I installed a pre-release version of Windows 7 to play with – I’m actually supposed to know what I’m talking about when I dis the next version of Windows ;-), and the second impression is what the title is about: it just behaves and looks more like Mac OS-X then all previous Windows releases.
(Does that mean that Windows 7 is better then all previous Windows releases?)
Anyway – check out the video:
Although I don’t much care for the sickly transparent blue style they have going there, it has nice highlights and fade effects which are completely lost in the Flash video encoding… But as you can see, the new task bar works almost exactly like the Mac OS-X dock:
- Tasks are represented by icons.
- Multiple windows of the same application are represented by the same icon (a sub-menu similar to “window group” in XP/Vista allows one to access all the windows).
- You can “pin” a program to the task bar, so when the program closes, the task bar entry remains and acts as a shortcut buttons.
If only they would make the taskbar icons grow as the mouse moves over them and the background tilted in 3D and it would be exactly like the Mac dock. On the other hand this setup lets them dump the annoying “quick launch” toolbar. I’m not saying its not a good setup, its good – Apple has been using it for several years now successfully – its just not an innovation.
Other visual changes you can see is that they’ve taken the “web-style” thing they started with Vista to extreme and lots of things look like web pages with underlined links and there are much less shiny buttons and icons:
It kind of reminds me of all the “web styles” that were available for Linux a few years back, and they all sucked. The new UI does allow the incredibly large (and growing all the time) control panels that Windows sports to still be usable on small displays as the entire window content can be scrolled. They also put the “screen resolution” setting back into a useful place where people can find it.
To sum up – it looks like a nice update, but not what I was hoping for. It does feel slightly quicker then Vista that I had running on a similar setup, but it could very likely be the stronger computer and the better VM that I now use. I can’t really test it seriously on a VM, but from what I can see its slightly better then Vista in parts where Vista was OK, and just as bad as Vista in areas where Vista sucked(1).
- who the heck thought of the brilliant idea to required hardware 3D acceleration for Solitaire? [↩]