18 Features Windows Should Have (but doesn't)

Some of the coolest OS features are nowhere to be found in Windows XP or Vista. Here are 18 brilliant features that Microsoft should beg for, borrow, or steal--plus tips on how you can add many of them to your PC now. Love it or hate it, Microsoft Windows is the world's most dominant operating system. But when you look at some of the hot features found in competitors such as Linux and Mac OS X, both XP and Vista can seem a little incomplete.

From intuitive interface features like Apple's application dock and Cover Flow to basic media capabilities such as ISO burning, Windows often falls short on built-in goodies. And some features that other operating systems offer by default-- such as 64-bit processing and business-networking tools--require a premium-version license in Windows.

We took a good look at a variety of OSs, from the Mac to Linux to PC-BSD and beyond, and we rounded up a list of our favorite features--few of which come standard in any version of Windows. We even considered some operating systems of yore, and recalled a couple of cool features that Microsoft still hasn't caught on to. Some of these features simply aren't available for Windows at all, owing to the way the OS is designed. But you can add most of them to XP or Vista with the help of third-party applications, and we'll show you how to get them.

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Docks are slow and CPU hungry.
I used Yz Dock, Rocket Dock and Object Dock and all are the same, slow at launching and boost up my CPU when I hover over the items.

They look nice, but not something that should be included!

Should be called "18 Features Windows Either Already Has, is Freely Available, or Nobody Cares About".

Seriously, they didn't even do their research. Windows does have a few on that list (i.e. Remote Assistance)...

Not sure why this is in the front page, this sounds like a top xx list on some guy's blog that get posted on digg.

And it should really rename to "18 Features in OSX that Windows Should Have (but doesn't)".

Standardized Menu Ribbon - this feature is exclusively retarded in Mac (along with the single button mouse), especially when you have more than one monitor. You would have to constantly move the cursor back to the primary monitor to access the menu of what ever apps you are working on, which is not practical if the app is sitting on a second monitor.

"18 Features in OSX that Windows Should Have (but doesn't)".

Or 18 Features in OSX that Windows currently have (but are not cool or required to install a free application)


This article is complete crap. Windows does have half the stuff thats listed. also the other half is something people just don't want
1) Windows has its alt-tab and vista's similaar thing showing you full previews of windows.
2) virtual workspaces.. This is a windows powertoy addon
3) back to my mac. remote desktop to another pc somewhere else? I'd rather use microsoft's online storage or some third party server and a webdav drive. I personally turn my pc off when i'm not at home so the remote desktop one is useless.
4) Screensharing? windows Remtoe assistance?
5) Time Machine: we have the built in windows restore points which is enough for me, Only time I need an older version of a doc is when im currently using it and ctrl z is enough.
6) ISO burning. Just download iso recorder, or v3 for vista. No it's not built into the windows install but just think of it as optional for those that don't want it! not like it's hard to find.
7) Stickies.. don't use them. I have office oneNote which syncs to my mobile. Do stickies sync to my mobile too? NO
8) podCase capture? Don't listen to podcasts don't care. Hey look I just saved some space on my hard drive :D
9) Software Repositories - This is do miss. I do like this feature on linux. apt-get install x = win.
10) Desktop Cube - One thing I LOVE on my linux box. Compiz.
11) Application Dock - I like my windows quick launch toolbar. Have used other docks like Y'z dock and rocket launch. I still used my quick launch toolbar.
12) Automated Screen Shots - Ok this feature I do like on a mac and would like it on my windows machines. But office oneNote windows key + s does me just fine.
13) Multitouch Trackpad Gestures - I never use the touchpad on my laptop and my desktop has a normal mouse with no touchpad at all. But I do have a scrollwheel!!!!
14) Cover Flow - Never used it on a mac. I know where all my stuff is and the vista thumbnails is more than enough for me in picture folders.
15) Web Server - I have a server for this and if I didn't I'd use apache not some crappy mac thing.
16) POSIX Compliance - for command line stuff I have cygwin. For other linux stuff I have a linux box seperate :P
17) Standardized Menu Ribbon - I made a program yesterday which had a grand total of 3 menu items: connect, disconnect, exit. I don't need all the crap that comes on the huge mac bar thing just 1 file menu was enough. I like to see only what i need
18) Single-File Applications - Don't care.. They have install folders which allow you to easily customise certain files. It's nice to be able to do that.

So basically:
Windows has a lot of these and the article is crap.
Features that are missing are from Linux/unix stuff (not just mac)
The mac only features listed are pure crap and tbh I don't want them anyway (with the exception fo the screenshot one)

The problem is that Windows is made with bad design that the efficiency with all those tools would go down to hell. Look at Linux and the many default tools it possesses, and how quickly it runs them. Linux has a freakin MD5 hashing program by default. The terminal is half of the Linux experience, if not 90%.

