Five things Microsoft needs to do to make Windows 10 better

Windows 10 is working well for most people, but that’s not to say there still isn’t room for improvement. Here are our top five missing features.

Love it or loathe it, Windows 10 is here to stay.

The general consensus is that Windows 10 is a success and it’s certainly a huge improvement over Windows 8. That’s not to say it’s perfect, of course, and there are still plenty of problems to iron out when it comes to getting it to work as expected.

Thankfully, Microsoft’s new approach of regular automatic updates means that any remaining Windows 10 wrinkles should be ironed out in short order, as well as bigger, major updates such as the Anniversary Update which included some new features.

Bug fixes are one thing, though, but what about fixing the features that are supposedly working as intended? Here are five of our biggest complains with Windows 10 that we’d love Microsoft to address.

  1. Sort out the Start menu

Windows users worldwide breathed a huge sigh of relief when they discovered Windows 10 would come with a Start menu, but it’s not a perfect implementation.

Microsoft did improve the Start Menu in the Anniversary Update but there’s still some work needed.

The Live Tiles aren’t to everyone’s taste, but they’re easily hidden to create a more streamlined Start menu. The problem then is that there’s no way to customise the list of apps that appear.

  1. One interface to rule them all — please?

Microsoft has done a pretty good job of combining the bizarre split personality of Windows 8 into a single interface in Windows 10, but there are still some areas where things just don’t gel.

Above complaints aside, the Start menu works well (if you like Live Tiles), but the Control Panel is still a bit of a car crash. Any by ‘Control Panel’, we mean ‘Settings’ — err, or do we?

In fact there’s both a Control Panel and a Settings screen in Windows 10, though we’re not sure why. Settings is accessed from the Start menu and controls commonly used features. ‘Controls’ is a charitable term, though — just go to Start > Settings > Devices > Printers & scanners to see how much control you have over your printer from there…

Control Panel is hidden on the Start button’s right-click menu and is much more useful. But it still looks much like the Control Panel from Windows XP, which sticks out a bit next to Windows 10’s otherwise slick design.

  1. Come back colour, all is forgiven

‘Slick design’ is open to interpretation, of course, and we’re not huge fans of the flat and colourless parts of Windows 10. Even enabling all the colour options under Settings > Personalisation has little effect on Explorer windows and other parts of the interface, which all lack any kind of personality as a result.

Microsoft did something similar with Office 2013, whose bland white interface looked like the programmers had run out of time. Thankfully, Office 2016 has largely fixed the problem and so hopefully Microsoft will put some similar colour back into Windows 10’s cheeks before too long.

  1. Family settings need fixing

Windows 10 has a wide range of sophisticated features for managing multiple user accounts for other adults and children in a household, along with parental controls to help ensure kids stay safe online.

The problem is that to use any of them, you need to provide an email address for each user. That’s fine for anyone who uses email, but we doubt many PC-using six-year olds are signed up for their own email accounts. Even those that are won’t be likely to click the link in the email they’re then sent asking them to confirm they knew account details.

  1. Media Centre is missing

Although people who are really interested in such things tend to use other software to power their living room PCs, Windows Media Centre was a handy freebie for those who didn’t want to spend all their spare time fiddling with a computer under the telly.

‘Was’ being the operative word here, since Microsoft removed Media Centre from Windows 10 and there so far no way to restore it. We suspect Media Centre was used widely enough to merit the overhaul needed for Windows 10 and while there are similar third-party alternatives, none work quite so seamlessly as Microsoft’s. At least Media Player is still there — much to the relief of anyone who’s confused about the two apps.