Flip3D is a “productivity addition” in Microsoft’s forever forthcoming Windows Vista. “The biggest influence is clearly that of Exposé on the Mac – a utility attempting to help the user stay organized by seeing every open window at once – but Microsoft has gone in an entirely different direction in how they are presenting everything,” Ryan Smith reports for AnandTech.
Smith writes, “Activated via Win+Tab, Flip3D works like a rolodex of windows, with a mouse wheel (or repeated pressing of the TAB key) allowing the user to flip through the windows until they find the one they’re looking for. However, this is one major case where we wish Microsoft would have just completely copied Apple, rather than trying to create their own implementation.”
“Flip3D in its current incarnation is not at all a useful productivity tool because the rolodex design means that it can’t really show everything at once like Exposé can. Having to wheel through things further hinders its effectiveness, as it’s not as smooth an operation as simply using the mouse to select the desired window. For all you true nerds and geeks out there, Flip3D is an O(n) operation where Exposé is O(1),” Smith writes.
“Lastly, for such a great emphasis on eye-candy in Aero, the rotated view of the windows is poorly thought out; by rotating the windows it creates aliasing which in spite of the power of modern video cards is not being removed. The artifacting around the window borders and the illegibility of the text simply make Flip3D ugly to look at and ugly to use. In this case, Microsoft simply would have been better off not implementing Flip3D than using this. We like Exposé, and a version of it in Windows would be very nice, but Flip3D is a second-rate copy at best, and ultimately does not function nearly enough like Exposé to be useful,” Smith writes.
“Even with the massive improvements Microsoft has shown with Vista, we still feel they aren’t quite ready to beat Tiger in a fight. Tiger still offers a more refined experience that doesn’t come with nearly as many quirks as Vista does (beta quirks or otherwise), and there’s a great deal of functionality that Tiger has that isn’t replicated by Vista at all, such as drag and drop application installation or a Unix shell. Ultimately switchers are going to find that Vista is similar to Tiger, but it’s not enough to surpass Tiger and cause them to switch back,” Smith writes. “And then there’s Leopard…”
Full article here.
Watch a QuickTime video from Apple of Exposé in action: http://www.apple.com/macosx/theater/expose.html
MacDailyNews Take: We’d be surprised if Microsoft didn’t botch a copy job of yet another Mac OS X feature. See, when Microsoft copies, they can’t steal it outright or they’ll run into legal issues. This is why Windows is an upside-down and backwards Mac UI instead of a direct copy (Microsoft’s users pay for the lack of innovation every time). Since Apple did it first and they focus so intently on the user experience, they spent a lot of time thinking about the best way to implement it, so the copy, in order not to be a direct copy, has to be bastardized and diminished in some way by definition. Because this is Microsoft’s modus operandi, they are predictably consistent at bastardizing and diminishing Apple’s innovations in Windows. F9
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