MS needs to implement something similar to the "one-file program" among others for sure.

I believe the article was saying what Windows doesn't have _by default_ that achieves the same goal as the other tools mentioned.

1) Alt-Tab, even with the improved power toy, is not the same thing. This tool is meant to let you see everything very clearly at once on the screen. Vista's sort of does it, but the stupid stack hides everything, so it does not function as seamlessley. XP doesn't have it. Vista has it, but its a poor implementation. But yes, it does have it.
2) PowerToys are not included by default. And I don't think Vista has a set of PowerToys yet. Also, the PowerToy implementation isn't good on resources, and makes you have to use a bar on the taskbar.
3) Remote Desktop does exist on Windows, but it requires a Windows PC to connect to the other remotely. GoToMyPC is really the best way to handle this - my father uses this for work and it's very handy. Remote Desktop is just...bad. But yes it does exist.
4) Screensharing is the same as Remote Assistance, so yeah I have no clue what the hell they are saying.
5) Windows Restore has nothing to do with this. This is meant to be a background backup of all your files you modify. Higher flavors of Vista have it, and it functions similarly, and Leopard should be compared not to XP but Vista since they are both newer gen OS, so yeah.
6) Should still be a default functionality with Window's cd burning utility. Just because you can easily find a small program to do it doesn't mean you should have to.
7) OneNote isn't default with Windows and is meant to be a mobile/tablet PC program. Stickies aren't the same thing, even though OneNote can achieve the same purpose. Stickies are meant to be little reminders for you that you can see at all times. BUT, before I totally dismiss your argument, this article is incorrect. Windows Vista comes with stickies, sort of. It comes with a "Notepad" widget on its SideBar where you can put whatever you want for reminding yourself of what you need to do. So yes Windows has this utility
8) PodCast capture would probably **** Apple off, seeing as it is one of their inventions for the iPod/iTunes. And because you don't use them (neither do I) doesn't mean others don't. So don't dismiss them; they are very popular.
9) sudo apt-get install (or emerge for Gentoo lovers) is sexy. Need more open source for Windows.
10) Desktop Cube is basically the same thing as 4 Virtual Desktops, just easier to use at the cost of some graphics performance. I do like the Desktop Cube implementation a lot, though. It just seems more intuitive.
11) Quick Launch isn't totally the same as the application dock. The application dock can hold more things than simply linking icons. But yes, and upgraded Quick Launch would basically be the same thing.
12) I wish this came with Windows. Sucks having to paste in paint all the time.
13) This isn't a Windows thing, this shouldn't be in the article. The writer even said it himself. It's a hardware, not software problem. The software can come in the form of drivers easily, but the hardware for a Microsoft OS PC is not made by Microsoft. Making this one of the 18 features Windows doesn't have seems to me to be a jab at Microsoft. I'm not a fan of MS, but this isn't fair.
14) Cover Flow IMO is very situational. I don't have a problem using Windows Explo...let me rephrase. I don't have a problem going through my directories manually, especially with the use of a terminal. It's natural to me. Cover Flow to me just makes it look prettier.
15) Mac has some crazy web server abilities and they are all very awesome. Your own wiki, blog, SVN, etc. It's crazy. They should be able to make this default with Windows using open source software, like Apache and some basic templates for a wiki, blog, etc so you can have them all functioning with just a few clicks.
16) This is something MS is never good at. They keep trying to do their own thing, but IMO it's just holding computers back. They need to achieve this compliance soon, or we should all just use Linux (and application and game makers should program for Linux :P OpenGL is FTW!)
17) Saving screen space is great, but I'm not sure a standardized menu ribbon would be the most effective way to achieve that.
18) They really need to do this. Would help with performance and efficiency and cleaner directories. Searching and disk defragmenting wouldn't be such a pain anymore.

Biased article for sure, but it has some solid points and mentions many things people take for granted.

(Mapex said @ #48.1)
8) PodCast capture would probably **** Apple off, seeing as it is one of their inventions for the iPod/iTunes. And because you don't use them (neither do I) doesn't mean others don't. So don't dismiss them; they are very popular.

then they better hope Sound Recorder in Vista never gets that MP3 or AAC encoder built-in. :P

(Mapex said @ #48.1)
18) They really need to do this. Would help with performance and efficiency and cleaner directories. Searching and disk defragmenting wouldn't be such a pain anymore.

