Features of Windows that Apple should steal, er, borrow, uh,

  • Posted: 02 July 2001 10:44 AM

    My favorite feature in Windows is the ability to right-click on the desktop and, from the contextual menu that pops up, create a new file, be it .wav, .txt, .zip, .xls (Excel), Word, PowerPoint, eFax, etc.

    I’d love for Apple to steal it and claim that they invented it. Which features would you like to see Apple blatantly steal and incorporate in to the OS?

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  • Posted: 29 June 2001 08:05 PM #1

    Well, I don’t know if this is quite on topic, but there are a number of shareware/freeware programs already available for OS 9 (as well as OS X) which I *strongly* feel Apple should buy out and incorporate (or would that be TOO “Microsoftian?” lol)...

    These include:

    DragThing: Bar none, the best multi-functional launchers/docks/etc. known to man. (although I know Drop Drawers has many fans as well).  Available for OS X as well, and superior to the “official” Dock in many ways.  Buy ‘em out and merge one or both of ‘em in with the Dock, says I.

    GoMac: Hasn’t been updated in forever, but hasn’t really needed to be.  Brings to the Mac the only true Innovation MSFT has ever actually come up with on their own, to my knowledge—the Task Bar.  Not to be confused with DragThing above.  GoMac’s best feature IMHO is that it doesn’t allow icons or windows to drop behind it, which is the biggest annoyance I have with the Dock in OS X.

    FINDERPOP!!: If Apple is going to insist on keeping a one-button mouse as the default, then PLEASE toss a few bucks to the developer of this essential—and nearly free—contextual-menu enabler (as it happens, I have a Logitech 2-button mouse anyway, but you get the idea)...

    Kaleidoscope: Apple should really get off this creepy obsession with snuffing out customization themes.  Yes, Aqua is gorgeous…so what? The Mona Lisa is beautiful; that doesn’t mean I don’t want to look at other artwork from time to time.  So what if 2/3 of the Kaleidoscope themes are annoying or make the GUI incomprehensible?  If that’s what people want to do with their computer…I say Apple should *encourage* customization as much as possible.  Expand on the Theme/Scheme technology instead of trying to quash it.

    Scroll Bars and Scrollability: I’m glad that Apple added the ability to move both scroll arrows to the end of the window, but Scroll Bars adds double arrows to *both* ends, which I find indispensable (I think Kaleidoscope does this as well, could be wrong).  Scrollability goes along with FinderPop in making up for the single-button mouse problem:  It lets you scroll up or down windows without needing the scroll bar at all!

    If Apple would incorporate some of the above features into the OS, it would be a vast improvement.  Of course, this would also constitute “stealing” one of Microsofts’ most infamous traits: Wiping out the little guy by either buying him out or making him irrelevent.  Ah well…just my opinion…


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  • Posted: 29 June 2001 08:20 PM #2

    faster reboot and the ability to make someone using it drop 50 IQ points and believe its the greatest thing ever.

  • Posted: 29 June 2001 08:43 PM #3

    One thing I miss from windows:

    Ability to select n number of files and then get propriety of all of them together (in windows by right clicking and then propriety, on a mac option + i). This feature allow us to check the size of n number of files without the need to put them into a separate folder. In the mac, when you do this, it opens the info for each file… really annoying.

    Or, maybe there is a shortcut on the mac to do this, someone help me…




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  • Posted: 30 June 2001 06:05 AM #4

    I like the ability to copy and paste files in Windows Explorer, to move them from one location to another.  Apple needs to get on the ball with their MPEG-4 implementation and the ability to play DVD movies in OS X.  I wish Apple documented as well as Microsoft does, and spent a little more money trying to woo developers.  Maybe give them a little more incentive.


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    Posted: 30 June 2001 12:48 PM #5

    Yes, I would have to say that’s the biggest thing that Apple should emulate, Microsoft’s efforts to work with its developers.  Things seem to have improved at Apple, but the company still treats developers like the enemy when compared to Microsoft.


