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Windows Vista/Windows Server 2008: GUI Improvements Required

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Old 03-24-2008
Axel Dahmen
 

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Windows Vista/Windows Server 2008: GUI Improvements Required
Hi,

Evaluating Vista/Server 2008 for migration from W2k, W2k3, XP I noticed a
couple of drawbacks when using those OSs.

I've compiled the problems and put them all into one issue here instead of
creating separate issues for all of them.


-- 1 -- : Keyboard handling: It's very straining to use Vista/Server 2008 by
keyboard. It should by far be better supported, like in the previous Windows
versions. Current drawbacks are:

-- 1.1 -- : Common Dialog File Open/Save boxes are missing keyboard
shortcuts, e.g. for creating new folders (previously <ALT>+<F>-<W>-<F>).

-- 1.2 -- : Using Windows Explorer with the keyboard becomes horror:

-- 1.2.1 -- : Opening Windows Explorer (=WE) with <FLAG>+<E> gives focus to
the ListView instead of the TreeView control. So a reverse Tab <SHIFT>+<TAB>
is required to navigate the tree. (It's very uncommon that any action is
required at the "Computer" node, so TreeView navigation is usually *always*
the first thing to be done in Windows Explorer.)

-- 1.2.2 -- : Navigating the WE TreeView doesn't update the ListView. It's
required to hit the [RETURN] key to get the ListView updated. This makes
browsing quite awkward to do.

-- 1.2.3 -- : Tab sequence in WE is very strange! Usually, switching focus
between TreeView and ListView is just a one-tab sequence (you just have to
press the <TAB> key once). But after hitting [RETURN] on the TreeView, the
ListView becomes 4 <TAB> hits away!

-- 1.3 -- : SQL Server 2005 Management Studio doesn't provide a quick "Open
Database Connection" shortcut (previously <CTRL> + <O>, now only
<F8>-<ALT>+<V> [on German version])

-- 1.4 -- : Internet Explorer 7 doesn't provide a shortcut for setting focus
to the address bar (formerly <ALT>+<D>). So it's very hard to correct typos
after hitting [RETURN]. (Awkward, but yet best workaround: <CTRL>+<E> -
<SHIFT>+<TAB> - <SHIFT>+<TAB>)

-- 1.5 -- : The new Start menu is very unhandy.
Just mentioning it to keep the classic view available in future Windows
versions: I've traditionally arranged my (classic) start menu tree in a way
to quickly reach any program by simply pressing the <FLAG> key plus the first
letter of a Start menu entry to finally reach a program entry (e.g.
<FLAG>-<P>-<O>-<W> which is "Programs - Office - Word 2003" ...or...
<FLAG>+<P>+<D>+<8>+<S> which is "Programs - Development Tools - 8_Visual
Studio 2005 - S_Visual Studio"). (This is more easy to do in German than in
English because of default entries starting with the same letter in English
[e.g. "Accessories/Administrative Tools"]). So I'll stick to the classic
Start menu version.


-- 2 -- : Copy File dialog doesn't provide useful information. Even after
updating Vista to SP1, the Copy File dialog still doesn't display which file
currently is copied. So when copying large files the user can't tell which
file is currently copied and, thus, isn't free for use.


-- 3 -- : Color Schema: Hover color is (almost) same as selection color. So
it's hard to tell if an entry has been selected of if the mouse pointer is
just hovering above a ListView entry in WE.


-- 4 -- : Back button in WE doesn't provide a history list. So it's
impossible to go back in history and skip a recently visited folder that
might have become unavailable.

-- 5 -- : WE and Common Dialogs are missing "Navigate to parent node"
functionality.

Thanks for taking the time and eventually forwarding my concerns/suggestions
to the Vista/Server 2008 group.

Axel Dahmen
www.axeldahmen.com

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