Andy pointed those windows out to me when we discussed the hangar (NOT shuttlebay) many moons ago, so it was always intended to be a flight control room.
Well, if Andrew said that, then that's what it is (IMO).
Nevertheless that doesn't exclude the possibility that this room could also serve as an aft phaser control room.
Don't worry about derailing the thread, if somebody is too blame it's the thread starter himself.
While I usually like deleted dialogue scenes (Kirk and Sulu also discussed the latest "Galaxy Class" in the novelization
), I'd say that ST III pretty much changed the original premise of Sulu becoming captain of Excelsior
when he said "She's supposed to have transwarp drive"
As the future captain of this starship, I'd think he should know whether that is true or not.
Nevertheless it looks like director Nick Meyer wanted to put Sulu in the captain's chair. It was hinted in ST II and became a reality with ST VI.
IIRC, George Takei was really keen on being cast as captain of the Excelsior.