Operating systems. No one thinks twice about what’s under the hood but everyone certainly cares about how easy it is to use and I am loving both Windows 7 and Mac OS X Snow Leopard so far. My only gripe is with Apple at the moment cos’ I had problems with the install disc that came bundled with my copy of the Mac Box Set that I purchased from Machines in 1U. I had no issues with Windows 7 but then again my IT department set my office laptop with a burned copy that we obtained off MSDN so I can’t really judge Microsoft in this respect as I have yet to get a hold of a retail copy of the disc.
Mac OS X Snow Leopard
As I experience both OSes at work and at home I’ve decided to write up a fair play by play of the features that I use on a daily basis on both OSes. I’m not a power user so I’m guessing that my experiences with both Windows 7 and Snow Leopard would reflect what most of you do out there on a daily basis with your PCs.
Pardon the low-res screen captures but I don’t wanna kill anyone who loads up this post with sharp PNGs that will take ages to load up. The screen caps are meant to illustrate a point not look pretty.
First up! Let’s have a look at the number one feature of Windows 7 that I use every day… AERO PEEK! Yep … I use Aero Peek on a daily basis to go through all my open windows as I work in the office.
With Aero Peek I get live previews of any open window when I mouseover app icons in the taskbar.
For everyone’s info, I compare and reference a lot of materials in the office and this is a huge time saver which also helps to keep my screen clean of clutter. When I scroll over open windows within the taskbar, the coolest thing about Windows 7 is that I get to view the contents of windows that I mouse over directly on the desktop with other windows going translucent; exposing the window that I wanna look at. It’s a big help when I have a multitude of windows open.
Check out the cool translucent window effect when I mouseover a window I wanna preview.
The coolest thing about Aero Peek is that I am able to close windows from within the live preview boxes that appear in the taskbar whenever my mouse pointer hovers over open applications and windows. It’s a simple yet nifty feature that allows me to be more productive at work.
Mac OS X Snow Leopard
Mac OS X Snow Leopard on the other hand still uses Expose that allows me to view any open windows and apps that I have running at any point in time by just hitting the F3 key or by holding left click mouse button on an open app in the dock. Expose was revolutionary when it first came out and while useful it is a bit of a pain to always have to hit F3 just to view all the windows that I’ve got open.
Expose shows all open windows by hitting F3.
By clicking on an app's icon you can see all open windows it has.
I’m not really a power user on my Macbook but I don’t think I can close any open apps I have from within Expose. So Windows 7 does a one up on Snow Leopard in this respect. Apple’s introduction of enhanced stacks and Expose re-arranging windows in a grid format does help but I definitely like how Windows 7 treats the viewing & previewing of open windows on my desktop.
To be fair to Apple I really do like how I don’t need to go into Finder anymore when previewing folders and apps within stacks on my dock, which is a feature that should have been introduced earlier in OS X in my opinion. It’s a bit hard for me to illustrate this in writing so take a look at the screen shots below that I’ve taken to illustrate this.
Just click on a folder within the dock to pop a stack open.
Click on a folder within a stack to view it without having to open Mac OS' Finder. Neat!
Stacks in Mac OS X are cool but Windows Explorer does the same thing pretty much and stacks in my opinion function just like mini Finder windows in Snow Leopard. It is handy though when it comes to looking through folder shortcuts in the Mac OS Dock.
Explorer does the same thing as a stack doesn't it?
I think I’ve covered enough for Part 1. Suffice to say both OSes treat windows niftily but I definitely prefer Windows 7 in this respect. And it really helps that Aero makes the desktop sleek & sexy which was a selling point of Mac OS X to me. Hey … what can I say? I’m attracted to sexy.
Tune in next week as I continue to experience both OSes on a day to day basis. Windows 7 launches October 23rd here in Malaysia so I’m gonna try to cover as much as possible to help everyone get a sense of what to expect with the new OS and to see how it stacks up against Mac OS X Snow Leopard.
This post was written by tediously swapping between my Macbook and Dell Vostro 1400. Oh the sacrifice … heh.