How would you like an OS best?

By Marnomancer · 13 replies
Jul 31, 2012
Post New Reply
  1. First off, how would like your OS to be? We're talking about out-of-the-box, stock installations.

    What applications would you like pre-installed in it? Would you like to have an option between choosing a UI similar to that of a previously used OS?
    Or "to hell with options, I just want to get to work"?

    Everyone is asked to please share their opinion, newbie and nerd, geek and the Average Joe/Jane.
    Try to make it as detailed as possible, with what and why.
  2. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Grand Inquisitor Posts: 4,738   +3,757

    I would like for my OS to install with only essential applications and services out-of-the-box, similar to what you get with different iterations of Linux. No pre-installed trials or lite apps, just the OS and a web browser. The same goes for services. If you've got a lot of horsepower for the OS you're using, unnecessary services (particularly in Windows) aren't too consequential. However, I generally operate a machine for 7-10 years which means that I eventually find myself running newer operating systems and apps on very old hardware. With the obvious performance drawbacks this creates, running unnecessary overhead can be very problematic. Having an option during install to disable all non-essentials would be nice.

    I really don't care much about UI unless it's intrusive or extremely inefficient. For example, I would describe the OSX UI as semi-intrusive due to the inability to hide the menu bar at the top of the screen. This eats up valuable screen space when apps are in windowed mode and creates complications when they are in full-screen mode (for example, being in full-screen mode in Chrome and wanting to access the tabs and having both menu bars drop down instead of just the one I want). Other than nitpicky stuff like that, as long as the UI is usable I'm fine with it. Ideally, I would like something along the lines of this:
  3. Dawn1113

    Dawn1113 TS Booster Posts: 322   +65

    Like davislane1, I'd like an OS that installs with only the basic applications. I would also like something that comes with a decent manual -- one that contains clear explanations as to its services and features.

    One of the most tedious things a newb confronts when installing an OS is deciding which services he or she wants running on his/her machine. I like Windows, but it takes a good deal of research to find out what all those running Windows services do, exactly. The guides I've found online are at best vague -- and MS provides very little official information about them.

    Other than that, for the moment I'd say W7 and W8 are it, for me.
  4. Zen

    Zen TechSpot Paladin Posts: 861   +50

    Slim, lean and as bloatware free as possible would be the ideal operating system for me! Personally speaking, I would like an operating system that just came out if it's box to be simple, having the best of both worlds, like more older and or legacy drivers, while maintaining a good dose of modern drivers for today's hardware. Also a nice installation user interface would be nice, a simple little interface that might ask users questions in regards to how they will be using their operating system, and after just a small amount of user information is collected the operating system during the install configures itself to the users needs. Also I might like to see a Microsoft operating system come stock with a "full" version of some sort of Microsoft Office suite, similar back to when I gave Ubuntu 10.10 a try for close to a year, if I remember right that thing came stock out of the box with Open Office suite, maybe for Microsoft they could do something like that, it would be nice.

    And slightly outside the topic of an operating system, but does kind of go "hand in hand" with it, would be a more supercharged and turbocharged update system. It would be nice if say Microsoft could offer up their updates quicker and faster. And it would be ideal as far as the perfect operating system, if that it's update system could more so "bundle" their updates into just a couple packages, rather that offering up so many different individual ones, that take up more time to download and then install.
  5. Doctor John

    Doctor John TS Enthusiast Posts: 204   +15

    I agree totally, basic and functional, with bells & whistles available as options for those that want them.
    I need it to enable me to get on with my work with minimum distraction and detour (currently OpenSuse or maybe Fedora 17 come fairly close, Windows less so at the moment).
  6. Marnomancer

    Marnomancer TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 723   +51

    Thanks for your replies, people. :)

    You hit bullseye, Davis. :)
    The OS is Linux-based. Thus, minimalist efficiency is the motto.
    I personally don't like trial packages, but I'm not sure what you meant by "lite" apps. Do you mean stripped-down versions of commercial software? If so, no, we're not adding those. Some software, while faster, lack some convenient features. In such a case, we settle for the features if the speed difference is negligible. E.g.: Ristretto, the Xfce image viewer, while lighter, lacks a lot of features (like arrow-key navigation) which make it annoying. Eye Of Gnome, the default of the namesake, is slightly higher in memory usage, but offers a tonne more features (just not the sliding eye-candy Picasa gives...) and is thus the default in HeliumOS too.
    I'm working on the "default apps" list now. it'll have a checkbox-style list "Which of these devices do you use?" Then the user can untick "Printer", "Scanner", etc. if not needed?
    I'm more used to the Win7 desktop than the Mac's, so not sure what you're talking about, though I understand it. Apart from function, the basic desktop is somewhat like this:
    Screenshot - Wednesday 11 July 2012 - 04:01:24  IST.
    I brought it as close as possible to the Win7 desktop (for MS-migrants), without sacrificing too much real estate for the taskbar.

