A friend of mine I have known since grade school worked his way up through the Apple corporate ladder, first as a sales rep in my area, or whatever you call the guy who straightens up the Apple section of CompUSA/Best Buy and over the years has risen Fairly high to the quality control department, or whatever apple calls the guys who critique Apple's applications for usability and intuitiveness. (That's what I understand his job is anyway, to give the developers notes on what features to change/add to keep the Macintosh 'experience.') Anyway, he has been living out in the Cupertino area for the past couple of years, and recently had a death in his family, so he flew back home... And while he was here, he looked up the old crew of guys we used to hang out with back in the good ol' days. We got talking about how much of a Mac-head I've turned in to, owning nearly every product they've released in the past few years since I was 'reborn' as a Mac user when I kicked my Dell out the window one day. So he says he has something I bet I'd like to see, and he pulls out his 15 inch PowerBook. My buddy apparently was able to sneak out a machine running a very early alpha version of OSX 10.4, currently dubbed "Ocelot." The first boot up resulted in a kenel panic, which we joked about, but after that it was smooth as gravy. I'm going to do my best to try to describe what it was like here, I'll do my best to field any questions because I'm sure I'll miss some things. Apple was the first to revolutionize the GUI world with the concept of windows, multiprocessing, etc... Well, let me tell you, you ain't seen NOTHING yet. 10.4 allows for the placement of windows on a completely 3d plane. Imagine your desktop as sort of a 3d orb that you can place windows on, and rotated in 3d space. Apparently they're going to introduce a new mouse with a track ball where the scroll wheel usually is, and using this track ball, you can rotate the 'sphere' of windows on your desktop to bring windows in and out of focus. Windows also have depth and dimensionality, meaning, windows can be linked together, and rotated like a cube. Brushed metal is no more, everything is replaced with a semi-translucent plastic looking skin, so you can see through to windows on the other side of the 3d plane. This really was amazing because if you run out of desktop room, you just spin everything around, and you've got even more space to put windows on, and move them around... All the while you can see the old windows you were using, rotated off the screen and in the distance. The neatest feature being, quicktime will CONTINUE PLAYING, and you see your movie, skewed and backwards, like you're looking at the back of a movie screen!!! Everything was running very slow, because the code apparently was not yet optimized for the non G5 computers, and apparently G3's may not be able to use most of the GUI enhancement features in 10.4. Expose is still in place, except it is even cooler. The expose functions look like you're peeling the skin off an orange, and then flattening it, to view all the windows. Viewing only your application windows works much the same way, only it only 'skins' the windows associated with that application off the desktop 'sphere.' He said that's all he could really show me, since it was an early alpha stage, he was just going the different widgets and method of control with the new 3D GUI. Overall I'd say the new GUI is AMAZING. He promises me everything would be as fast as expose and the current GUI is now when it is released. Apparently the plan is to release it around the same time as Windows Longhorn, but that is very tentative, and it could come out earlier or later, he wasn't really sure. Sorry for being kind of scatterbrained with this post, as I'm very excited and just writing as fast as I can to try to get everything down without leaving anything out. But there you have it, 10.4, at least how windows work.