Obvious Microsoft Product Flaws

on June 23rd, 2013 by Matt | No Comments »

For those who don’t already know, I’m a huge Microsoft fan. However, there are some flaws where even I sometimes think “did they even test this from a user’s standpoint?” Obviously Microsoft does do a lot of testing, but sometimes.. they overlook the smallest and most important things. Below is a listing of many small functions/bugs I’ve seen from everyday use among many of their products that should have been fixed long ago.

Xbox 360 & Xbox Live

  • Metro Dashboard – ads, ads, ads, even for people who pay for Live – I mean really?!
  • Xbox Guide – takes at least 4+ seconds to load, when it should be instant – complete hell in multiplayer
  • You need Live to use Internet Explorer – who would pay to use a freaking web browser
  • Need Live to use YouTube – fine, I’ll just watch on my phone, tablet, pc or push it via Leanback to my Smart TV for free
  • Separate subscriptions for Xbox Music, Skype Premium, Foxtel/Netflix, etc, even when you have Live

Windows 7

  • So many pre-XP icons within Control Panel menus
  • The Control Panel is a mess of dialogs and windows – David Taraso showed this off really well here during the Windows 7 Taskforce days
  • Dialogs stealing focus when you’re typing – so you accidentally say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ without realising what it’s for
  • No multi-monitor taskbar support – people had been using multiple monitors and 3rd party tools for years beforehand
  • UAC screen fadeout – shouldn’t have to disable all usability to allow the user to confirm running a program

Windows Phone 8

  • Lack of Notification Centre – back in 2010 when WP7 was released everyone requested this, and yet we won’t be getting it until late 2013
  • 3G Video Calling – such an obvious feature that every Symbian phone has had for years, I shouldn’t have to use Skype for this
  • Inability to choose a custom text tone – WHY? All the existing ones are either bad or quiet
  • Scaling – resolution wise, text is the same on phones with tiny and large screens – we as users should be able to decide
  • Ability to set nicknames as a default name display – I can’t show my dad on my phone as ‘Dad,’ instead it shows his full name
  • The sync tool is horrible – what happened to the awesome Zune client? Even Windows Media Player does a better job. Most notable issue with the Sync Tool is song duplication – you get 2x of all songs
  • No native DLNA/Xbox play-to within the Music+Videos app – I would have expected this to exist
  • No official Remote Desktop tool – your own product
  • Can’t link two Windows Live accounts into one contact – if you didn’t know, many people have secondary accounts
  • Skype integration isn’t really integrated – for Skype contacts to show in People, you have to have the Skype app, and even then it only syncs their name and not their profile picture or other contact details
  • Hardware search button currently sends you to Bing instead of searching within the app – that was a killer feature in early WP7 days!
  • On the ‘downloads’ page, progress is shown by a bar – however, it’d be nice if it also included a progress count (30mb/50mb downloaded) and speed if requested by the user (and a ‘launch when dowloaded’ or a notification like in Windows 8)

Windows RT & Windows 8

  • No DLNA sharing to non-Samsung/Xbox (read: Microsoft certified) products – not even my LG Smart TV
  • Random bouts of high disk usage from the ‘System’ process – at least explain what’s going on here!
  • Xbox Music is a piece of crap – why didn’t you guys just port Zune or even Windows Media Player?
  • Facebook constantly freezes on Metro IE – everyone I’ve spoken to has complained about it
  • Users should be able to manually decide exactly how many tiles they want to see (vertically) – it shouldn’t just be defined by resolution
  • Unable to customize non-App Store tiles – instead we’re stuck with a 32px icon and the label, coloured based on theme settings
  • Win+X menu – not only is it a basic context menu rather than something fancy, it is also not very customizable – usually requires some sort of registry change just to add/remove entries
  • No ‘quick switch’ for audio devices – I’d like to be able to quickly switch main audio between my usb headset and usb speakers
  • Can’t ‘link’ stereo mix and microphone into a custom source natively – need a third party program like Virtual Audio Cables (which isn’t free)

Windows Live Messenger -> Skype

  • The Windows Live Messenger client was way better than the Skype client ever has been
  • The transition has been messy so far – duplicate users, contacts disappearing, and more
  • Skype doesn’t close when you hit ‘Close’ – instead it minimises and hides in the notification area (I thought Microsoft already said applications are not supposed to be in there?)

Windows Live Domains

  • No wildcard custom email addresses – can’t make *@wizardcm.com redirect all emails to matt[at]wizardcm.com for example
  • Requires a lot of initial configuration – can’t just point a domain with a single DNS entry and be done with it

Games for Windows Client

  • Unless in a game, cannot access friends list
  • Like the Xbox 360 Guide button, takes at least 4 seconds to load

Xbox Music

  • Horribly inaccurate content ID matching – keeps thinking covers by Tiffany Alvord and the other 20 YouTubers I listen to are the originals – when they’re very clearly not