    P.s.: Thanks for the video, gave me a lot to think on. :) Some of the things were (are) my own personal fantasy too!

    Aye, I too hate it when the description section of some service of app is blank. Most of the stuff has manuals ready. A detailed manual of custom/new functions would be awesome too, right?
    So one point is, "tell the user what does what - system transparency". Got it. keep it slim and lean (our base concept) I stripped the kernel of modules for legacy hardware...I guess I should run a poll on "how old is your hardware".
    Answered above for Davis' question. ;)
    In the testing and filtering of candidates, I found OpenOffice to be rather...heavy. For a word-processor, I loved Abiword, for spreadsheets Gnumeric, but I am still looking for a good presentation tool. So we'll work on a fuller suite later if needed.
    Using the Linux update system, so can't do much on that, but speed (custom tweaks in place) and transparency is top-notch. ;)

    And I agree with you! I as a geek love to have a lot of options. Normal users, however, either due to lack of the knowledge or otherwise, don't give a damn about it.
    That's the core concept, yes. For work, per se for authors, we've got no-distraction, fullscreen text editors. Well, my idea of no distractions. :p

    Could even make a different OS flavor for each kind of user (apart from paid/commercial custom builds) cash for the extra storage, least we come up with a solution. Spreading out the storage to multiple accounts would be nice and somewhat a good anti-data-loss backup plan, but decentralization in administration looks worrisome.

    Thank you again for your replies.
    For specific implementations I'm split over options (example, the office suite and UI).
    I'll have to consult with Leeky about that before I pop it to the rest of my team.
  7. Zen

    Zen TechSpot Paladin Posts: 861   +50

    Well I didn't know we were creating a Linux based operating system here!?! I thought this was a "free for all", Linux, Microsoft, Apple and such. But by all of the responses to peoples quotes, all I'm hearing is Linux based answers. If this is the case, and we were doing nothing more than dreaming up the prefect Linux based operating system, than I'm pushing the ejection seat button and punching out of the plane! I may have used Ubuntu 10.10 for close to a year, but in no way shape or form does that qualify me to know what I'm talking about in regards to creating the perfect Linux based operating system. Anything Linux is still very lunar to me, regardless of my prior use of the system. I'm almost embarrassed to mention, but while using Ubuntu Leeky pretty much had to hold my hand all the way through it, so I really know "nothing"!

    But if we are indeed dreaming up a Linux based system here, I guess I will mention one thing that really pissed me off with Linux, maybe we can possibly dream up a way to throw that into this! I didn't like the fact that Ubuntu didn't accept ".exe" programs. Everything pretty much had to be done through "terminal", you got to know code or grab a copy of a code to something that will do something for you and then you can get it. For me, Ubuntu proved how Microsoft I am, I like the ".exe" way of going about getting things done!

    *** Zen gives his copy of Windows Vista Ultimate (64-bit) a real big hug and thanks it for being what it is, and that is just simply "the best"! ***
  8. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    You can build your linux system to be whatever you want it to be. The problem is, that 'building' is above the heads of most of us. So I'm not sure the point here? People want a lot of control over what their system can do (well at least people that come places like here), but how do you put that ability to control what capabilities it has without making the install process tedious?

    I know I always fall back on to this example, but Windows 2000. It is solid and stable and has very few 'out of the box' features. You have to add all of that on via 3rd party apps. Is that different from what is trying to be accomplished here?
  9. Zen

    Zen TechSpot Paladin Posts: 861   +50

    I 100% agree with you SNGX with your assessment of Windows 2000 Professional. To be honest, there are times I miss Windows 2000, not because of any possible "bells and whistles", but rather the reverse, I liked it for the lack of those "bells and whistles"! Back in 2002 when securing my computer degree, Windows 2000 was king, plus it's what they introduced us to at school. Through out the years, for "poo poo and giggles" I'll load it up on various older machines I may have around at the time and tinker around with it and at that time I will think to myself, why did Microsoft ever stray away from the Windows 2000 concept!

