Windows 8.1 feedback (mostly, Cortana and her associated actions/ features)


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Apr 15, 2014
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Overall, I am pleased with the Windows 8/ 8.1 OS, hence, why I have less to say on it (that's a good thing). I really like that they have finally added a background option...and one that is viewable through tiles, unlike their original tile model platform system (the Xbox 360/ Xbox One). However, there are still a few things that would please me to see.

First, the Windows bits;

1. I'm still waiting for that file browser option, it sucks that I cannot browse, on some sites, from my phone to the pictures directory and/ or browse to my phone's various media directories...not to mention, the still MIA downloads folder.
2. It appears the update has scattered my games within the apps list. This I do not like. I liked having my games nice and tidy, within my Games app...completely separate my daily's just more to scroll through.
3. I also wish we had control over the colors of the green Xbox/ Smartglass/ Music etc. icons. I don't care for the green with some of my theme choices and that they lack opacity/ transparency.

Cortana/ reminders/ notifications (I understand that it is still beta);

First off, I do understand she is very early into Beta, so these are the things I think would be neat to see...down the road.

1. First, of course, is she sounds mostly like the original Windows voice assist system, but renamed to Cortana...and not like Jen Taylor so much...but I reserve the fact, that maybe all of her audio files haven't made it aboard yet.

2. Feature-wise, I wish she had a voice alert option for reminders, alarms and phone calls...if you schedule a reminder, she only uses the default notification tone and there is no option in the list of tones/ chimes for Cortana. It would feel more "personal assistant-like." My team lead, at work, has one of the competing assistants and I constantly hear her uttering, "Your wife is trying to reach you," or "your daughter is trying to reach you." It's really cool!

3. Where is she? A separate app for the "Halo-heads" would eventually be awesome. Have 343 develop some animations that tie into what she is saying for lock screen/ foreground viewing.

4. Speaking of lock screen, you cannot currently access Cortana from there, nor while the display is off, for things like; directions, temperature, weather and other things that she could just read off to you.

5. The idea that she replies via text, if you text a question to her and via voice, if you voice questions to her...not true. As of right now, she feels exclusively and only like a Bing search tool, than an assistant...especially and again, considering that she does not personally(? lol) notify of much at this time.

6. A "Teach Cortana To Say" option NEEDS to be added to various files/ album wife, the other day, said "Play Kasabian (Kah-Say-Bee_in), Cortana said, "Playing Ka-saa-bee-in." LOL It was both, impressive that she did, but funny that she butchered the name.

7. Options are needed to tag your relationship to those in your contacts/ inner circle. As of now, I only see an option in the People contact list, to mark someone your significant other e.g. no Father, daughter etc. Although, the Inner Circle options gives you the ability to tag them as such, but it doesn't seem to count for anything as of yet.

8. Reminders should contain the ability to be set up for both, "location" and a specific time and not for one or the other. I would not, for example, want to be reminded to check the company voicemail at 7:30AM, if I am not in the office/ am at home.

9. A Cortana voice for Drive app or's great that Cortana can call up directions and the drive app, but it's weird that it transitions over to another voice, when Cortana should be quite capable of navigation...I suspect a Microsoft drive app may be produced, however.

10. The ability to change your news feed source to MSN or other...not FOX!

11. Cortana calcuations - let's face it, Cortana is supposed to know numbers, it'd be great if you could ask her "what's the square root of 28" and get "the square root of 28 is 5.29150262. It would just be a nice embellishment...the same with things like, the periodic table "What's the atomic number/ element name for copper?" etc.

Overall, I think we're all waiting for a smart and sassy Cortana and again, I suspect it's probably already on the charts. It would just be awesome to get to the point, where, just prior to leaving the door, Cortana is commenting on how hot/ cold it is, traffic reports etc. and the ability to scale up/ down her comments and suggestions when spoken vocally (for those who, maybe, prefer her not to say so much)...and of course, integrated into your quiet hours so that maybe she sends off a lock screen viewable text asking if you are available/ notifications are available, instead of speaking vocally.
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