The comedy "Frasier," set in Seattle, Washington, featured a radio psychiatrist who said to every caller "I'm listening."
That seems to be the motto of the upcoming Windows 9 preview, expected on September 30. It will ask for feedback almost to the point of pestering you, according to a report from Neowin. Microsoft wants to collect all sorts of input from the users on everything. The feedback center will ask users about everything they like, don't like, which features should be changed, added or removed, and anything else.
This comes in stark contrast to the tone deafness of the Sinofsky era, in which the OS was vilified from the day its public beta came out and Sinofsky would neither hear of it nor change course. That's why he's enjoying early retirement. Roger Kay of Endpoint Technologies once told me he never met anyone so contemptuous of user feedback. "Sinofsky was totally dismissive and just wouldn't listen to anybody," he said to me.
Clearly, this is more of an enterprise play than a consumer play, because it was the enterprise that really rejected Windows 8 in a big way, continuing to buy machines with Windows 7. The surveys are said to be large windows and cover a wide range of topics. Judging by the great detail it had, Neowin has a really good source. Or someone lied to them big time.
One window is said to read, "Please share your feedback with Microsoft about Searching." Anything related to your search experience can be entered into this box. After you answer that, new follow-up questions appear. Microsoft will use the feedback over the course of the beta.
Unlike Windows 7 and 8, there will be multiple updates to Windows 9. Windows 7 and 8 both featured a public beta test version, but then nothing was seen again until Release Candidate code months later. Windows 9 will apparently feature notable updates through its beta cycle.
Microsoft does seem to be much more responsive under both CEO Satya Nadella and Windows chief Terry Myerson. I hope all of the above is true because a) I don't want to use Windows 7 forever like I did with XP and b) Microsoft can't afford to blow it again with its operating system.