For 30 years, Microsoft Windows has been the platform of the computing revolution. At one point, over 90% of the world’s devices ran Windows, a position it held until the rise of Android. It still dominates the PC market, with versions running on tablets and other devices. And while the list of Windows innovations is a long one, there are some things it still hasn’t quite gotten right. Hopefully, there are teams at Microsoft working to bring some of these wish list items to the future of Windows.
Faster Windows Updates
I shudder to think how much of my life I’ve given up waiting for Windows updates. With Microsoft trying to make Windows 10 more of a service, it seems like the updates are only growing. People routinely wait hours for Windows PCs to restart after updates are run.
I understand the technical challenges of creating an operating system that works with an infinite number of hardware configurations and applications. After all of this time, you’d think there was some way to make the whole thing more transparent. In any case, killing an hour waiting for a PC to reboot for updates seems ridiculous, especially considering that a clean install of Windows takes much less time.
Quicker Startup and Shutdown
Why does it take so long for Windows to start up, and even longer for it to turn off? For the most part, when someone buys a PC, their hardware configuration isn’t going to change. Yes, too many applications are trying to install too many updates, and Microsoft can’t control that (or can they?). But, there should be better controls in place to ensure that any Windows device can start and turn-off quickly.
This is a newer one. Most ransomware works by encrypting your files and then coercing you into paying to get them back. This is criminal activity and, in most cases, even paying the ransom doesn’t recover your lost data.
There really isn’t any legit reason why some application on a PC should be encrypting large numbers of files. Can’t there be something baked into the operating system that prevents any encryption of files? Considering how painful it can be to deal with User Account Control to install legit stuff, it sure seems easy for any two-bit hacker to install and run a program to encrypt an entire hard drive without Windows even noticing.
For that matter, why can so much stuff be installed so under the radar? With all of the anti-malware, anti-virus and other applications designed to remove stuff you don’t want, there is a massive business in cleaning up infected PCs. But, why does this happen in the first place? Why is it so easy for someone to click on an attachment in an email, or a bad link on a website, and immediately infect their PC? There should be some way for the operating system to simply prevent anything from being installed that isn’t on an approved whitelist of applications.
All of these are easier said than done. But with billions of dollars at stake, making Windows faster to work with, and more difficult to corrupt, should be primary goals for the world’s largest software company.