Microsoft has finally completed development on Windows Vista and it has gone gold, while it may not be going for sale until January 2007 many people have already gotten their hands on the RTM build of Vista (build 6000). I am one of those people, I am also a lifelong user of Mac OS and a 6 year user of Windows and while I do use Windows more I've never doubted of OSX's superiority (in some aspects Windows is better though), now Microsoft is playing catch up to Apple with the release of Windows Vista, a huge jump over from Windows XP. But what does this mean to Apple? Should they feel threatened by Microsoft's newfound love for developing awesome software (Windows Live Messenger, Internet Explorer 7, Microsoft Office 2007, Microsoft Expression, Xbox360 Dashboard ), well I think they do because while Vista may "copy" a lot of features from OSX it still implements them in a fresh way that still feels like Windows and not a ripoff... it may still take Microsoft some time to create a truly superior OS to Apple's but Vista is a big step in the right direction. But what does Vista "copy" from OSX, well first of all is the Aero interface which I will say is downright better looking, better performing and more functional than OSX's Aqua, Aero is more pleasant to use, windows and notifications fade in and out much more pleasantly, the "transparent glass" effect in windows is very nice, the font is very pleasant, the menus are easy on the eyes and very pleasing and everything looks so new and modern, here is a picture showcasing the glass effect and the new look of windows This is Aqua (or should we call it metal?) by comparison. There is also Flip3D, which is Microsoft's take on Expose, XP has always had the option of "Showing the Desktop" but now Vista offers Flip3D... hmm, in a nutshell Expose is still better than Flip3D, its hard to say why without sounding contradicting, basically, Flip3D seems "superior" in both visuals and function but at the end of the day Expose is just more productive, the lack of a corner mouse hotpoint makes Flip3D a novelty for me and while Flip3D looks more striking and allows you to scroll through Windows as in a 3D wheel, Expose's implementation works better for me, plus its easier to see the content of windows than in Flip3D. Don't get me wrong though, Flip3D is by no means a cheesy feature, in fact its pretty darn nice but Expose is still better as far as productivity and everyday usage goes. A pic of Flip3D in action. This is expose by comparison, the clear winner here is rather obvious: Then there is the Windows Sidebar, which is Vista's equivalent of the dashboard... however, the Sidebar works differently than the dashboard, first it behaves like another window (though it does not look like one) meaning it will stack with other windows and will not be always on top (though you can set it to do that if you like), hiding and showing it is not as simple as on OSX, you have to right click the sidebar and choose hide and bringing it back up is just a matter of pressing the sidebar button on the taskbar, but its still not as fast as Dashboard, one cool thing however is that you can detach and attach gadgets (widgets) from the sidebar at will, unlike OSX's rather complicated and obscure method, I'm not a big fan of widgets and I never get to use them much so Sidebar and Dashboard end up being the same to me, but there are some things some will like about sidebar and others will like some things about dashboard, its a matter of personal preference, here is a pic of it showcasing it and also the nifty Aero interface. This is Dashboard by comparison, in my experience Sidebar crushes Dashboard, its just a lot better and more usable, even if it doesn't look as purdy. Indexed searching, OSX calls it Spotlight, Windows just calls it "Search" , either way they both work the same way, by indexing, you are all very familiar with this and Vista's search works very similar, you have search boxes in every Windows Explorer window though and in the Start menu, its very fast (as fast as spotlight), it also categorizes findings by type (program, document, etc) and also allows you to save searches and do hmm "smart searches" which means you can choose to search for "recently changed" or files "shared by me". Initial indexing is just as long as on OSX and slows down if you are using the computer, indexing has thus far took 4 hours for me while using the computer and I have 200GB worth of data or so so its not too bad since I can still use the computer normally, in any case, even if it was 12 hours... its just a one time deal. What works better? None really, Windows search is superb and spotlight is superb as well, I say they are equal. Picture showcasing the query "itunes" and a few other search related windows. This is spotlight by comparison: Well I think that covers the big similarities between OSX and Vista, though thats really just the top of what Vista offers, I might add more to this thread (including some better pictures of Aero) but I think that will do for now, I will gladly answer any questions you might have about Vista and how it compares to OSX, including side by side pictures of OSX and Vista and the features they "share".