OS X doesn't have anymore single file applications than Windows does. OS X uses bundles for applications, which are literally folders filled with files and a custom icon on them, coupled with some "attributes" to make it behave like a single application file. you can easily spot of these if they use the ".bundle" convention for their directory names.

an example of this would be taking the Firefox folder in Program Files (or where you would install it) and running Firefox by simply double-clicking on the folder itself. OS X would have the same fragmentation problems as any other operating system not using bundles, but OS X handles fragmentation differently.

more on bundles here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bundle_(NEXTSTEP)

Some day I'm going to figure out why people like the OSX dock so much... It's this horrible waste of real estate that feels ridiculous as soon as I maximize a window. Windows already does a superior job by putting in one taskbar what Apple felt the need to split across as much of the screen as possible. How can people seriously call the Windows taskbar outdated and the MacOS menubar+dock intuitive?

It's just, it's the sort of thing that makes me figure, if there's proof anywhere that blind loyalty to MacOS exists, it's docklove.

And I'll never understand why people don't understand the Dock is configurable. The Dock can be, literally, tiny. Magnification can be set smaller or turned off entirely. Bouncing can be shut off. The Taskbar can only be diminished so much. You can take virtually everything out of the dock if you want -- then it's like the Taskbar and not like Quick Links or the Start Menu -- only displaying active apps. The Taskbar takes up the entire vertical or horizontal extent, depending on where you locate it whether or not open windows/apps fill its "space"; the Dock is only sized to what you put in it. Both are hideable. As far as real estate goes, seems to me the Dock beats the Taskbar.

Particulars can be debated but are often subjective and easily tweaked. (Centering, for example.) Stacks, particularly with the update to include hierarchical lists, and adding the configuration options for the Dock instead of requiring Terminal hacks (which happened years ago, I should add) solved most of the problems with the Dock. Likewise, one could argue that the Dock can achieve what Windows spreads out across, in part, the Start Menu, Quick Links, and the Taskbar -- when it could be in one place. Some argue that multiple functions shouldn't be served by one UI element. It's subjective. Or I could mention that the Dock makes drag-and-drop easier if that's how you operate. Some don't. That doesn't necessarily appeal to all... Hell, many Mac users barely use the Dock anymore, maybe even have disabled it entirely in favor of or because of other navigation tools like Spotlight, QuickSilver, or other Dock alternatives. You don't have to use it at all. But I don't see how anyone can make an argument in the real estate department. (Too many people playing with default configurations in the Apple Store, I guess. Guess what -- it might shock you -- but Macs are configurable too. Sometimes more so.)

the single menu bar at the top of the screen is actually a very good feature to have. it adds predictability to the user interface.

like the way on Mac OS 9 you could "throw" your mouse to the top-right corner to get at the Application Menu, or you could "throw" the mouse to the bottom-left corner to get at the Start menu. if you work this way and you analyze your actions, you'll notice your mouse reaches the target before your eyes do because the location is fixed and predictable and being at a corner makes it infinitely accessible.

one of my gripes with OS X is that they decided to drop the option for toggling application name in the menu bar. during the original beta, the option existed to switch the application name to an icon. this by itself aided in menu item predictability. now, instead of aiming one more icon to the right to get to File, you have to "look before you leap" because varying application names cause menu item locations to change constantly.

i'll never understand why that "killer feature" was omitted.

Vista has most of the useful features. Most of these can be argued either way. But it seems like the only thing that most people might actually want that vista doesn't have is Expose, however, vista has the technical ability to do expose (live thumbnails) and someone has already made a very good clone for free. Click here for switcher

It's worth noting that MS doesn't have to put every little option into Windows due to the billion and one companies making these kind of apps, how many doing the same for apple??????


PS. I'm sure Joe average computer user who needs to call for help to plug in USB cable will be thrilled when he can press COMMAND + SHIFT + 3 to get a screen cap. :confused:

There are TONS of very high quality apps for Apple!

If the best defense is, you can download this, download that, pay extra for this...

if you included Growl, QuickSilver, ShapeShifter, and just a handful of other common Apple tweaks, the list could be a lot uglier.

Why should you download 3rd party crapware when the OS should already have all that included??

Just fire up and go. That's it. The functionality should already be there. If you're producing an OS and choose to farm all that out 3rd parties - over which you have no quality-control, you end up delivering an incomplete, near-broken OS.

(LTD said @ #45.2)
Why should you download 3rd party crapware when the OS should already have all that included??

because the government wouldn't let it happen.

Ho hum, call me when MacOS and Linux get these "features":

64-bit Creative Suite
WindowBlinds
ArcGIS Desktop
CorelDRAW
Autocad
Visio
Lotus Notes
SQL Server
Outlook
Final Draft

That's off the top of my head. Should I add 8 games to round it off?

You can emulate every single one of those on a Mac and linux, and they have free alternatives.
The article is about what features the operating system has.

WindowBlinds is Windows Only, we're waiting for an update to ShapeShifter but that does essentially the same thing. Entourage is Microsoft's answer to Outlook on the Mac. Lotus Notes? Isn't IBM slowly migrating to the Mac? So you'll see that soon, I have no idea what the other things are. Also a 64bit creative suite wont make any difference unless you are dealing with images the size of Iceland, so it's not such a big deal that Mac users will have to wait till CS5.

