I am typing this on my Win7 computer while my OSX 10.5.6 MacBook Pro runs Citrix immediately to my left.
- They both reside along the bottom of the screen. (Where the Windows taskbar has always been, since back before Mac OS had no launcher/taskbar.)
- They both have an app-launch area on the left-hand side of the bar. (Windows had this first, but the Windows community isn't like the Apple community so you don't really hear "OH MY GOD APPLE THIEVES!" like you do "OH MY GOD MIKKKRO$HAFT!".)
- The icons on the taskbar give you feedback about the app. (Win taskbar used to just do this in the far right notification area, but that's shifted to the left-hand side as well now.)
So let's look at a hypothetical real-life scenario to see the differences between the two by opening 5 Word documents…
OSX Dock (files hidden)
- Not on the right-hand side to be browsed along with stored folders.
- No indication given about them when mousing over Word icon. Clicking on Word icon brings all of them to the forefront in a jumble.
OSX Dock (files minimized)
- All windows represented on right-hand side of Dock with little preview of what they look like.
- Filename given on mouseover.
Win7 Taskbar (files minimized, as there is no "hide feature" as far as I know)
- All minimized windows hidden under Word icon which develops "stacked" appearance to indicated minimized windows.
- On mouseover of Word icon, preview windows of each document appear with filename.
- On mouseover of a preview window, the ability to close the file appears as well as everything else but that file "glassed" out on the desktop itself. (focus window remains highlighted)
And now, the Win7 Taskbar is, on the surface, app-centric, and secondarily window-centric. I think it's a good move, and solves some of the issues I've long had with the Taskbar, but it also does rather open them up to claims of copying the Dock, since it now *functionally* is much closer in operation.
The Windows taskbar used to be more like the dock in that it had an app launching area to the left (quick launch) and a window storage area on the right. It is less
like the Apple dock now.
Like the Dock has been since 10.0...
- Application-specific windows are grouped under a big icon instead of spread out. (application-specific window grouping existed since XP (perhaps earlier))
No. When you minimize a window in OSX it just sits on the right-hand side of the Dock independent of its parent app's launch icon on the left.
Like the Dock's contextual commands or doc area
Not really like that, no. It all resides under the app launch icon. It doesn't exist anywhere on the taskbar until you right-click (an unfair advantage Windows has, I'll grant you, is a second mouse button).
It's a different way of working. It's a different design and UI philosophy. Hence: not
a functional copy. Once you fall to saying "Well it's sort of kind of like…" then you've conceded the asinine concept of a "direct functional copy".
You simply want
to believe Microsoft copied Apple so you're backfilling with reasons that don't meet the accusation.
I think the point at which people started saying 'copy' was the flip from the 25 year old window-centric default to an app-centric default.
Then what do you call minimizing windows to the right-hand side of the Dock, just like had been happening in the Windows UI since Windows 95?
When Apple beefs up mouseover-capabilities on the Dock, allowing commands to be performed from the mouseover windows, will it be copying Microsoft or will Apple simply be improving its user experience by making obvious evolutionary UI decisions based on their own use of their own operating system?
Or how about when Apple offers up a tool like Windows Live Mesh whereby Mac users synchronize a single folder, for free, across multiple machines across multiple platforms ensuring that they have the same files at work that they have at hom? Will they be copying Microsoft or will it just be something obvious that people would want?
As I said earlier in the thread, this "copying" bullshit is just a conceit of the weak.
In the limit where Windows is improved to become exactly like Leopard, Microsoft basically eliminates the Apple threat.
Have you used Windows 7 and Mac OSX 10.5?
I can't imagine how anyone who has used to two would say they are more
alike than Vista and OSX 10.2 or XP and OSX 10.0. It's a self-perpetuating meme that Apple users find amusing but has no real basis in reality.