How The World Is Against Productivity [Part 2]

2 minute read

Part 2!

(see here for Part 1:Hardware)

I recently upgraded my Windows XP to Windows 7. The first thing I noticed was that everything just looked, well, nicer. After using it a few times though, I noticed that it had followed Apple’s trend toward being less usable (for serious work).

Which one is active? - fairly obvious... right?

In XP, the active window was ALWAYS very distinguishable, being a bold, dark shade of blue that one could find in an instant. The inactive windows were a light, grayish blue. In OSX, and windows 7, The active window borders and inactive ones are almost the same shade! How are my eyes supposed to instantly snap toward the active window??? I have to waste my time scanning my open windows to find the one I want. I guess I can only hope they bring back the higher contrast scheme eventually…

Tiger: Which one's active? The chat window? The one right in the middle? The one with the drop down menu? Oh wait, there are two of those :(


Also, while OSX’s tiling is quite ‘suave’ (Spanish for “cool”), it takes too long to find the window you want if you have more than 6 open. In windows 7, I have to hover my house over the application on the bottom, wait for the little popup, then proceed to look at which I want. In XP I could just quickly scan the bottom bar to read the start of the title and jump straight there. It skips the extra button press for tiling or the extra delay of waiting for the popup.

Ubuntu: Ridiculous -- looks cool though!

My favorite operating system, Ubuntu, also follows this trend toward pretty pictures. With the the switch to Unity desktop or Gnome shell, they adopt a mac style dock and get rid of the old XP-like bar on the bottom (I immediately downgraded to the older version of Ubuntu). They also added extra clicks to get around, like opening an application by first going through the applications menu. I hope I can just add a launcher to the top (or something like that) when I’m forced to switch later on.

UPDATE: Has anyone noticed google’s new theme? It’s doing the exact same thing! C’mon people… shades of gray aren’t going to help us out…

One thing I hope we can always rely on are keyboard shortcuts. The only problem with them being that they have  a learning curve, though most people can easily get the hang of the general-usage shortcuts.


Who can tell which are the active windows here? (Snow Leopard/Win7)

Windows 7:I didn't even try...

Lion: Stumped yet?

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