Snow Leopard vs. Win 7: Battle Begins August 28

Five innovations being touted by each OS's makers

Apple's latest operating system update, Mac OSX Snow Leopard, should be ready to roll on August 28, and while Apple says the new OS is "refined, not reinvented," it'll become the de facto competitor to Microsoft Windows 7 come October. We love a good argument, so here's your fodder: five innovations for each OS being touted by their respective makers.

Mac OSX Snow Leopard:

Exposé Interactivity: The feature that shows all windows together is no longer a simple means for switching among them. It will be possible to drag content from one previewed window to the other. Exposé will also work for individual applications by clicking and holding their icons in the dock. As a workaround for the miniscule preview windows in the dock, these improvements aren't bad.

Smart Services: Control-clickers will delight in new context-sensitive menus that appear when you perform the Windows-equivalent of a right click. For instance, highlighting and control-clicking text in a Web browser lets you send the text to an e-mail or import it to iTunes as a spoken word track.

Smaller Install: Pony up the $29 to upgrade to Snow Leopard, and you'll get 7 GB of your hard drive back. That's not a feature, per se, but it's certainly an innovation. The last thing we want is an operating system that's continually gaining weight.

VoiceOver: Though it won't be used by the majority of Mac owners, VoiceOver is arguably the most expansive addition to OSX. This tool for visually-impaired users essentially turns the trackpad into a screen reader, supporting special gestures to switch between windows and audio feedback when clicking.

Chinese Character Input: Okay, most of us won't use this feature either, but it's still pretty cool. After opening an input window, users can draw sketch Chinese characters on their trackpads and then select from a list of possibilities. It's as good a reason as any to start learning.

Windows 7:

Invisible Windows: The answer, of sorts, to OSX's Exposé lets users turn all open windows into bare outlines by moving the mouse to the screen's bottom right corner. From there, shaking a window makes all others minimize, and shaking it again brings them back up. A related window-management feature lets you quickly size windows to half the screen, allowing for side-by-side comparisons.

Jump Lists: It's no longer necessary to hunt through a folder of recent documents to pick up work where you left off. By right-clicking icons Windows 7's new dock (a feature cribbed from OSX), users can jump to recent documents or perform common tasks, such as resuming an old playlist in Windows Media Player.

Internet Access to Home Media: Got two computers, or a friend who wants to look at photos from your last get-together? Clicking a button within Windows Media Player opens up photos, videos, and music for streaming to other PCs. No party will ever be safe again from your weird musical tastes.

Touch Friendly: Should the touchscreen craze finally take off, Windows 7 will be ready with a mode that's tailor made for tablets. Start menu and taskbar icons are larger, and Web browsing can be done with a finger. Multitouch is also supported, with pinch and twist gestures for zooming and rotating.

HomeGroup: Sharing content between networked computers is nothing new, but Windows 7 makes it easier with HomeGroup. The feature lets any new computer joining your home network link up to existing ones, allowing for file transfers. Printers are also shared automatically, so no one has to be kicked off the master computer to print a document

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags AppleMicrosoftsnow leopardWindows 7

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jared Newman

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?