Windows Wish List, Part 5

19. Provide an option in Windows Explorer to NOT auto-sort new files
In Windows XP, if you sorted files in a folder by name, and then you performed a task (such as unzipping a .ZIP file in that folder) that resulted in new files being created in the same folder, all the new files would automatically appear at the bottom of the view, making it easy to identify and manipulate just the new files.  But in Windows Vista, the same sort and actions result in the view auto-sorting the new files into their alphanumeric positions in the view, making it impossible to see and manipulate just the new files without having to go change the sort order to sort by date.  Please provide an option in Windows Explorer to NOT auto-sort new files, to match the old convenient Windows XP behavior that everyone is used to.
20. Redesign Windows Explorer so that no show-stopping messages interrupt batch operations
In Windows XP, if you initiate a copy or move of a bunch of files and then walk away from the computer, the operation will probably not be done when you come back.  Instead, you are likely to see some kind of show-stopping pedantic warning or confirmation dialog that stopped the process midway through the batch.  Please redesign Windows Explorer to perform all such checks and issue all such dialogs up-front, before the copy process begins, rather than bringing them up midway through the operation.  Or even better, also provide an option in Windows Explorer to turn off such dialogs and instead "always overwrite" or "always say yes".  That way the user can queue up a lengthy operation and go away from the computer while it works with the confidence that when they come back it will have succeeded.
21. Lock the mouse to only the monitor(s) that are displaying full-screen DirectX or Direct3D content
In Windows XP, if you have multiple monitors configured, and then you launch a full-screen DirectX or Direct3D game on the primary monitor, you can still move the mouse cursor off the primary monitor and onto one of the other monitors.  If you then click a mouse button, it causes the desktop to focus, which rips you out of the game and forces the game to minimize to the taskbar.  This is particularly obnoxious when you’re playing a full-screen game that utilizes the mouse, because the odds are high of the player accidentally moving the mouse just beyond the edge of the screen and clicking.  This problem is so bad that other programs (such as "MouseJail") have been written by and for gamers to "trap" the mouse onto the primary monitor to work around the problem.  That’s ridiculous — the OS should perform that job automatically to prevent this issue from happening.
22. Make the whole concept of user accounts and security more obvious and intuitive
Most casual computer users don’t even understand the concept of user accounts.  They don’t even understand that when they are at the desktop, they are "logged in", and they don’t understand what "logged in" means.  Now that Vista has implemented proper user-account-based security, users get even more confused.  How can they possibly understand why some things require running as "an administrative user account" when they don’t even know what a user account is?
Windows needs to do a better job of explaining the whole concept of user accounts to users and making them more aware of how they work.  For example, a person should never be able to use the computer without choosing their user account and logging in — no more "autologin" to relieve users of that task.  This will also go a long way toward addressing the problem of users forgetting their passwords, because the more frequently they are forced to use their password, the better they will remember it. 
The login screen should have some explanatory text that explains what a "user account" is and what "logging in" is, and why they are necessary.  And once the user is logged in and at the desktop, the taskbar really needs an ever-present indicator explicitly explaining something to the effect of, "You are logged in as DOMAIN/username," so that users understand that whenever they are at the desktop, they are logged in.
23. Internet Explorer tabbing drag-and-drop
I want the ability to drag a tab from one IE window to another IE window.  I should also be able to drag a tab from inside IE to a web shortcut on my desktop, or into any other text control as a URL.
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One Response to Windows Wish List, Part 5

  1. Jared says:

    Re: #23… What’s really funny is that IE almost gets this right, too…  You can drag the icon that’s at the left edge of the URL/address bar, and drop it on the desktop (where it becomes a link) or on another IE window (where it opens the link, alas, not in a new tab).

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