    Windows 2000 was rock solid, fluid, easy to use, stable and virtually unstoppable!
  10. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,448   +145

    I'd like it to come with just about nothing.
    Later I'll install stuff if I run into the need, that's a way of cleaning unneeded applications out.
  11. Marnomancer

    Marnomancer TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 723   +51

    The point was, to not only make it easier for new users to migrate away from Windows, but to reduce the number of things that users have to do after installation to get a top-performance system. The first few released will be linux based as it's the best thing we have available now, with all the problems that drive new users away from linux solved. Down the line we're completely dropping the linux base for something even better.
    For SNGX's point, it's not exactly a barebones model, but a 'just what you' need thing.
    Windows being proprietary, we can't use any of the code, let alone .exe extensions. Not all Windows apps run well on Wine either. This aint exactly gamer oriented, but you can still play Penumbra, Amnesia, Regnum, EVE, Vendetta, etc.
    It's performance and low system requirements that's the current focus. There are lighter and faster OSs out there. But few are for the everyday user or have everything that's needed.
    I'll give a better blueprint if needed, but till then take a look at the video Davis posted. A few things from there may be incorporated.
    "You tell, we build for you" is one way of putting it. Custom solutions.
  12. Zen

    Zen TechSpot Paladin Posts: 861   +50

    I'm starting to sense that this topic area might not be hypothetical, with some statements made and all the Linux techno-jargon I'm hearing, I'm starting to think this may be indeed a reality.

    Okay, momentarily taking off my Microsoft fan boy t-shirt and trying to get my head back into the day's when I used Ubuntu 10.10, I'll see if I can remember back to anything I might have liked or disliked in regards to a Linux based product.


    Oh yeah, one thing that chapped my hide about Ubuntu was the fact that it wasn't very customizable. One thing that I can't stand is the way operating systems come stock out of the box as far as looks. To those who may know me best around here, some would say that possibly Zen is a super freak when it comes to Windows customizations. All one would need to do to verify this would be to check out the "what does your desktop look like" section and check out my stuff in the members photo gallery. Also some may know that with the older forums I started a customization group, dedicated towards people who like to put the "bling bling" into their operating systems.

    Custom colorizations, dock programs, custom icons, theme packs, custom mouse cursors, custom sounds and so forth. That's my thing, Marnomancer, if this is for real, and you do indeed intend to build or have help building a Linux based operating system, my suggestion as towards making it the perfect operating system would be to allow the user to have the thing as customizable as possible. I didn't like how "starchy" things looked with Ubuntu 10.10, that was one of the reasons why I jumped ship and went back to Windows, because I like things "robust" and "luxurious" and "stylish" in regards to how my operating system looks and feels and responds. I'm a full blown freak when it comes to programs like Rocket Dock, Object Dock, Window Blinds, Rainmeter, Yahoo Widgets and such, if you can put some of that stuff inside your operating system build, you just might have a person here who might jump to it, maybe, we'll see! :)
  13. Marnomancer

    Marnomancer TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 723   +51

    Exactly, Zen!
    In case you saw the 'sneak-peek' of the theme I posted in 'what your desktop looks like", that's the window-border I made for it. As you see, it's customizable!
    And well, it also proves that I too, if not equally, also a control-freak with regards the system's "feel".
    This is what I needed your help about! Remember I asked you? Customizability is the keyword here. Check out the old page at
  14. bobcat

    bobcat TechSpot Paladin Posts: 688   +67

    For me, Windows XP was lean and mean, having good but not excessive facilities and making efficient use of resources.

    But XP had two main weaknesses: security and to some extent, stability. |So, if they fix those, it should be ideal.

    Regarding tools and apps, by now I know exactly what I’d put on it, while keeping it fast and transparent as much as reasonably possible. As for obfuscating it with gimmicks, bells and whistles, I think those who tried resource-hogging Vista already know the answer.

Similar Topics

Add your comment to this article

You need to be a member to leave a comment. Join thousands of tech enthusiasts and participate.
TechSpot Account You may also...