Is the Start UI Too Locked Down? Should Windows 9 Open Things Up A Bit More?

Over the last few years, we’ve seen two very different opinions evolve in regards to Windows 8. Some say that the new UI is the best thing to ever happen to Windows. Others say that it is pure evil reborn.

To be honest though, there are many other opinions that are shades of gray here.

Those who love Windows 8’s new UI, for example, could have very different reasons why. Maybe they like its touch-centric design. Others don’t use Metro but understand the desktop is improved and that appeals to them. Same goes for the haters of Windows 8. The reason for the hatred or distrust could certainly differ.

Personally I like Windows 8. While I am not bothered by at all by the new UI. One thing I do hope changes in Windows 9 is the nature of the new UI though.

What am I talking about? Start UI takes a page from Apple’s book. It is very locked down with only minor customizations allowed. You have just one store front, and that’s it.

Windows New UI Favors A Locked-Down Approach

I’m not sure if I like the “locked system” that Windows is moving towards. While the desktop is still very much the same open Windows we are used to– the new UI isn’t.

You might be thinking, “Yah, but you still have the desktop for those things”. That is true now, but I think in the long-run the desktop will eventually fade away and the START UI will simply become the entire Windows experience. Granted this is probably many years off.

This isn’t a criticism of the Windows Store, the full-screen experience or the way that charms work. I like all of it. I just wish that what you could do in the Windows new UI was more open to your control.

Finding a Compromise Point

We need to find a compromise point here. I understand that in many ways mobile operating systems need to be locked down to prevent malware issues like some users have ran into using third party store apps.

Still, the more locked down approach works fine for Windows Phone, but Windows 8 is a dual-OS for mobile and desktop efforts– so it needs to find the balance.

What that balance might look like, I’m not sure. Honestly, just added a deeper level of customization (backgrounds, deeper icon size adjustments, widgets, etc) would probably help a great deal.

Do you agree that Windows START UI is too locked down for a desktop OS? If so, what do you think would be some good changes in Windows 9 to help open things up a bit more?

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