It is already known that Microsoft is working hard on the next version of Windows. It’s currently in the early planning and engineering stages under the codename “Next Valley” and is targeting a shipping window of late 2024. So, with more than two years to go before “Windows 12” is expected to ship, we wanted to share what we hope Microsoft will focus on for the next release.
Now, before we begin, we must point out that we do not know the name of the next version of Windows. Microsoft doesn’t even know we’re so far away from setting this sort of thing in stone. For the sake of simplicity, we refer to it as Windows 12, as this will be the next release chronologically after Windows 11. But it may end up being called anything!
Windows runs on all kinds of hardware, from high-end workstations and gaming PCs to low-cost, low-power educational PCs designed to be as affordable as possible at the cost of power and performance. The Windows ecosystem is vast with some of the best Windows laptops and PCs, so it doesn’t make sense for Windows to currently offer a “one product fits all” strategy.
With Windows 12, we think Microsoft should start tweaking Windows as a product depending on the device you’re trying to run it on. If you’re running Windows 12 on a competitor’s device to a lower-end Chromebook, it should expand to better serve that device. Does an education-focused low-cost computer need a Widgets board? phone link? Xbox integration? Mostly not. Let’s take it out and save valuable storage space on computers where it makes sense.
This may extend to the application compatibility layer. Not all users and devices need the full scope of application compatibility. If Microsoft can extend application support between “full,” which would include everything Windows runs today, all the way to nothing but web apps. This could help lower-cost devices, especially in the ARM space, which are designed to act as a gateway to the Internet.
This can help reduce system resources and operating system footprint on low-power computers, which means they will run faster and provide a much better experience for the end user. They tried to achieve this with Windows Core OS, but unfortunately, that effort was scrapped.
Chrome OS is proof that a lightweight, web-focused operating system can work. So it’s time Microsoft designed a version of Windows that it could shrink to compete with it.
Better lock screen
Thinking of the areas of the Windows UI that need an update, the lock screen hasn’t been touched since Windows 8. Functionally, it doesn’t do much. It tells you the time, and the user can configure it to only show one type of notification from an app, such as a calendar or weather. It is hardly useful.
Fixing the lock screen should be Windows 12’s highest bill. Improve it with support for more notifications to see what I’ve missed without having to sign in first. The same goes for taking notes, whether with a digital pen or with a mouse and keyboard.
More dynamic user interface
This aligns with the scalability suggestion above, but it would be nice if Windows 12 was more dynamic and adaptive to the type of hardware you’re using from a user interface perspective. The current desktop UI of Windows 11 is excellent for mouse and keyboard users, but we think it might be better for other form factors like tablets.
So why not build a custom tablet UI for tablets? A special experience designed only for those using Windows on touch-only devices. Windows 11 has a touch user interface, but the desktop user experience is “adapted” to work better with your finger. We want a complete redesign of the Windows user interface for a touch-first experience.
Windows 8, for all its faults, had an excellent user interface for touch-only devices. It was fast, smooth and beautiful. We’re not asking to bring back the start screen or bring back live tiles, we support the idea of a radical touch-only UI, however Just For tablets this time. Don’t try to force it on non-touch PCs only, Microsoft.
The dynamic user interface extends to other areas of the ecosystem as well. Why not build a custom game mode that works well with an Xbox console? Similar to Steam’s “Big Picture Mode” but for Windows as a whole. You can borrow the Xbox Dashboard user interface, adapt it for PC use, and bring it up automatically when the PC detects that a controller has been detected.
Better integration with your Android phone
Windows 11 already does a great job of linking your Android phone to your PC using the Phone Link app, but we want more. For now, the Phone Link experience feels like an app running on top of Windows, because that’s what it is. We want Phone Link to integrate with the Windows experience, integrating phone information and details with the Windows shell for a seamless experience.
For example, I should be able to access my Android phone’s notification center from the taskbar. I should be able to see quick stats about my phone’s battery life, signal, and other vital info, all from the Windows system tray. I don’t have to go into an app first to do this.
I want the same level of integration that Apple users enjoy between the Mac and iPhone, something Intel is working on with Unison. Outside of viewing photos, I don’t want to be forced to use an app to access my phone from a Windows PC. It should be part of the system, just like it is on a Mac.
I’d also like to see more in-depth ways of integration, like having an Office document or email delivered from my phone to my PC, or vice versa, with the click of a button. Or it could be automatic, using the cloud to identify when I’m active within an app on my phone or computer and provide a prompt on the other device to pick up where I left off.
Of course, we’d also like to see updates to our overall quality of life, too. Things like faster Windows Update, security updates, and other general platform improvements should be on the agenda. We’re still a long way from the next version of Windows, so let’s hope we can sway Microsoft into considering some of these ideas.
(Opens in a new tab)
minimum: After six long years, Microsoft is back with a the new The version of Windows featuring an updated design, new features, and renewed interest in updating the desktop UX at the expense of some classic Windows functionality.
#Windows #important #version #Windows #succeed