Highlights from the Windows 8.1 engineering team AMA on Reddit

A handful of engineers on the Windows 8.1 team just wrapped up an AMA on Reddit. As you may or may not know, AMA stands for “ask me anything” and serves as a question and answer session. The team spent time answering questions from the community on everything from their favorite Windows apps to whether or not we’d see a book store in the Windows ecosystem. We’ve grabbed the highlights from the AMA for you to peruse down below.

The last time there was a big AMA from a team in Microsoft was with Panos Panay and the Surface team. That AMA was full of new information around the Surface 2, Surface Pro 2, and the future for the team. How did the Windows AMA go? Decent, nothing new was really in there and a handful of the answers didn’t directly answer the questions. Either way, here are the highlights. Alternatively, you can click the source link below to read the full AMA yourself.

  • How did the team feel about the return of the Start button? Mixed. It ultimately came back based on listening to customer feedback. (Source)
  • Why can’t you pin a “Me” tile on Windows 8.1? That’s something the team never thought about, but will consider this feature. (Source)
  • The Windows team, Windows Phone team, and Xbox team all worked together to define Microsoft’s motion language. Those are the various animations you’ll see throughout all platforms. By working together they’ll create a coherent experience for customers. (Source)
  • Creating a local account is hidden in the settings because Microsoft wants to encourage users to connect to Windows 8 and 8.1 using their Microsoft Account. They cite higher customer satisfaction when using connected accounts vs. local. (Source)
  • A notification center is something the team has thought about, but have no plans to share at the moment. (Source)
  • Katy Perry was used in all the design mock ups of SmartSearch on Windows 8.1. (Source)
  • Why was Facebook and Flickr integration removed from the Photos application on Windows 8.1? When Windows 8 launched, the team knew only a handful of apps would be in the Store. Integration was seen as stop gap until apps launched on Windows. They now encourage users to interact directly with those apps for services they use. (Source)
  • The Xbox app will soon allow you to pin albums and playlists. That’s coming in a future update to the app. (Source)
  • When asked about a “unified app store for both Windows Phone and Windows” the team had no dates to share, but did say that they’re always working towards bringing the platforms closer. (Source)
  • Microsoft is working with hardware vendors and TV manufactures to create a great experience for Miracast. This was a non-answer to whether or not Compatibility Center would be updated to find wireless display devices that work with their setup. (Source)
  • The Windows Phone team and Windows team are working together closely. More to come in time. (Source)
  • Windows 8 apps are called Store apps, not metro apps, not modern apps, but Store apps. (Source)
  • Microsoft waits for trademark owners to reach out and address any Windows Store apps that violate their trademark. So no, you won’t be seeing the Windows Store cleaned up anytime soon. (Source)

And that’s it. Like I said, the Windows team didn’t really reveal anything mind blowing in this AMA. But it’s still nice to see them engaging the community in forums like Reddit. Hit up the source below to see it for yourself.

Have your own, unanswered questions about Windows 8.1? You can ask us below like a noob or head to the Windows Phone Central Forums like a pro. Don’t forget to take our poll to tell us what you think of Windows 8.1.

Source: Reddit AMA

Sam Sabri