How the Macintosh interface didn't keep up with itself

by Andy Oram

We just brought a Macintosh into our family for the first time,
because my daughter matriculated at a music conservatory that
recommended the Macintosh over a Windows system. So I got a chance to
experience the vertigo and disorientation of learning a new system
that other people consider extremely easy to use. (My last sustained
use of a Macintosh was around 1985.)


Here's an example of the frustration we had. We called up a Web page
with some administrative advice, and it told us to pull up the Finder
and look for a file. We called up the Finder and saw the Go menu
appear on the menu bar at the top of the screen. But what were we
supposed to look for? Back to the web page, to get the name. OK, now
back to the Go menu--but wait! The Go menu is gone!


The idea of putting the functions from each program in the menu bar
made sense in 1985, when the Mac ran only one program at a time. Even
one program could be a strain, when the system lacked a hard disk.


But now the Mac is a multitasking system. And I am a multitasker. I
expect to run Safari and the Finder at the same time. But I must treat
the menu bar as if I were still on a single-tasking system.


I think it is time for the most advanced operating system to advance a
bit in the multi-tasking world. The interface should obey the basic
interface rule of consistency, also called predictability. Items
should not disappear just because a different window is visible.


39 Comments

Jon Evans
2006-09-01 12:14:54
I must admit, I thought the same when I first switched (3 years ago now). But you very quickly get used to it, and it actually makes a lot of sense. First of all it is a good application of Fitts law - it's easier to hit a menu if it's at the top of the screen, just whack the mouse pointer up there, it's impossible to overshoot. Secondly, you're only interacting with one app at a time, so there's no need to see the menu options for all the other aps you have running. Thirdly, individual windows can devote more space to their actual content, without having menus duplicated all over the screen. I wouldn't have it any other way now.
Mike McG
2006-09-01 12:20:43
The menu bar is not controlled by window visibility. When was the last time you accessed the menu bars of two windows simultaneously? Better yet, when was the last time you focused two windows simultaneously? I agree with the notion that things popping up and dissappearing /at random/ smacks of poor design, but the Mac menu bar behavior is both simple and consistent: whichever window is /focused/ controls the menu bar. You will never have more than one window focused and thus never need more than one menu bar. Perhaps at sometime in the future, multiple-user desktop sessions will be the norm and more than one window can be focused at a time. Until then, I feel that a universal menu bar alleviates clutter and simplifies the window decoration considerably, and is probably even more beneficial to folks entirely new to computers who are trying to acclimate to the given interface model.


The only possible argument against a universal menu bar could be demonstrated when a user has window A focused but needs to see the available menu bar items from window B /in the course of his work/. Unless you're writing something like a software review or documentation, this will never be necessary. And in that same vein, it follows that the entire menu structure, the bar and the submenus below, should /always/ be completely visible for each window, as part of the interface model. Simply wretched!


Have a good day.

Isaac
2006-09-01 12:21:12
Predictability is great goal, and is in part the reason that the menu bar stays in the same place, regardless of the app. No matter what app I'm using the File menu will always be right there in the same place as all the other apps. Your brain doesn't have to recall where on the screen your window is to know where the menus are, this scales great on small displays and large. The second reason is Fitt's law. Having an "infinitely tall" target such as the OS X menu bar pays out big dividends in time saved when you add up all the hours we spend in front of a computer.


I will admit that it takes some getting used to, especially for some one coming from a lot time in the Windows realm. But truthfully, I don't think that it is an issue of multitasking versus singletasking. We may bounce between apps at the speed of a keyboard shortcut, but when was the last time you had two menus open at the same time? The last time I can remember was when the graphics driver on my XP box locked up :)


Just my 2 cents,
Isaac

James Bennett
2006-09-01 14:16:15
"Multitasking" has nothing to do with it -- if you were doing the same thing on Windows, you'd run into a similar but related problem: click to the help window, and it becomes focused, meaning that any open menus in whatever application you were looking at will close, and that the help window will jump to the front, possibly obscuring the window of the application you're trying to learn about.


Same on all the Linux desktops and WMs I've used over the years.


On preview: Mike McG's comment about the predictable location of the menu bar is also a good counterpoint.

Lars
2006-09-01 14:54:05
I'm sorry to rain on your note, but the Mac OS menu interface is predictable and easy to use - it just uses a paradigm different from what you're used to (same with the 'closing the last window doesn't terminate the application' paradigm, or that the meta keys are tied to Command instead of Control).


