Windows 8.1 Development Team IAmA On Reddit Summary Part-2

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Windows 8.1 Startscreen

I’ve collected most of the replies from Windows development team on Reddit during their IAmA. Read them below. There is a part-1 as well, you can read it here.

Regarding Password Management in Windows 8.1:

Hi oshindx – we overhauled the password detection logic in IE11. With Win 8.1 you should see a dramatic improvement in your sites being recognized and passwords saved. You can also see all of your stored sites in the Settings/Accounts, and you can choose to have these credentials roamed across your Win8.1 devices so you don’t have to remember a password once you enter it on one of your PCs.

Regarding Storage Spaces error ” The Specified Size Is Not Valid”:

Well you’ve wound up the whole StorageSpaces team. They’re working on reproing your issue right now to debug. I might not have info right away, but it’s being actively investigated.

Regarding Notification Center and Battery Percentage UI:

Hi bighotdogforurhoney, Notification center is something we’ve talked a lot about, and I kind of have to leave it at that for now :) . Battery percentage in the modern UI was a pet passion of a member of my team. It’s on the list to discuss in the future!

Customizing Start Screen:

Hi Pandion. The “customize” button in the app bar actually is for moving in and out of the mode to customize your Start screen, not for changing a specific tile. Additional tile customization options is definitely something that’s been discussed and is on the list to look at for the future.

Local account link option:

As for the local account link – we tried a lot of iterations of this screen. Ultimately users consistently found it difficult to understand the difference between a local account and connected account. We optimized our design around connected account because of the much higher user satisfaction once they enable that feature. On screen help will go away once you’ve seen it. We felt it was important for users to see it once, and once you use it it’s gone. During development we all install a new build of Windows every day, so Windows engineers literally had to see the help every single day!

Any way to revert back to Windows 8 Search?

There is not a way to revert to Windows 8 search. If you would like to search within an app, you can go in the app to do so directly.

Are there any plans for Microsoft to build the Windows equivalent to the Newsstand and iBooks apps found on iOS? It’d be nice to not have to rely on Kindle, etc.

Definitely on the radar and something we’re working on!

When can the store be searchable from the web like other platforms?

Good q. We’re working on that. Stay tuned.

Regarding Search Experience in Windows 8.1:

In Windows 8.1 we set out to bring the best of Windows search together with the best of web search, all in one place. The user doesn’t need to think about where an app, document on your PC, photo on SkyDrive, or a website lives they can just swipe in or start typing and find it.

The pane allows the user to have a lightweight experience available from anywhere in the system without switching your context (not requiring you to go to Start) that enables quick commanding (find and launch an app, document, or setting), task completion (play a song), or initiate a web search.

In your specific case, you can still start typing on Start for an app, it will come up at the top of the pane and you can just hit enter to launch.

 I have to manage IEAK for previous versions on the network. Our corporate standard is IE8, but I’m on IE10.

For your IE question, thanks – this is good feedback. The IEAK is designed to run with the version of IE you have on your system. The best work around is to run a VM with the OS/IE version you want to target and use the IEAK from there.

Will we be seeing an update to the Compatibility Center for consumers to identify compatible Wireless Display devices? (Miracast):

Great idea – I can say that we’re working closely with the hardware vendors (and TV manufacturers that have it built in) to ensure you will have a great experience. I love the one I have – great way to play games on a big screen or quickly share photos (or PowerPoint if your daughter wants to make a pitch for a family dog:))

When will it be possible to pin music albums to my Start screen like I can on Windows Phone? Would love to be able to do this!

We are working on pinning. In addition to pinning albums and playlists, we’ve got a lot of great improvements in the works for Xbox Music on Windows. In fact, the team hopes to release much more frequent updates.

Regarding Address bar placement in IE

hey toaster1 – Acknowledging your feedback on address bar placement in IE. We debate this a lot on the team. Certainly touch is a factor. Whether you are on touch or not, the most important pixels on the screen are at the top and websites use the top for essential commanding and experiences. We decided to optimize for your web sites first, putting the “chrome” of the browser second.

About Author

Pradeep, a Computer Science & Engineering graduate.