Sorta Obvious Things To Have Done in Windows 8.1 and 10

1. Unify the Start Screen with the Desktop. I.e., instead of simply allowing desktop shortcuts on the desktop, allow the placement of live tiles on there, as well. The present Windows 10 Start Menu is convenient, but, as the Start Screen was, kinda redundant. Also, the Windows 10 Start Menu is not as readily visible as the 8/8.1 Start Screen is and should be, making the user less likely to look at the Live Tile notifications. The 8/8.1 Start Screen really helped me keep my email up-to-date and my YouTube subscriptions checked due to the Live Tiles. Never underestimate the power of glanceability.
2. Keep the charms, but make them much easier to use in mouse mode. First, decrease the time between the user pointing to the upper- (or lower-) right corner and the appearance of a 8.1 lower-left corner square-type-indicator preceding the charms to 0.00000 seconds. Then, when a user clicks on the square, show the charms. Instead of increasing the difficulty of clicking on the charms by making them disappear when the user moves one’s mouse away from them, just add an X button to them (but only in mouse mode), so that they can be closed when the mouse user wants. This would greatly increase users’ praise for the utility of the charms. Of course, much (though not all) of the utility of the charms is still there in the Action Center:
Screenshot (9)
As well as in the Network and volume indicators.
3. Get rid of the insufficiently touch-optimized Windows 7-style Control Panel entirely and move all its functions to Modern UI (I hear this is exactly what Microsoft is planning to do over the next few years with updates to Windows 10, but don’t take my word for it) and make every feature of Windows tablet-optimized, including all the technical ones, like Services and the Firewall. Delaying Windows 8 or 8.1 or 10 for another year would have been totally worth the benefit of these changes.