(mikey said @ #43.1)
You can emulate every single one of those on a Mac and linux, and they have free alternatives.
The article is about what features the operating system has.

Having fun running autocad on a emulated box.

(Magallanes said @ #43.3)

Having fun running autocad on a emulated box.

Virtualization is one possibility, but the Wine compatability layer is another. I play WoW, Warcraft III, Supreme Commander, run eMule, and various other Windows apps on Wine with performance comparable to running the apps native. Wine isn't perfect of course, but it works pretty well.

multiple TCP/IP network profiler

i hate that vista the latest windows version do not have this feature. like xp only got an alternate its not enough for laptops corporate users, that have to move everywhere with the laptops since everyplace have different config.

btw mac osx got it right there. Vista did some improvement in network sharing center but still lacks.

Yup, Locations is dead simple and a killer feature for anyone who needs to work in multiple network environments.

once the network you connect your Vista machine to has DHCP, it will be setup automatically and remember the settings for that "location".

the only thing Vista doesn't have that would be an awesome addition is automatic proxy server switching. it would be cool if you could bring your work laptop home and get onto the Internet without having to manually remove the proxy settings.

I would rather have less crap built in that I don't need. Thanks, but my desktop does not need a dock, and if I want to burn something I will get a dedicated burning program.

I think all the PCWorld guys went on vacation and the MACWorld guys took over for a few days. This is the result...

They did no research at all. I wouldnt be surprised if a seventh grader wrote this.

Number two they state is Back 2 Mac . Um HELLO its called remtoe desktop xp has this and so does vista.

They state Vista or xp has no screen sharing. WHAT ? What is Remote Assistance then?


Vista also has a shadow copy.

XP, heck even WIN95 has had Application docks. All you have to do is make a new task bar on the top of your screen and put programs their. or You can use Quick Launch.

Also Vista has the snipping tool for partial screenshots.

Also developers are to blame for not using the same menu as microsoft apps.

Ca nI please ask that neowin please start reading articles before they post them. Any article like this which is mostly one big lie should not be posted.

All you have to do is make a new task bar on the top of your screen and put programs their. or You can use Quick Launch.

How do you put unopened apps in the task bar? (Seriously, I'm curious.) I know Quick Launch won't provide common application tasks, application status, and open windows via their Icon shortcuts so that's a pretty useless half-hearted defense.

hey pcworld,
Maybe u never used Windows System so use Windows first. Windows has a few incomparable features, as for example DirectX, IE, huge software supports etc etc...so again i have to say use windows 1st plz

thanks

Holy ****, PCWORLD is ****ing retarded. Perhaps they should get their employees to switch to Linux or Mac if they want all those features. Windows doesn't NEED all those features. Those are user specific NEEDS. That's why we have 3rd party software.

Sometimes, I wonder what kind of morons work at pcworld.

(tsupersonic said @ #34)
Holy ****, PCWORLD is ****ing retarded. Perhaps they should get their employees to switch to Linux or Mac if they want all those features. Windows doesn't NEED all those features. Those are user specific NEEDS. That's why we have 3rd party software.

Sometimes, I wonder what kind of morons work at pcworld.

Dude, u r absolutely right thanks

Stupid article to spread FUD. First the "expose" like feature is avaialble on intellipoint software. Secondly, the other features are niche features that would irritate your mom or grandma when they try to send emails.

Does youruncle Bob rellay need a virtual workspace for his auto repair shop? no.

One of the points of having these features are that they can be used when needed without creating interfearance (sp?). The article is saying these are productive features that a lot of people use that could be included but aren't. You can emulate every single one but they aren't provided with windows without 3rd party software.

An article could be written about windows features for Mac and Linux im sure.

Yeah pretty dumb article. Either half the stuff can be done already or is pure eye candy. Things like the Mac go back is covered in numerous fashions for Windows users be it any number of ducument syncing services or remote desktop which while only in more expensive versions of Windows doesnt come with a subscription fee either.

Another one was the screen shot one. Vista ships with "Snipping Tool" which does partial screen captures absolutly fine, at least for desktop tasks. For something like games the print screen would still suffice I say.

Thats a few nitpicks of many.

...and I've never heard of someone setting up a web server in Linux or OS X purely because Windows doesnt have one readily installed. They may choose those systems for other reasons, but anyone wanting to use a web server likely knows enough to get one installed, not to mention theres dozens of packages that will pre configure not only the web server but the database, php ect ect for you.

(RealFduch said @ #30)

Many WIndows versions ARE POSIX compliant.

It's true, but what posix compliant programs can you run on Windows out of the box?