Use it for a while, and you'll start to wonder why other operation systems force you to hit small menu items which constantly move around when they could have a nice fat unmissable menu bar at the top of the screen instead.

Pete
2006-09-01 16:58:02
I must agree with this complaint of the Apple interface. Fitt's law may be one thing, but I find it takes three times the amount of mouse clicks to get the right menu bars shuffled into place to do simple operations.


Quickly grabbing for something like File/Print also takes the extra second of reading the start of the menu bar to make sure the correct menu bar is even showing.


The single menu bar is both slower to use and extra work.

Ross M Karchner
2006-09-01 17:34:25
consider going the opposite directions-- with a nice little app called 'Menufela', the menu bar only appears when I want it.
pjm
2006-09-01 18:03:52
Sheesh... they didn't disappear because a different window is visible, they disappeared because they weren't functional in the current context. Which is a highly consistent -- and entirely predictable -- behaviour. Maybe you think we're all brain-dead drones incapable of multitasking ("I am a multitasker"), but perhaps (just the tiniest perhaps?) there's something to this way of presenting menus?


Sorry for the petulant reply, but the arrogance of this blog entry is really galling.

Kevin Ollivier
2006-09-01 19:30:31
By predictability, I think what you mean is "predictable behavior to people used to Windows", which isn't the same thing as predictability. Mac apps behave predictably (i.e. the same operation produces the same results), just not how a Windows user might expect them to.


If you use the Mac for day-to-day work for a while, I think you'll start to understand why Mac works the way it does. You may or may not agree with how OS X approaches things, but at least you'll see that OS X is not Windows and its UI paradigms are different (but not necessarily 'bad' because of that).


For example, one concept (related to your post) that Windows users have a hard time getting away from is the idea that "the window is the application". This isn't so on the Mac. You can have a running application on Mac without having a single window open (and thankfully, no 'task bar icon' either). Should the menu bar, then, disappear? Why? Why shouldn't I be able to click File->Open without needing to have a blank window available? It's also arguably more efficient. On Windows, typically the application shuts down when no documents are open, and must be restarted when a new document is opened. On Mac, I just leave the app running (even if no docs are currently open) if I plan to use it again soon. I find this rather nice. (And the tendency for Windows apps like Firefox, OpenOffice.org, IE, MS Office, etc. to want to startup at load shows that the Windows behavior has its issues too.)

There's lots of other things (like drag and drop...) that I could comment on, being someone who used Windows from 3.1 to XP and switched full-time to Mac about 3-4 years ago, but the long and short of it is that I spent the first 6-9 months wondering why Mac did things the way it did, then after that I started wondering why Windows didn't work more like Mac does. :-) To some extent, the most jarring aspect was that I was now firmly in the 'learners' chair again. But I'd recommend taking some time to work with, and get familiar with, how the interface works, and then once you've given Mac as much of a chance as you gave Windows, come back and decide if you agree or disagree with how it works.

sapporo
2006-09-02 02:52:03
So the Mac menu bar still works like in 1985, and you call that inconsistent and unpredictable? Yeah, right.


Oh, and -1 for the sensationalist title.

Andy Armstrong
2006-09-02 04:56:01
The interface should obey the basic interface rule of consistency, also called predictability.


Predictability is subjective. Presumably your predictions are based on using something that works differently. Having a menu bar that's always in the same place and always communicates with the current application works just fine once you're used to it.


Do you also object to the fact that the keyboard is always in the same place and always talks to the current application? Would you rather have your desktop (physical) littered with keyboards only one of which is active at any time? :)

Andy Armstrong
2006-09-02 05:01:29
On the subject of predictability I think it's conventional that if you open with a headline like that you'd better have something of substance to say.


"Hey, I just switched to a different GUI and it's taking me a while to get used to it"


Congratulations to you and your daughter though - I guess that was the real reason for posting :)

Wai Yip Tung
2006-09-02 12:25:41

I think that Mac being more user friendly than Windows is more a myth than an objective statement. It may be true back in the MacOS v.s. DOS/Windows 3.0 days. But as the UI mature, both are reasonably easy to use. And both come with quirks that frustrate novices and experts alike. Over the years there are only few innovations in UI like browser inspired navigation (backward, forward buttons, hyperlink) and search based access. Otherwise they are most the same WIMP based interface.


