Windows 10 Logo

Back in 2007 I decided to buy my first Mac. I’d heard for years about how OS X was better than Windows and I wanted to finally see for myself what all the fuss was about. Apple had just nicely got over their Intel CPU integration and OS X Leopard had just come out so it seemed like there was no better time.

I’ve always liked computers and the only thing I missed about Windows based PC’s was the hardware so in late 2014 I decided to build myself a gaming PC. Having now used this PC for almost a year and with the imminent arrival of Windows 10 I just wanted to take this opportunity to list some of the features I really hope they add / fix. These are generally small annoyances but when you are used to working with OS X they really can cause a great deal of wasted time.

Just as a little aside, I little update as of February 2016. I have now used Windows 10 since July 2015 and although the UI is a bit better these annoyances and bugs still remain.

So without further ado the list:- (in no particular order)

1. They’re my files!

File permissions, not being able to move a file or folder because Windows says its in use even though it isn’t. Having to quit the app or even restart to resolve.

2. Window Focus

Windows has a really annoying habit of placing crucial Windows explorer dialogues under the window in focus. This makes you think nothing is happening until you realise.

3. Where are my files?

Windows don’t always refresh. If you unzip a file for example it can appear that nothing has happened only for you to right click refresh to see the unzipped files.

4. Copy into a Folder, please!

Using the keyboard shortcut Command Shift C OS X will create a folder and insert a selected group of files. Windows doesn’t offer this and it’s a real time saver.

5. Drag and Drop and Copy?

Windows has a really confusing drag and drop system. In OS X this is consistent in Windows if you drag a file into a different folder it will move the file. This is expected but if you do the same and the folder you drag into is on a different drive it copies. Why?

6. Overbearing Shortcuts

I find this one infuriating. One of the best ways to get to your most commonly used files in Windows is to plaster them all over your Desktop. Although this does look a bit messy it gets the job done. The only problem though is that these shortcut files appear in open / save dialogues. This makes finding your files a real nightmare. Why would they do this?

7. Screen Grabs

Nearly on version 10 and we still have no convenient way to take screen shots. All we have is the Sniping Tool.

8. Lonely Notepad

I know Notepad is a very basic app but I still use it and I wish you could have more than one window open at a time.

Correction. I’ve obviously missed this one but if hold down shift you can launch multiple copies of any app on Windows. In every other app I’ve ever used this is usually File, New. Typical lack of consistency.

9. Forgetful Clipboard

The Windows clipboard seems to forget its contents from time to time. This invariably happens at the most inconvenient time.

10. Borrow Quick Look

With Windows 10 Microsoft seem to be borrowing quite a few ideas from OS X but in typical Microsoft fashion they are borrowing the weakest ones. One feature I really wish they would copy is Quick View. This is the ability to view the contents of any file by pressing the Space Bar.

My final wish isn’t down to Microsoft but I just wish there were some great third party developers creating software for Windows. For OS X we have great companies like Panic and Agilebits I could go on. For Windows we just seem to get ‘free’ software that wants to install a tool bar in my web browser 🙁

  • gordonrigg

    I use Skitch for screen grabs but I take your point, it should be in the OS.

    • richarddale

      Yes I use Skitch too, it shouldn’t be this way though 🙂

  • c0ppo

    I was a windows user since 3.11. First time tried out mac in 2009, and never looked back. But, since I have to use Visual Studio from time to time, I have parallels installed. And the windows UI is really annoying. Why does toolbar take so much space? Why aren’t shortcuts consistent ?

    Windows has come a long way. And it is way better then it once was. But I simply find to many small annoyances to switch again. And frankly, I see no reason to switch what so ever.

    • Richard Dale

      Totally agree with you my friend.