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Windows/ Linux GUI
26th Jan, 2015

As a windows user these are my thoughts on the GUI, and the up and coming windows 9, erm, 10. Currently I use windows 7, though this is more due to a lack of compelling reason to upgrade. I do no mind windows 8 or 8.1 once the start menu is added back in, and if I was buying a new PC I would use it, thought the interface is not perfect. There seems to be a drive to change the GUI for windows. I suppose this is because windows 7’s GUI would be a little fiddly for smaller devices (which are very popular) and it’s getting a little old. I think Microsoft wants a new way of doing this, fresh and bright. So they came up with windows 8 which is really nothing more than exploding the start menu all over the screen to make the icons big enough for fingers on small screens.

Soon windows 10 will be out, and I hope they add the start menu back, but if they really want to change it up I think there is a rich resource they can mine for the layout of the GUI: wed pages.

Let me explain. OS and their GUI develop very slowing compared to the massive turnover or website design. All websites need to be easy and quick to navigate else businesses lose money. It’s kind like evolution for the internet, certain characteristics of design win out and prove popular. Most websites now have good navigation, with clear, top of the page, categories with drop down menus. I think this would make a good basis of a GUI for an OS as it is proven to be quick and seeing as everyone is used to seeing it: intuitive and second nature. They also collapse down to lists for use on mobile phones. Kills two birds with one stone, and no changes needed to the GUI for either.

I put together a rough concept of what I am talking about here: ‘mofo os

Seems simple enough.

I would also like Ubuntu (my fav Linux distro) or an Ubuntu derivative use this. I think the unity interface wastes space and is a bit awkward.

Off topic – isolate apps (make all programs ‘portable’)

As for the task bar at the bottom: I’m also a fan of PortableApps.com. I think windows should isolate programs (applications/ apps or whatever you want to all them) into something like a portable version. Not so much for being portable, but more for ‘isolation’ so that if windows dies and needs to be reinstalled all your personal data is safe and quick to re-access (or move to another machine if you have it). It also makes backing up your programs and data very easy as it’s one drive, and you know it’s going to work.

Encryption

It’s also makes it easy to encrypt the drive for extra safety (Veracrypt), and you can encrypt all of it as it’s all in one place. It would make windows more of a foundation platform that runs the ‘portable’ or rather ‘isolated’ programs and personal data. It would be cool that if set up like this that the windows OS did not record any data about the isolated programs. In effect the portable version is like your whole profile – then the dream would be to make it cross platform were a program can run native code for a given OS, but tap the same user data (that all the versions of the program would share). For example Firefox would use the windows version for windows, and Linux version for Ubuntu, but both would use the same profile.

This would also make removing a user from a system, and banning their future access very simple, as the portable profile and therefore all the programs and data could be blocked. This would also mean that the banned user does not loose anything and can take their drive back to their own system with no damage.

So while my OS GUI does not have a start button, it would have a PortableApps start button over on the right of the bottom task bar.

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