"12. Automated and Partial Screen Shots"

Download HoeKey, then assign the printscr button to the windows vista screenshot app. It's not that hard.

And if those feature were available from the get go in Windows ALL of you would use it, and you know it


and whoever said that the Taskbar was better than the Dock is very deluded, the taskbar is THE most out of date concept of the many out of date concepts in Windows

I find the Dock to be counter-productive compared to the Taskbar. Out of date or not, the Taskbar still gets the job done better than the Dock ever could.

the Dock is a watered-down version of the Windows Taskbar.

it will always be an overpolished Quick Launch toolbar with deskband folder support. the very fact that you cannot access any open window using it without it being minimized first has to be the definition of counter-productive.

as for Stacks, it is no substitute for nested folder functionality. that's why even though they have those cute lil views (Fan, Grid) they still kept the original list behaviour because without it, Stacks would be a step backward.

the only thing i'd give the Dock points for is it identifying which of your shortcuts is a running application and treating it like a proxy.

the very fact that you cannot access any open window using it without it being minimized first has to be the definition of counter-productive.

Every open window IS easily accessible in the dock withOUT minimizing. The dock isn't perfect, but you need to do some homework.

(dp123 said @ #28.3)

Every open window IS easily accessible in the dock withOUT minimizing. The dock isn't perfect, but you need to do some homework.

forget Expose. it has nothing to do with the Dock. if you're referring to clicking an application's icon in the Dock to get a window list, you've missed the point. you cannot use the Dock to switch to another window with a single click. clicking on the application icon (or proxy in this case) either brings all its windows to the front or creates a new window.

i've used OS X for a few years so i know what i'm talking about. the Dock is great at managing aliases but very very poor at window management and instead of fixing/upgrading it, they created a crutch and called it Expose.

that's like saying OS X's implementation of Cmd+Tab is more efficient than Alt+Tab on Windows.
switching applications versus switching windows? if i'm working on something in TypePad and checking it out in my browser, i don't want to switch between TypePad and Safari, i want to switch between the website and the TypePad window.
some people won't understand that but you have to live it to appreciate window switching as opposed to application switching.

YES! Another Windows bashint article, ALRIGHT!

This is just priceless. The OS X dock? Please, that's just the taskbar with a zoom and darn annoying bouncing when an icon "needs" you.

Besides, Microsoft gets sued every time they innovate Windows so I can't imagine why they are careful about each and every move they make.

this is just stupid, IF microsoft ever included stuff, then they get sued for monopolizing the software. Just like how they wanted Firefox and/or Safari on a default installation

Hmm. Linux has Expose, Time Machine, Screen Sharing (everyone knows about VNC), Audacity also is built for Linux, automatic screenshots, and menu ribbon.

MS also claims that Windows has had posix compliance ever since NT4, not that it's actually usable.

What I'd really love to see in Windows is Object Oriented file system like existed in OS/2 Warp. There was no need to worry about which folder you moved a file to, the OS kept track of it and any application could easily be moved to another folder by just drag/drop and still work perfectly. No broken links, no "file not found". Windows "shortcuts" have always been a very lame substitute.

they should've just bought Be's IP and ported the BFS.
it's the fastest journalling file system i'v ever seen in action. searches would return results in real time. run as search (Find) and new files with the same name or attributes would appear in the search list as they were created on the disk.

and Drive Setup kicks the ass of everything else on the market.

No, hardly. Window Tiling in Windows is hardly comparable. Tiling may be helpful to some to view other windows, but you are literally resizing the windows without scaling the content which is more annoyance to other modes of "desktoping" than just stumbling through windows. Expose preserves Window size, position, and content, but provides a quick snap in-snap out view for easy viewing and navigation. It can be used to view all windows, only current app windows, and the desktop.

rubbish article.

half the stuff you can download for pc anyway, or purchase a better version of windows that empasses that feature ... e.g. web server.


pc world is definitely not the place i'd go for technical opinions!

The more stuff that gets bundled with an OS the more security flaws it can receive.
Microsoft is heading in the right direction with Windows7/MinWin (although if it gets anywhere is another thing entirely).
Have only the necessary components of an OS installed and anything else can be downloaded or added later - if the user so desires.

I could list, like others here, all the glaring mistakes within this article but I won't insult your intellignce. Doesn't PC world have an editor for it's articles? This is surely libelous.

Number 12:

What is wrong with the snipping tool in Vista, it is a great inbuilt application which lets you take screen shots of any part of screen.

It needs to be launched and quit (since it assumes you are taking a "snip" when it's open) everytime rather than being a universally accessible feature from the OS? It's only in Vista when it should have been available in all versions of Windows 15 years ago? (When have you ever actually PRNTed SCRN? Was it a dot matrix printer?)

