“The Time Machine 3-D interface for backup and data recovery coming in Mac OS X Leopard is amazing. What’s more astounding is that a 3-D interface really works for users,” David Morgenstern writes for eWeek.

Morgenstern reports, “The Leopard update is due in the “spring” of 2007, Jobs said, which means it could ship anytime during the second quarter. ‘Time Machine is one of the best concepts for a backup utility anyone has ever had and one of the best user interfaces anyone has ever had,’ said Peter Glaskowsky, technology analyst with Envisioneering of Cupertino, Calif.”

“Unlike the System Restore feature in Windows XP that looks at the state of Windows and the Registry, Time Machine provides a granular incremental backup for all bits and pieces of the OS, as well as data files. Users can restore the entire hard drive or just a single file,” Morgenstern reports, “But it was the interface that drew the audience into the program. The recovery window featured a vertical timeline on the right hand side, and two arrows that floated in the frame, one pointing towards the user (the present) and the other into the screen (the past). Of course, the subject of the Time Machine restoration, whether a file or folder window, was presented in the center of the screen and behind it, were arrayed the older versions extending and shrinking into the past.”

“‘It’s the first app I’ve ever seen that has a real reason to have a 3-D user interface,’ Glaskowsky said. ‘We’ve seen this before with application switching and so on. But that’s an OS feature, not an app. This is a real app, and it’s the first one that really needed 3-D to convey the impression of what you’re doing,’ he continued. Glaskowsky is so right. Most 3-D environments have really been terrible. In the 1990s there was a vogue to emulate ‘real’ 3-D virtual environments for productivity, such as desks with drawers that opened, instead of folders and icon views,” Morgenstern reports, “And then there’s Flip3D and context switching. It’s all more of an effect, although Flip3D in Vista is a step forward from Windows XP. It’s just not in the league with Apple and Mac OS X’s refinements.”

MacDailyNews Note: See Microsoft botches another copy job: Windows Vista Flip3D vs. Apple Mac OS X Exposé – June 26, 2006

Morgenstern continues, “Apple can not only make sense of a 3-D interface, but it can make the trains mostly run on time. Since the release of Cheetah, the first version of OS X, Apple has executed on its OS plan. Except for the forthcoming Leopard, which is some three to six months late, depending on how you count, the company has released stable and useful iterations of its Unix-based OS on time to its developers and customers. Despite the resources, Vista is years late and pared down to an almost unrecognizable state. Hello, Redmond! Are you watching?”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Steve Jobs announced Mac OS X 10.5 “Leopard” during his WWDC 2005 keynote presentation on June 6, 2005. According to Jobs’ statement, over 14 months ago, Leopard was due “at the end of 2006 or early 2007.” Yesterday, Apple announced that Leopard is “scheduled to ship in spring 2007.” So, how is Leopard “some three to six months late,” Mr. Morgenstern? What’s the exact definition of “early?” Is March 20th, the first day of spring, not “early” 2007? It must really depend on how you count. Want to know a secret? Talk behind-the-scenes is that Leopard will debut at MacWorld Expo 2007 (Jan 8-12). But, even if it doesn’t – say it matches the official debut date of Mac OS X on March 24 – it’s not “late” by any stretch of the imagination.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs at WWDC 2005 keynote spelled out Mac OS X Leopard’s release date as “at the end of 2006 or early 2007” quite clearly:

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Apple to unleash Leopard on Microsoft’s Windows Longhorn; Mac OS X 10.5 due late 2006 – early 2007 – June 07, 2005