The bigger change is perhaps in the users. Today most people would likely have some exposures to computers and have used the web. How easy an UI is cannot be be judged by itself but must also be compared to what they have already learned. A single menu on top make perfect sense to Mac users. But it is inconvenient to Adam because he expects something different. Successful switchers have committed themselves to learn a new skill.


As a long time Windows users, there are a few thing Mac does that I find really inconvenient. I am a keyboard person. I'm work much faster if I don't have to touch the mouse. In this regard Windows is easier than Mac with for mouseless operation. Secondly I work mostly with one window maximized and focus on one task at one time. It really frustrates me to find Mac windows don't really maximize to fill up the screen. Granted I might be missing something because I'm inexperienced. But that is just my point that how something is has to be judged by how similar it is to what the users has learned.

shixilun
2006-09-02 16:40:36
You can have a running application on Mac without having a single window open (and thankfully, no 'task bar icon' either).


You can do the same thing on Windows. But what is the use of running an application you can't get to (easily)?

Kevin Ollivier
2006-09-03 17:20:26
You can do the same thing on Windows.


I'm assuming you mean by using a task bar icon, which may be auto-magically hidden for you under XP. (Which is really a necessity, due to the fact that so many programs add task bar icons at startup that it takes up a good chunk of your task bar space, and they're not easily removed.)


But what is the use of running an application you can't get to (easily)?


Not sure what you mean by this. What's difficult about accessing a running program?

James
2006-09-03 18:35:37
here's why a single menu bar not tied to a window is better.


On Windows create a new browser window in Firefox when the only Firefox window open is the downloads manager.


Now do the same thing on a Mac.

Harvey Pengwyn
2006-09-04 03:12:49
The best thing about Windows compared to Macs or Linux/Unix variants, is that you are allowed to not like it, you can criticize it without getting a chorus of disapproval.
themotie
2006-09-05 03:48:34
Just a comment on Wai Yip Tung's comment and the keyboardfriendliness of Macs. I am a keyboard person. I'm work much faster if I don't have to touch the mouse. When I'm on a windows machine I have to mouse til hell freezes over. I think this particular area (also) is very much a matter of what you're used to.


And as to Harvey Pengwyn's comment, yah, there's some truth to that, but I'll also have to say that there appear to be fora you haven't visited, where pro-apple, microsoft negavtive comment are met with stuff like "macsux" and "crapple". The same goes for not a few linuxians. Substance, it seems, is a general lack.

Nipponese
2006-09-05 11:30:22
Quote here's why a single menu bar not tied to a window is better.


On Windows create a new browser window in Firefox when the only Firefox window open is the downloads manager.


Now do the same thing on a Mac.
end quote


On a Mac, while the only window open is the downloads manager in FireFox, click cmd+n. Same difference. Your point?

Sam Griffith Jr.
2006-09-05 17:20:08
For those of you who want to use the keyboard to fully control the OS X interface. You can. Open up the HelpView Application and search in 'Mac Help' for 'Agile Web Development With Rails'. It gives you the basic keyboard controls for moving around the interface. Very similiar to how Windows does things. And just as quick once you learn them.


You can also get to the 'Mac Help' by going to the 'Help' menu in the Finder application.


KFW
2006-09-05 19:37:02
I've used a Mac for years now, and I couldn't agree more. If anyone even hints at criticizing the Mac menu bar they get DDS'd with "Fitts' Law" comments. Fitts' Law may have meant something on a 512 X 384 screen (the original 128K Mac), but doesn't any more. I use a 15" PowerBook attached to a large LCD monitor (which is set as the primary screen). I have to cover a lot of ground to get my mouse up to the menu bar - it would be much faster for me to have a menu bar near where I was actually working.
bernard
2006-09-06 01:22:16
Even though you are a "multitasker" I really doubt that you'll act (with your mouse) on two different apps at the exact same time... You're just human after all !
Based on that assumption I don't see any reason why you won't put the menu on top of the screen for each apps ?
Tom
2006-09-06 06:08:35
Both MacOSX and Windows have a one size fits all UI. I think the target is to make it easy to learn and do a few tasks at a time.


X11 (on Unix, Linux, etc) lets you change the UI. I wish I had the option with the other 2.


For example I use xterm alot. I counted 100 windows open at the end of one week. I had 2 screens with virtual workspaces on each. I find with Cygwin on windows that things get too cluttered beyond 20-25 windows. I've found the same with MacOSX.