Those idiots might as well ask us to buy Macs instead of wasting our time with - "things that Windows has but doesn't" nyah nyah nyah....

Things PC World should have but doesn't:

1) Brains
2) More Brains
3) A little more brains

blah blah blah blah ... PLEASE STOP POSTING THOSE USELESS PIECES OF S.... I can do the same kind of article with any other OS .

Wait, I can't remember. Is that the one you need to download, or the one that doesn't come bundled with every version?

(Axon said @ #13.1)
Wait, I can't remember. Is that the one you need to download, or the one that doesn't come bundled with every version?

probably the one that's not bundled with every version, but then again Remote Assistance is there and that one is bundled with every version since Windows XP.

also supports NAT traversal - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Remote_Assistance

I think (correct me if I'm wrong) that Remote Desktop isn't available in Vista Home/Home Premium. I know it isn't a feature of Windows XP Home. I'm talking about the server software, not the client software which is available for Windows 98 even.

(Shadrack said @ #13.3)
I think (correct me if I'm wrong) that Remote Desktop isn't available in Vista Home/Home Premium. I know it isn't a feature of Windows XP Home. I'm talking about the server software, not the client software which is available for Windows 98 even.

Remote Desktop (corporate style, client) is not in XP Home but Remote Assistance is in all versions from XP onward.

(Shadrack said @ #13.3)
I think (correct me if I'm wrong) that Remote Desktop isn't available in Vista Home/Home Premium. I know it isn't a feature of Windows XP Home. I'm talking about the server software, not the client software which is available for Windows 98 even.

You can get Remote desktop working in Vista Home Premium pretty easily, and who in their right mind is stupid enough to run XP Home? It was so bad they built Media Centre Edition (designed for "Home usage") on top of Pro

Reading point three I was thinking 'Well i've had this option for ummm seven years, when did (cr)apple start doing it?'

Another Flawed MAC vs the world artical, but this time with some linux references thrown in to try and appeal to more people.

What is it going to take to get people to stop saying MAC? The technically endowed users of Neowin know what MAC is and they know the difference between that and a Mac.

I found it every bit as annoying when I owned an ALIENWARE as I do with an Apple computer.

(Axon said @ #11.1)
What is it going to take to get people to stop saying MAC? The technically endowed users of Neowin know what MAC is and they know the difference between that and a Mac.

I found it every bit as annoying when I owned an ALIENWARE as I do with an Apple computer.

Ease up man. Its all about context and the context of his words is very apparent. There is no confusions as to what he is conveying so why such a harsh rebuttal over two capitalizations?

(Shadrack said @ #11.2)

Ease up man. Its all about context and the context of his words is very apparent. There is no confusions as to what he is conveying so why such a harsh rebuttal over two capitalizations?

The purpose of capitalising something is to turn it into acronym; is an Apple Mac an acronym? no, its short hand for Macintosh. I don't know why people here insist on calling it a MAC when it has NOTHING to do with a network card.

This article is horrible. My favorite quote "Windows doesn't have any kind of built-in web server" .. apparently the author has never heard of IIS.

(mscrivo said @ #10)
This article is horrible. My favorite quote "Windows doesn't have any kind of built-in web server" .. apparently the author has never heard of IIS.

Not all versions of Windows have IIS as an option, so I'm guessing he'd never used XP Pro etc.

(franzon said @ #10.2)

even Vista Home Premium has it :)

And if it doesn't, installing Apache (which is all Mac OS is using) is just a hop and skip away. My personal favorite Web Server is WOS (WebServer on a Stick). In fact I prefer that over using IIS for development purposes. I don't need a web server always running on my personal computer.

Not too impressed by the article - the author just doesn't seem to understand that Windows is not OS/X.

There are a couple in there which would be genuinely useful.

Expose: I have to admit that it a genuinely good feature.
Virutal Workspaces: I hate them, I lose windows when I use them on the Mac or Ubuntu.
Back to my Mac: I wouldn't exactly call this built in (you have to subscribe to use it). I am not sure it is that useful and is definitely a secuity hazard IMHO.
Screen Sharing: This does need to be added to Windows Live Messenger.
Time Machine: Volume Shadow Copy should be standard across all versions of Vista, it is very cool.
ISO Burning: Windows needs this (ISO creation would be good too!).
Stickies: I am not that convinced on their usefulness.
Podcast Capture: Yeah, because everyone has access to an OS X Server!
Software Repositories: I would love for this to be added to Windows but can you imagine the size of the catalogue?
Desktop Cube: Yawn, I don't switch user nearly often enough to need a fancy transition.
Application Dock: Sorry, but from a usability perspective the Dock isn't really an improvement over the taskbar (arguably the taskbar is better).
Automated and Partial Screenshots: Granted, this could be far better.
Multitouch Trackpad Gestures: Would be cool, but spend most of my time with a mouse so I don't think it would give me much.
Coverflow: Doesn't do it for me. I prefer to search rather than browse (even in WMP).
Built in Web Server: This one has my vote, bring back PWS!
POSIX Compliance: How many normal users would actually benefit from this?
Standardised Menu Ribbon: I have to argue against this one. As screens get bigger this becomes a worse idea.
Single File Applications: This one definitely would be an amazing improvement to Windows.

