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Windows 8 has gone poorly. A negative reception left many unconvinced, dropping the adoption rate and slowing sales. Windows 8 did nothing to convince people of the PC’s viability in a market moving toward mobile.

Microsoft needs to make up some ground with the next version of its operating system. It needs to sell a skeptical public on its one-OS vision of the future. It needs to put out a killer version of Windows 9.

If I could have anything in the next version of Windows, here’s what I’d like.

5 Features We’d Love to See in Windows 9

Better Metro Apps

The Windows Store (and most other platforms) is in sorry shape. Most people don’t even bother with it.

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Windows gets tons of development, but most of it is outside the store. Why bother putting up with Microsoft’s 30% cut of sales when your users will probably get them anyway?

Microsoft needs a new way to convince developers to get onboard with their new store for their users.

A Windows Store with lots of apps could benefit most users. One place to download new content, get updates, and make sure that program you’re running is safe? Yes, please. As long as I can still install stuff from outside of the store.

Less Metro, Please

Windows 8’s new UI could have gone over so much more smoothly if Microsoft had just added an option to turn off the Metro.

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It doesn’t even have to be advertised or easy to find, like boot-to-desktop. Just put an option somewhere in the Control Panel to avoid Metro entirely.

Power users just want the old Windows back, and this would go a long way toward cutting down on the complaints.

Better Xbox Integration

Microsoft is working on unifying its systems under one Xbox brand with Xbox Music and the like. It’s a smart move, given the company’s only successful consumer product is the Xbox.

Redmond tried adding more connectivity with Games for Windows Live. However, as any PC gamer could tell you, GFWL proved unpopular and ineffective.

Instead of hamstringing PC games with unnecessary DRM, add some cool apps to Windows 9. Something to chat over Xbox Live or sit in parties. Something to find and add friends. Something to buy games or set them to download on your Xbox.

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Basically, make the Steam app for Xbox Live. Let Windows 9 users do everything from other platforms except play the game itself.

Better Performance

Here’s something Microsoft will almost certainly do. Windows 7 and 8 both arrived with improved performance. Windows 8.1 in particular boots up incredibly quickly. Even with all the UI shenanigans, the OS’s core gets faster and faster.

Microsoft, don’t stop. Keep doing what you’re doing. Make Windows 9 run faster and perform even better and users will thank you for it.

Just Kill Windows RT Already

It tried. I’ll give Microsoft that. It tried to convince people to buy into Windows RT, the ARM-only version of its new OS.

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However, users just weren’t sold on the idea of no desktop mode and no legacy apps. It wasn’t really Windows.

So please, stop. Give us all the version of Windows that has the features we want. Don’t confuse users with another version. They’ll just be mad later when it’s not what they want.

Final Thoughts

Here’s hoping Microsoft can produce something great. PCs are awesome, and more competition always benefits consumers. Good luck with Windows 9.