I've tried various virtual workspaces for both environments, but they feel and work like add ons.


I suspect I'm not in the majority with my UI preferences (except maybe in the Unix world) but it'd be nice to see Apple and Microsoft do some research on UIs for more advanced users. I feel they tested the current ones in a lab for a few hours, not with someone who sits in front of the screen for 6-8 hours a day all week.

Mike McG
2006-09-06 14:13:31
Regarding James' comment:
here's why a single menu bar not tied to a window is better.


On Windows create a new browser window in Firefox when the only Firefox window open is the downloads manager.


Now do the same thing on a Mac.


I'm confused by this. Are you trying to say that in OS X a menubar is visible which allows you to open a new window, while in Windows XP there is no menubar? To be fair, as someone mentioned above, you can still use the shortcut key in to open a new window.


Whatever your point was, you bring up another good point: the OS X interface allows an application to remain running and accessible by the user without displaying any windows. For example, I can have Thunderbird running without any windows open (and without any icons on the Dock). This frees up some clutter but also allows Thunderbird to periodically check for mail.


(Again, to be fair, you can use a utility [like PowerMenu] in Windows XP that permits you to minimize any window to the Tray.)

shixilun
2006-09-06 18:31:20
>You can do the same thing on Windows.


I'm assuming you mean by using a task bar icon, which may be auto-magically hidden for you under XP. (Which is really a necessity, due to the fact that so many programs add task bar icons at startup that it takes up a good chunk of your task bar space, and they're not easily removed.)


No, I mean that you can write an application in Windows that runs without creating a task bar icon or a window.


>But what is the use of running an application you can't get to (easily)?


Not sure what you mean by this. What's difficult about accessing a running program?


If I'm running a program and want bring it to the foreground, I like having its icon in the task bar for easy clicking. Yes, the Mac does it a different way, but not that differently; you have to go to a pull-down menu from the top of the screen instead of the task bar (unless, of course, there's an icon in the dashboard).

Steven Coco
2006-09-06 20:54:10
Wow: watch out for zombie-like cookie-cutter responses from music industry people about music and the Mac [I am a degree-bearing musician]. The cookie-cutter answer is along the line of "everything runs on the Mac".


> it's easier to hit a menu if it's at the top of the screen


It's farther away and requires more re-focussing the eyes.


> Secondly, you're only interacting with one app at a time, so there's no need to see the menu options for all the other aps you have running


That's false.


> Thirdly, individual windows can devote more space to their actual content, without having menus duplicated all over the screen


Also false: with no menu bar at all, each window eats up vertical space the size of it's bar, but only horiznotally as wide as the window is -- not to mention those fancy apps that have no menu bar at all.


> You will never have more than one window focused and thus never need more than one menu bar


False (for a poignent example, try the KDE).


> Your brain doesn't have to recall where on the screen your window is to know where the menus are


The menu is close to your working context: more obvious.


> The second reason is Fitt's law


You can only optimize that which you know: if you are fishing for an unknown you don't actually know you are even looking for the menu bar. Optimize with keystrokes and customization instead.


> they disappeared because they weren't functional in the current context. Which is [...] entirely predictable


Um: quite the contrary?


> the idea that "the window is the application". This isn't so on the Mac.


A window is an optional interface for running processes: something that only more of have come into usage over time.


> still works like in 1985, and you call that inconsistent and unpredictable?


And the Mac works like in 1985? It just has a 1985 interface bogging it down.


> On Windows create a new browser window in Firefox when the only Firefox window open is the downloads manager.


Non-Mac users are more used to quick access to launch icons that do a predictable thing: open another process. You would just click the icon/task bar thing -- located in a "predicatable" place to do this exact task each time: perhap telling.

Mike McG
2006-09-09 19:04:19
I'd like to retract my statement that in Firefox on Windows you can open a new window when only the Downloads window is open using a shortcut key. In fact, you cannot, which is a perfect example of an advantage of the Mac model.


