Over the last 15 years, this site has gone through many transitions from names (e.g., WMExperts, Windows Phone Central) to significant site redesigns.
Today is another one of those days. Although we're not changing the name, thankfully, you may have noticed this morning that the site has an all-new look. The layout aligns with other sites owned by Future PLC (our parent company) and is also more optimized for web and mobile traffic.
Of course, like any transition, there are bumps and issues along the way during the migration process. We're working on these fixes behind the scenes over the coming weeks, including fixing layout quirks (both on PC and mobile).
To better summarize in a tl:dr way questions you may have about the redesign.
Why the site redesign?
In short, the old site (including our backend editor) was getting too dated to keep up with emerging web technologies. In addition, all sites owned by Future PLC are eventually going to be on the same system to ensure servicing and compatibility needs and make management more effortless. Heck, we now even have a live blogging system for whenever we start doing live events again!
The new site looks boring.
We're sorry you feel that way. We're hoping that the cleaner, more streamlined look (including faster load times, especially on mobile) will outweigh having a custom-designed site and layout. We will continue to push our overlords for more customization and design choices in the coming months.
Will there be a dark mode?
Unfortunately, no. This feature is something the Windows Central staff wants, but it doesn't look like it will happen.
The good news is you can use a browser extension like Dark Reader or Night Eye to force it (it looks terrific!). Our advice: If using Dark Reader, under Site List, choose to use "Invert Listed Only," and add windowscentral.com so only our site runs in forced dark mode.
Where are the comments?
Good question! We're not getting rid of comments. In fact, we're finally switching over to the popular Disqus system after many years of people asking for it. However, it will take a few more weeks for it to be migrated over, but it is a top priority for the web team, so sit tight! You can always argue with me on Twitter if you like.
Do you have a Discord we can use instead?
Yes! We have a very active Discord channel with over 2,000 members, with hundreds online at any given time. Jump in and talk about Windows, Surface rumors, Xbox, and more, including all the news today.
Need more? You can also join our weekly live podcast every Friday at 1:30 PM ET on our YouTube channel.
What about the ads?
Website ads are rarely enjoyable, and, unfortunately, our site is no different for many. While we try our best to balance the site's appearance with the need to pay our staff, it rarely works in a way that satisfies everyone (it's also something we seldom have direct control over).
However, we also understand the reality of the web today and users' desires. If you do obscure our ads, we ask that you click through our links next time you buy a game or laptop, as that commission helps us offset the loss of ad revenue.
What happened to the Android and Windows apps for the site?
Unfortunately, those apps are no longer supported or working and have been pulled from their respective stores. Mobile apps dedicated to websites are just not something en vogue anymore, and the costs of maintaining the apps (versus return) are hard to justify. While we took a lot of pride in our older apps (especially the one for Windows Phone), it's time for us to move on.
Hopefully, that answers some of your top questions regarding Windows Central. We appreciate you bearing with us as we go through this process, and we're always listening to your feedback. The team has been hard at work on this transition and has been under a lot of stress as we must learn an entirely new system, too, so thank you for your patience!
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Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central. He is also the head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007, when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and watches. He has been reviewing laptops since 2015 and is particularly fond of 2-in-1 convertibles, ARM processors, new form factors, and thin-and-light PCs. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.