Microsoft used to be the first follower of the computer software. They used to take all of the good things that were in the OS or software offerings from their competitors and put those offerings into Microsoft offerings. Now Microsoft is so confused, they aren’t even being good followers.
I want to be fair, it is okay to be a first follower. In fact, it is often a great strategy. They can take the great ideas from the computing world and improve them to offer to their consumers at a much lower cost. This has been the modus operandi of Microsoft for decades. This must be a particular trait of Bill Gates that Steve Ballmer just doesn’t have. Since Billy left Microsoft, Microsoft cannot even seem to copy good ideas anymore.
My current favorite complaint about Windows is the lack of Spaces that are on the Mac or Workspaces in Ubuntu. This is the ability to have only certain application showing in a given screen. It really helps to keep your desktop less cluttered as you work. It eliminates having windows behind windows behind windows. At a certain point you just don’t need those windows open if you cannot click on them in the desktop. If you have to go to the taskbar to select the window/application that you want, then you have already learned the need for [Work]Spaces as they exist in more modern operating systems than Windows 7.
A good friend that absolutely loves all things Microsoft (he even thinks that their phone OS will someday be successful – LOL) tries to explain this to me. You can download an application that will patch the OS and make this functionality work. Sure, instead of an OS offering I install a hack into the OS and hope it doesn’t screw up everything else. I used one of these hacks when I switched back from Ubuntu to Windows XP and it completely screwed up my Registry. I don’t want to go down that road again with my Windows 7 laptop. If you would like to try, here are some possible add-ons that might work for you to improve your productivity (try at your own risk – I am not saying any of these are any good):
- Open Source http://virtuawin.sourceforge.net/
- Dexpot http://www.dexpot.de
- Crystal Desktop http://www.brightek-soft.com/virtual-desktop/
- Sysinternals Desktops http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/cc817881
- Virtual Desktop for Windows 7 http://www.sondle.com/resource/virtual-desktop-for-windows-7.asp
- Windows Pager http://sourceforge.net/projects/windowspager/
- mDesktop http://code.google.com/p/mdesktop/
- 360desktop http://www.360desktop.com