotates images by the hour, so I'm set to just grey for now. This one might cost the design team an arm, maybe. Being a designer myself, I can think of many more colors that would look good to highlight the window boarders on a nature screen and complement it than baby poo green...
- Allow applications to be pinned to independent task bars on extended displays
Putting the main taskbar on one display and having minor taskbars on other displays where only windows open on that screen will show on it is another feature that won me over in 8.1. Now if I'm way on the right browsing the web I can minimize to that screen rather than it jumping across two displays to reach the main taskbar. Since I use each screen as a different type of work environment, being able to pin certain apps to the taskbar on that screen that I only use on that screen would be awesome. It would also save space on the main taskbar.
- Allow stacking/grouping apps in the taskbar
I very much like the way Apple's OS X handles apps in the dock. You can group certain ones together that are related, like some stuff from Adobe CS or CC, and save space on the dock. I was wondering why can't Windows do this too? Yes, yes, I'm well aware there are 3rd party solutions that can add a dock with stacking apps to Windows (Rocket Dock) but I always prefer native implementation where possible for things like this. I just really like the idea of grouping all of my games together in one stack and all of my Adobe apps in another.
- Rename the sodding "This PC" window to "My Computer" for the love of all that is...
I think that its just weird to call it that. "My PC" might be better, but the other just sounds strange.
- Allow the start screen to pop up on the screen where the mouse cursor is or allow it to be pre-defined to one screen only
The start screen with the listed apps is not a bad feature, I'm really starting to get used to it. It does annoy me on a 3-display setup that it doesn't always pop up where you want it. To make it pop up on that screen you need to have a window selected on that screen to make it happen. It can get rather annoying especially if you have a dedicated screen in a multi-display setup that you always use to bring up the start screen.
- Give desktop users the option to run MS Store apps in desktop windows
A feature I think almost every 8.1 user would greatly appreciate the most. Some stuff in the MS store is not that bad, is still growing, and would have great desktop implementations, such as the alarm clock. I get that window split feature kinda does this, putting a MS store app on one side of the screen and the desktop is on the other, but some users hate that on a true to life desktop setup. They hate it because why dedicate an entire vertical portion of the screen to a bloody alarm clock when it can just be a simply window floating on the desktop? I hate it more because it re-sizes the desktop squishing my Chrome browser to an undesirable size and re-arranged my desktop icons.
Yes, I know there is a 3rd party solution already to this (https://www.stardock.com/products/modernmix/), I just want to see native implementation. Also the native implementation wont cost you $5 like on some 3rd party solutions. Also from what I've seen with this solution from stardock, the native implementation would be more seamlessly integrated from a UI smoothness perspective.
...And the list is sure to grow as I discover more. Feel free to add your own suggestions from your user experience.