- TopDesk: With a single key press, you can view thumbnails of all open windows, display
all windows belonging to the current application, or hide all windows to
quickly access the desktop. In essence,
this is Apple’s Expose for Windows.
Easily worth the $9.95 price.
- Konfabulator: Ever heard of Apple’s
Dashboard? Konfabulator is where Apple
got their idea for Dashboard. Yahoo just
bought them last week
, so now it is available for free (it used to cost $19.95). In essence, this is Apple’s Dashboard for
- Cropper: Cropper is a screen capture utility that makes it fast and easy to grab parts of your
screen. It is very similar to the Mac’s
built-in screen capture utility accessible by pressing Shift-Control-4. Best of all, it is free.
- Firefox: Browsing the web without Tabs is maddening. All major browsers except for Internet
Explorer offer tabbed browsing. Note: IE 7 will have
tabbed browsing and should be available by year’s end.
- Windows Desktop Search: This is one of those features that once you try, you can’t live without. You can find anything on your computer as quickly as you type. Search your entire system from one place: files, emails, contacts, images, calendars and applications appear instantly. There are various desktop search utilities available as add-ons for Windows. The one I like the most is MSN Search Toolbar with Windows Desktop Search (great name, isn't it?). In essence, this is Apple’s Spotlight for Windows.
With these 5 applications you can refresh your Windows desktop UI, incorporating some of the advances available on the Mac.
Note: No, I am not saying that these 5 applications are the essence of the Mac UI – they are not. But these 5 applications bring to Windows much needed features than any modern OS UI should offer. I expect Windows Vista will offer comparable features to these 5 applications when it launches next year.