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Microsoft should make Windows UI open source

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  • User profile image
    TheTraveler

    If I remember correctly, the first beta of Windows Vista. included a public API for creating native UI themes for windows. It was removed in later releases was never included in the final version.

    Wouldn't this all start menu issue go away, if that feature was brought back? This would allow users to apply themes for Windows?

    It's code calling API's, so for sure, the UI layer could be public exposed and accessible again, allowing community and commercial created interfaces for Windows. I image it would be possible then to make the UI with a win 10 desktop and win 8.1 inspired tablet interface, that I would like, and you could have one you like and so on.

    Make Windows UI open source. Microsoft would have to maintain default theme, that you temporary could apply e.g. during system work or trouble shooting, but besides that, make the UI user created and this start menu debate would go away by itself?

  • User profile image
    Ian2

    What start menu debate?

  • User profile image
    TheTraveler

    Not debate. That issue, that many users are not truly happy with the current state of the UI in windows and if they could change part of it, they would.

    see here e.g
    Windows 10 Start menu replacements shifting like hot cakes
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/08/04/windows_10_start_menu_replacements_hot_cakes/

    And it is ok. How can you ever make a billion users agree on anything? So why not just then release it into the public in some secure fashion?

  • User profile image
    kettch

    The start menu is already infinitely customizable.

    See here: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/08/04/windows_10_start_menu_replacements_hot_cakes/

    If Microsoft tried to build into the start menu itself as much customization as people claim to want, it would make the codebase unmaintainable.

  • User profile image
    TheTraveler

    , kettch wrote

    If Microsoft tried to build into the start menu itself as much customization as people claim to want, it would make the codebase unmaintainable.

    You would not have that problem when using themes.

  • User profile image
    vesuvius

    @TheTraveler: With

    , TheTraveler wrote

    *snip*

    You would not have that problem when using themes.

    I have never ever seen an OS, Website or Software application that succeeded that allows people to theme it. 

    10 times out of 10 it looks atrocious. Microsoft have never needed to open source the menu, how do these guys do it?

  • User profile image
    figuerres

    , vesuvius wrote

    @TheTraveler: With

    *snip*

    I have never ever seen an OS, Website or Software application that succeeded that allows people to theme it. 

    10 times out of 10 it looks atrocious. Microsoft have never needed to open source the menu, how do these guys do it?

    I think of it like this:

    users should have options.

    but remember  the windows color set called "HotDog" !!

    and keep in mind the support guy on the phone who is trying to tell a user how to do something.

    if the UI of each PC running windows is different then it can rach a point where the tech can't help cause he has no idea what to tell you to do.

    so the upside to the lack of themes is that we can all agree on what we are looking at.

  • User profile image
    kettch

    , figuerres wrote

    *snip*

    I think of it like this:

    users should have options.

    but remember  the windows color set called "HotDog" !!

    Or the user who manages to set their foreground and background colors to be the same.

  • User profile image
    figuerres

    , kettch wrote

    *snip*

    Or the user who manages to set their foreground and background colors to be the same.

    LOL

    the inverse of the "HIGH CONTRAST" settings I guess ?

    let's see how the system looks with a pallet of 256 colors and 250 of them are all X the other 6 are x+i   like black and 6 shades of dark grey ....  :)

    Hey it's a new vision test  ....

     

    LOL

  • User profile image
    spivonious

    Themes are bad.

    Reason 1:

    Tech Support - "Click the red X in the upper right"

    Customer - "All I see is a green star in the center bottom."

     

    Reason 2:

    MySpace

  • User profile image
    bondsbw

    @spivonious

    Themes are bad unless you know what you're doing.

    I prefer that line of thought.  As a corollary:  Only make theming accessible to pro users.

    That said, I guess technically anyone with enough time and skill can go in and screw around with Windows and make it do practically anything they want, any way they want.  (For example, the developers at Stardock.)  I just don't have the time to do some of that, so I appreciate that they have provided a product for that purpose.  Perhaps Microsoft could find a way to make this easier without 3rd-party intervention, while keeping it strictly in the power user arena.

    (This same logic can be applied to anything that is optional; make it impractical for inexperienced users to screw up but make those settings accessible in some decent form to power users.)

  • User profile image
    bondsbw

    Oh and such options can come with a warning:

    Beta software; use at your own risk.

  • User profile image
    magicalclick

    I think that's a terrible idea to circumvent major OS usability functionality. It is going back to the same Sinofsky community mentality, "go deal with it by using 3rd party solution), instead of actually listen to user and deliver what customer wants.

    Leaving WM on 5/2018 if no apps, no dedicated billboards where I drive, no Store name.
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  • User profile image
    bondsbw

    @magicalclick:  So you are saying that Microsoft should directly support every little option any user can dream up, instead of working on making the platform more efficient, more secure, and provided with features that are of real value?

    Take that far enough, you might as well say that third party apps shouldn't exist, Microsoft should have just shipped with their capabilities built into the OS.  (Which if you recall Apple pretty much acted like they were doing that with the original iPhone... which of course didn't last long at all.)

  • User profile image
    magicalclick

    , bondsbw wrote

    @magicalclick:  So you are saying that Microsoft should directly support every little option any user can dream up, instead of working on making the platform more efficient, more secure, and provided with features that are of real value?

    Take that far enough, you might as well say that third party apps shouldn't exist, Microsoft should have just shipped with their capabilities built into the OS.  (Which if you recall Apple pretty much acted like they were doing that with the original iPhone... which of course didn't last long at all.)



    I don't understand why you ignore my "major".

    Leaving WM on 5/2018 if no apps, no dedicated billboards where I drive, no Store name.
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  • User profile image
    cheong

    @bondsbw: I doubt people will follow that.

    There is a number of Japanese anime producers and others (this includes Microsoft Japan) selling anime character themed Windows notebooks.

    Theming feature certainly is more Home-user oriented than Pro-users.

    Recent Achievement unlocked: Code Avenger Tier 4/6: You see dead program. A lot!
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  • User profile image
    bondsbw

    @magicalclick:  My bad.  But nothing I would label as "major" has been discussed on this thread, so what are you talking about?

  • User profile image
    magicalclick

    , bondsbw wrote

    @magicalclick:  My bad.  But nothing I would label as "major" has been discussed on this thread, so what are you talking about?




    I don't know. I thought he was taking about Start Menu.

    "this start menu debate would go away by itself?"

    I consider Start Menu "major".

    Leaving WM on 5/2018 if no apps, no dedicated billboards where I drive, no Store name.
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