And I'm done. :D


(.fahim said @ #8)
Back to my Mac: I wouldn't exactly call this built in (you have to subscribe to use it). I am not sure it is that useful and is definitely a secuity hazard IMHO.

Windows Home Server can facilitate this functionality. Of course, you need the hardware, but there's no subscription. Or you could just open your machine to Remote Desktop, at your own risk...

Automated and Partial Screenshots: Granted, this could be far better.

Snipping Tool!

Multitouch Trackpad Gestures: Would be cool, but spend most of my time with a mouse so I don't think it would give me much.

I don't see what it has to do with Microsoft - they're not a laptop vendor...

Built in Web Server: This one has my vote, bring back PWS!

You have IIS if you have the right edition of Windows...

POSIX Compliance: How many normal users would actually benefit from this?

Very few. The POSIX subsystem for Windows XP Pro is pretty poor. If you have Vista Enterprise or Ultimate you do have the new "Subsystem for UNIX Applications" which is substantially improved. I think the author forgets that a largequantity of open source applications written for *Linux* take quite some effort to port to MacOS X (if they support it at all) because they use more than the strict POSIX functions.

Single File Applications: This one definitely would be an amazing improvement to Windows.

In the Windows world you'd do it by silent installations. For MSI-based product installers, Microsoft could implement this fairly simply. But I don't think the analogy of dragging the application to your 'Program Files' directory quite resonates on Windows.

the author is kinda stupid. he made this list and didn't even look for options.

podcast capture? does he not realize that the new Sound Recorder in Vista is perhaps the easiest to use recording software out there? you click record and it starts recording to a WMA file. click stop and you enter a filename to save as, and from that very same dialog you can enter metadata. heck if you're in a hurry you can just save and edit the metadata from right there in the shell itself. no third-party software required, unless you want to make MP3 podcasts, which should be an option for recording in the first place.
MP3 is an industry standard.

web server features, IIS just happens to be the server of choice for lots of companies, and people need to let go of the idea that open source is better and more secure than proprietary systems.

and as for the dock being better than the taskbar...
i still don't see how a clone of the quick launch bar with deskband support can possibly be better than the original quick launch bar and its companions Start Menu (which has the Applications window beat no matter how hard you try to spin that), actual nested folder deskbands and an actual taskbar list (where any window can be accessed regardless of state, minimized or otherwise). i'll also mention that the "menu bar extras" being down there too, and you can customize which ones are in your face all the time and which ones you only need to check occasionally is a definite plus.

hopefully this is not the face of PC World content to come.

Screen Sharing: This does need to be added to Windows Live Messenger.

Funny how this USE TO BE in Window Messenger and MSN Messenger. This was a feature of the late NetMeeting applications too. Windows has had this feauture until Vista. I bet XP still has it.

Automated and Partial Screenshots: Granted, this could be far better.

I actually prefer the Windows method more.

Single File Applications: This one definitely would be an amazing improvement to Windows.

This is something that I wish Windows and Linux had. The installation (and more importantly the de-install) of Mac OS applications is so smooth, elegant, and completely idiot proof (for both the developer and the end user). Although I would like to point out that not all Mac OS programs follow this standard. Some actually do have installers that create/modify files in unknown destinations just like Windows does. Worse yet, these applications can be very difficult to uninstall off of Mac OS given the lack of an interface such as Add or Remove Programs on Windows provides.

I agree with your summary though and I was about to type something similar.

1. Anyone know how to get the Exposé functionality in Linux (Gnome)? That is a cool feature Macs have that really helps when you've got lots of things on the go.

2. Also, it'd be cool if the standard 'Take Screenshot' program in Gnome did what the Mac version did with regard to letting you select exactly what you want screenshot, rather than full screen or window as the only options.

Any help here much appreciated

3. Microsoft has a beta program called Live Mesh that can do this or people can just use Remote Desktop.

Ok something is wrong here, some of the things listed Windows (Xp or Vista) does have. Did this guys even try XP or Vista?

The funny thing is that most of the features would be dismissed as eye candy or unacceptable loss of resources.
How many people would be using these features everyday? I am not saying that they are useless but are some of them really needed? POSIX compliance? A Web Server?
Microsoft would get sued from every software developers for unfair pratices and abuse of dominant position if they were to add these features.

