I have been studying how different operating systems manage windows, and the add-ons that are available for Windows.
I feel that Windows has stagnated very much with how it handles... well, application containers, over the years and also the desktop.
I have already been to the "what do you want from the next fences" and after a while I realized that I want a new windows manager and a better start menu.
I had joined the rebellion when Windows went from 7 to 8. Now I am exploring the start menu in Windows 10.
The start menu nowadays allows the following things that I have been asking for:
1) a way to access high importance folders and applications 2) without disturbing the current windows on my screen. With Macs, you can push aside your windows, open a desktop item, and get your windows back. I found a single windows 10 add-on that replicates this, but performance was rough.
The Windows 10 Start Menu gives me a place to stick my high importance stuff and a way to access that stuff without disturbing my current windows. It even has folders I can fill with my icons like iOS devices do!
My remaining requirements from the windows 10 start menu would be more flexibility in how the icons are arranged and presented (color coding, larger sizes, free placement of icons. A case for this, backed by user interface studies, is that it is much easier to find and click on something that is on the edge of the screen than anywhere else.) The current Win 10 start menu orders your items top to bottom, then the next column. It is as if your desktop were set to "auto arrange".
2) another problem that I currently have with Windows is a way to effectively use my space. I have a 42" 4k monitor, but I still find myself with a single large app in the center of the screen with my references around the borders. It doesn't work very well for me, as the border apps aren't quite small enough to function with the space they have, and also it is difficult to arrange these apps so that they do not overlap each other.
A solution to this problem might be a way to create a semi-docked window state for them, where they are big enough for me to select them from the border and to show me pertinent information while in the border. I can expand them at will when I need to focus on them, then "dock" them back into the border. I imagine that this could be done using the same technology used to create "live" app thumbnails used in the Win 10 taskbar and when using the new Task View.
I am a learning programmer, and I'd try this myself if I knew enough about manipulating the Windows Desktop, but I think Stardock is in a better position to turn this into a real product.
If anyone has read this far, I'd love to hear ideas about how to better use my large monitor and desktop.