Stephen Coo, perhaps you didn't notice, but not only do you refuse to cede any point at all, but your laconic arguments are paper thin or merely ad-hominem. You talk about cookie-cutter responses but your close-minded responses clearly lack fair consideration of the merits of the Mac model. At least others cared enough to flesh out their ideas. Thanks for participating, I guess.

mondotom
2006-09-10 08:51:16
As displays become larger and more than one on a system Fitts law fails for the old Mac menu bar. It works very well on small display systems as they were when Tog was on the team. Regardless of the above statement Apple should give the user a choice.
wayne
2006-09-16 13:08:34
Of all the OS X criticisms that I have read (I'm sure at least a thousand), this strikes me as the most personally incomprehensible. The only way I can make any sense of it is to imagine I am sitting at a Windows computer and find myself completely immobilized by the hopelessly inane, counter-intuitive user interface that scatters menubars all over the screen at the top of every single window as if Microsoft charged a licensing fee for every pixel your mouse pointer had to travel across. My point: any new interface will require you to learn how to, well, interface with it. Sadly, you seem to be in Plato's cave when it comes to realizing that in the World of Being (vis-a-vis Becoming), OS X is the operating system of choice, and its interface has 100% market share.
Paul
2006-09-18 08:50:33
Having gone in the other direction, I moved from a Mac-like menu (Amiga) to Windows. I originally hated all of those menus, but they are better suited to modern multiple-screen environments.
Sheila
2006-09-25 18:01:59
I agree with the comment the "user should have the option". Unless I'm missing something, the menu bar is a pain in a multi-monitor environment. I have apps open in 2 different monitors, but the menu bar can only be in one of the monitors. Not very convienient and you have to train yourself to use only the keyboard, unless you want to keep moving from app to menu across screens.
LeAnne
2006-09-29 08:01:11
Maybe you need some tips to help you and your daughter get used to the features in OS X. Try looking here:


http://www.apple.com/pro/tips/



They have some excellent ideas and shortcuts for using (and multi-tasking in) OS X.


To start out, pretend your Apple/Command key is the Windows Alt key, and you can do lots of things just like Windows. For example, you can alt-tab and shift-alt-tab to cycle through your windows.


Then, with Exposé, you can press various keys to control access to your different windows. You can press F9 to see all the windows you have open at once - then just click on the one you want to use. Press F10 to see only those windows related to your current application. Press F11 to view your desktop, do some things, then press F11 again to return to your previous app. Press F12 to open/close Dashboard.


Okay, so that doesn't help with your menu bar dislike, but it's a couple of cool things that I don't know of Windows being able to do. And, my opinion? I like 'em both (and Linux, too). They let me compute to my heart's content - in whichever way I choose! A Windows-only world would be really dull.

Sam
2006-11-10 14:08:59
I just bought an iMac 24, I have always used Windows....I really like my Mac and am enjoying the learning phase. One thing I am quite disappointed is the fanaticism of Mac users. I feel like I have joined a cult. 90% of the Mac websites I have visited, in some shape or form take a shot at Windows... I am not sure why...


I have been looking for a software that would put the Menu Bar on every window I open...... it makes more sense especially when you have a 24" screen.


I feel windows is a bit unstable but very user friendly.....I dont have to think twice to boot up my Mac.... it takes about 12 seconds to startup or shut down...


Unfortunately there's not enough free software for Mac as there is for Windows...


Any how I dont think Bill or Steve really care as long as they both make money....e.g. Pepsi & Coke


I want the best of both worlds....


Jim
2006-12-09 04:29:54
I just bought an iMac for my wife's use in graphic design. I found the menu placement on the Mac to be so unintuitive that it took me literally 45 minutes to figure out that the top menu was for each active window, not the main system. I too, last used a Mac several years ago, and previously owned an Apple IIc when they first came out in 1984. Even so, I had completely forgotten about this feature, especially after years of intense Windows (and some Linux) use.


But basically, the design is neither good nor bad. It isn't any better or worse than menu placement for Windows of Linux, it's just different, IMO. Your mileage may vary.

Toikka
2007-07-25 12:59:22
I think the statement "Items
should not disappear just because a different window is visible" is quite a bit pessimistic for a multitasker to say. Is it really all that difficult to switch back to finder or whatever application you want a menu for? Its not like your closing and opening different apps everytime you want that menu, its just one click away. If they put every menu of every program on the task bar you would not know which action is associated with which program, that and the menu bar would fill up quickly and couldnt house all the menus for a bunch of different apps open at the same time as a multitasker would have open. Personally I see nothing wrong with it.
addicted
2007-10-01 16:32:57
The other thing is that in my 20 years of using windows (mac for 2), and amongst all my friends that I have hardly EVER seen anyone use a windows application without first maximizing it. The biggest complaint windows users have when trying a mac is that they cannot easily maximize.