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  • Posted: 30 June 2001 01:23 PM #6

    I gotta tell ya. I’m not impressed by the two button mouse. When I use a windows machine—which is not often—I can’t wait to get done. I hate. it. Like listening to hardcore metal music. Stop already. When I sit in front of a mac, it’s like an amazing symphony. I don’t want to leave. Sure there are things that Apple could do that Microsoft does, but I don’t think there’s anything that Microsoft really does better, per se.



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  • Posted: 30 June 2001 03:17 PM #7

    Scottk, that’s a great way of describing how it feels to use a PC and Mac.  However, I find two button mice quite convenient, and I use one on my Mac for easy access to contextual menus. 

    But, there is still a big difference between multiple buttons on a Mac vs on a PC.  It seems that on a PC, right clicking is a integral part of the OS and it’s often harder to do things without it.  On the Mac, on the other hand, it’s an added feature.  It’s not inconvenient to not have one, it’s just that it can help if you do. When it’s an extra feature, not a requirement, it makes all the difference in the world.

    David Nelson
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    <font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: David Nelson on 2001-06-30 18:21 ]</font>

  • Posted: 30 June 2001 03:48 PM #8

    On 2001-06-30 16:23, scottk wrote:
    I gotta tell ya. I’m not impressed by the two button mouse. When I use a windows machine—which is not often—I can’t wait to get done. I hate. it.

    I use Excel and Access on Win95 at least 8 hours/day. The right click is like second nature, on the Windows machine. I too would like to see better incorporation of the “control” click aspect of the Mac. On my Mac I have been using a 4 button Turbo mouse and thoroughly enjoy it - using all four buttons constantly.

    Program integration with the system and with each other seems better - at least on the MS programs, and that’s to be expected.

    That said, I also feel like you, Scott, when I get home, I feel like working on my Mac. I use Windows because I have no choice at work. But your description ...

    When I sit in front of a mac, it’s like an amazing symphony. I don’t want to leave.

    is absolutely right. I enjoy the Mac, the feel of it. I don’t I would spend nearly as much time on the computer if it were a Windows machine. Maybe my wife would appreciate me getting a Windows machine!

    <font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: shades on 2001-06-30 18:50 ]</font>


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  • Posted: 30 June 2001 05:32 PM #9

    I apologize - but if I wanted to use a PC I would own one.

    That said, I am fortunate that I work for a company that only owns two PC’s - the rest of the 30 computers are Mac’s.  We love our mac’s.  And whenever we get a new employee it doesn’t take long for them to ask why anyone ever uses a PC.

    But I do have to agree that a two button mouse is much more effective.  I have a logitech trackball - two button mouse at home and keep threatening to take it to work .  But I’ll probably just buy one for my office mac. Whatever makes the job easier.


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  • Posted: 01 July 2001 10:21 AM #10

    David Nelson:  I think your take on the right button is right on.  And I never really thought about it that way before.  For a programmer creating a program for Windows, they are given more allowance to make a crappy UI because they have so many options.  They forget that it is important to make several ways to trigger most actions.  With a Mac, this is crucial since 90% of Mac users probably use the included mouse.


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  • Posted: 02 July 2001 07:23 AM #11

    Ok…you hit a subject that bugs me every day I work on Mac and PC (which is every day ). First, from what I have read, OS X takes advantage of 2 button mice. WOOHOO! Second, I WANT A MAXIMIZE BUTTON! Third, more keyboard shortcuts to cut down on haveing to reach for the mouse all the time (better text selection via keyboard). Fourth, A STANDARDIZATION! I work on Macs all day, I have 4 different CD’s to boot various models of iMacs. On a PC I can take any bootable CD and put it into a system that supports booting to the CD and it boots…I dont have to hunt down which version of the CD I need. I have one CD that boots every PC I put it in.

    I cant wait till OS X (or XI, or XII, or XIII, etc.) is a standard (more running it than OS 9.1 and lower).


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    Posted: 02 July 2001 10:44 AM #12

    About CDs, any bootable CD will boot any Mac that supports that OS.  I have used iMac CDs on PowerMacs, and PowerMac CDs on PowerBooks dozens of times.

    At this point, I will also point out that Macs have been bootable from CDs many years longer than Windows. 

    Also, I think that you just may not know about all the outstanding keyboard shortcuts.  In fact, I am going to start a thread about keyboard shortcuts.


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