The underlying point of the article is that there is a difference between an operating system and a distribution. When you get any Linux distribution, you get an operating system plus a huge heap of applications ranging from desktop managers to office applications. Vista or XP are not yet distribution but there are more than operating system, the question is: would Microsoft want to make a Microsoft Windows Distrubtion: Vista + Office + OneCare + Visual Studio ...

why would anyone want the dock in windows, the taskbar is far better and more productive. sure the dock looks better... but...

and coverflow.. how is that an OS feature... seriusly... built in support for burning ISO, yeah that'd be nice, but there's so many formats, bu they could support basic ISO/IMG, but it's not like grabbing imgBurn is much of an issue. and it's better than using a built in solution anyway.

as for having to buy a premium license for 64 bit processing ? err no, you just buy the 64 bit version of windows, and Vista license keys work on both 64 and 32 bit media. What I'm assumign they mean is that OSX just has one version with both 32 and 64 in one. But in that way I by far prefer the true natively full 64 bit windows solution, wich "emulates" 32 bit at the same speed or even faster than running plain 32 bit OS. so far acros all the 3 major OS' Windows has the best solution for 64 bit and 32 bit integration with 64 bit.


Judging by the crap written here, I'm not even gong to bother reading the full article.

i agree with you 100% about the dock. useless and counter-productive.

if there's one thing i really miss from Mac OS that i wish Windows had was Disk Copy (or Disk Utility for you OS X users). having that bundled with the OS would be a great idea.
maybe if Microsoft licensed Daemon Tools for bundling like they did with Roxio in XP, and maybe fix the ISO Recorder powertoy... and i know MS already has VirtualCD but i'm sure people are less likely to cry anti-competitive if they license another utility instead.

My dock setup is more productive than the Mac dock and the Windows Taskbar combined...and it's much nice aesthetically. Thank you, Stardock.

On the Mac, the GUI is a matter of one size MUST fit all.
On the PC, you can change everything to whatever you want.

I like customization at a level that goes far beyond just changing my background, so I prefer Windows.

Kudos to Linux for allowing a lot of customization, but I like doing actual high end CGI work with my system as well, so no shareware OS for me.

Oh yea, MS really want to put more built in software... so they can get sued for being uncompetitive and monopolistic and all that rubbish.

Don't forget being accused of stealing design ideas from Apple and Linux by people like the guy who wrote this article. I'm sure some of those Mac features are even copyrighted.

(Fourjays said @ #2)
The impression this article gave me was that the author just wants Windows to be like OSX.

I wonder if this is some sort of astroturfing by Apple? Notice how he makes OS X look so good. PC World is well known for accepting bribes.

Besides that everything he mentioned is already available as 3rd party apps, almost all of which are FREEWARE. That is a much better solution than having MS shove it down your throat.

It's this thinking that Windows has to do everything that is ruining Windows. I don't know how Apple manages to keep OS X from melting down under the weight of all those features, but MS is incapable of writing efficient, bug-free code.

A good example of this is Shadow Copy in Vista; MS's half-assed attempt to clone Time Machine. It just amounts to a lot of disk thrashing, and it is so bugged that the backups become corrupted after a while anyway. The result is reduced performance without any real benefit. Restore Points were good enough and had fewer problems!

MAKE IT OPTIONAL!

I don't know how Apple manages to keep OS X from melting down under the weight of all those features, but MS is incapable of writing efficient, bug-free code.

Well, wouldn't that be part of the point? OS X provides them without problem. They are tiny, lightweight features. They are not pushed down your throat, they can be shut off or ignored entirely.

But they are small, simple, useful tools to those who want to use them.

Got to agree that it is mostly "Why isn't Windows like Linux and OSX" crap. Still, there are many things I would like to see on Windows. Single file applications (or just getting rid of installers for anything but drivers), standardized menus and virtual desktops are the most important things listed in the article IMO.

Expose can be had on Vista with Switcher and can even be set to replace the terrible Flip3D. Microsoft also has a Expose style utility in their Intellipoint mouse driver called Instant Viewer. Why this isn't standard on Vista I don't know.

Hmm, I still think Windows needs an alarm clock.

I always have my PC's on, and I wish I could just set a time to wake me up with an MP3. I know I can download scripts people have made, but I want a built in one :P

(mikemyres said @ #1)
Hmm, I still think Windows needs an alarm clock.

I always have my PC's on, and I wish I could just set a time to wake me up with an MP3. I know I can download scripts people have made, but I want a built in one :P

All versions of Windows have always had this, it's called Scheduled Tasks
You can even make the PC itself wake up from Hibernation at a set time, then play an MP3 or whatever floats your boat.

(Exosphere said @ #1.2)
All versions of Windows have always had this, it's called Scheduled Tasks
You can even make the PC itself wake up from Hibernation at a set time, then play an MP3 or whatever floats your boat.

since Windows 95...