If you agree that maximizing is HUGE in windows, your argument completely fails, because now the menu bar in windows is also at the top of the screen, but instead a few pixels off, so you do not have an infinite target. You have a 4-10 pixels wide target.


Besides the location of the menu bar, the behavior on opening nested menus is terrible on windows. The algorithm that macs use measures the ratio and speed between horizontal and vertical mouse movement to determine whether the user is trying to move to the next item, or to a nested one, however, in windows its a fixed time wait (this may have changed in Vista). On using windows I have a terrible time trying to go from one menu to a nested one, because I am used to the mac way which is FAR more forgiving.

des
2007-10-22 19:46:24
Well, I kind of like both ways of doing things. It seems to work for me absolutely best to have a mixed style of doing things. Such as one way I've configured KDE from SuSe Linux 9.0 in the past. I make do with Windows interface most of the time though because I need compatibillity with Windows applications, and I mean complete compatibillity that you can only get from Windows, although I also use Linux when I need it's binaries, as far as client work and not server work.


The way I've configured KDE in the past has been to leave it's task bar on (you have an icon that acts something like a start menu), and then you've got the deskbar menu turned on. Then, after that, you've got the multiple desktop feature configured, and the desktops are not shared, so that you've got muliple desktops.


Another thing I tend to like, is using one way to do a job, and always using that way to do that job. And, I tend to try and find a use for everything that I've got on my desktop, as much as possible to make doing work better.


For instance, my Windows desktop has it's start bar, and then it's got a virtual desktop manager, and then it's got chosen icons in the taksbar. It's got the quicklaunch bar autohidden but on the left side of the screen, and on the top is Windows deskbar.


I've also tried as an experiment where I found 2 kinds of virtual desktop managers, and I extended my desktop onto 2 monitors. That made it so that I could do a lot of multitasking!


I'm learning more and more, how to make computers multitask and also let them have more than one user and OS on them too.


For me, I guess a lot of possible ways (but not all) to use the computer are easy. However, when thinking about it, I can see your complaint.

chris
2008-03-06 12:53:38
when was it created exactly
Manuel
2008-06-06 05:10:21
The Windows way seems more intuitive to me than the Mac way, but Mac seems more robust. However, there are lots of things that suck in Mac OS. I have two monitors. The menu bar is on the right monitor. If I am working in the left monitor and need to access a menu, I have to drag the mouse all the way to the other screen, then return to the other screen to continue doing my work. That is so distracting and tiring! What else. Oh, yeah, if I need to access a menu in another application, I have to select it first then click the menu. In Windows I just click the menu. One click versus two clicks. The same applies when switching apps with the mouse. In Windows I just click the button in the task bar. In Windows I can drag a file onto a the button of a running application in the task bar and that application gains focus. This is useful if that app is in the background. In Mac OS you cannot do that, you need to first bring the app to the foreground and then go get the file, but the file is now in the background. Then you need to move the windows around, or resize them. Oh, to resize a window in Mac OS you can only do that by grabbing the bottom-right corner of the window. Useless. What if the corner is outside the screen? I know, move the window first, then grab the corner. In Windows you can do that from every corner and even the edge of the window. In Mac OS there is no "Right-Click > Create new text file" or other files. This is a feature I constantly use in Windows and that I miss in Mac OS. In Mac OS the mouse acceleration is very poorly implemented. The acceleration curve defeats the purpose of paying so much attention to Fit's law for other things. The stupid Dock has no always visible lables. There is no Address Bar in finder windows so you cannot paste directory paths there to quickly jump to a particular directory whose path you already know or have copied to the clipboard. Instead you need to click around to get to the folder. You cannot open folders by hitting the Enter key. That's right. You need to press the more intuitive Command-Down key combination... This is useless becuase if you just want to just want to open a file while you are holding something in the other hand, you should be able to without having to be a professional contortionist. Don't you Mac guys realise that a lot of actions in Mac OS require TWO clicks and in Windows only ONE???? I repeat, I love the robustness of Mac OS but as far as user interface goes Windows XP wins for me and that is why I use Windows XP and Bootcamp. I have to say that some of the above issues with Mac OS can be solved by installing third-part apps, many of which are not free. But in Windows it all is included as standard. Instead of trying to be so f**king independent, Apple should embrace the good features of other OSs and incorporate them into OS X. Then I would definitely switch to Mac OS, and I can't wait for that to happen =)