simple, enjoyable, easy-to-use, preferably elegant Windows/web apps to replace OS X

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by tkermit, Mar 19, 2008.

  1. tkermit macrumors 68030

    tkermit

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2004
    #1
    Hey !
    I've seen loads of articles on the web talking about how to make Windows (XP) look like OS X . I'd like to hear some suggestions on what programs make Windows work and feel similar to OS X usability-wise. Whether that's by changing settings in Windows itself or by installing 3rd party programs / using web apps or whatever, is up to you..
    I'm interested in this for the times in which I'm forced to use Windows and also for improving other people's Windows experience (for those that can't be bothered to switch (yet)).

    The situation has obviously gotten a lot better now with Quicktime, iTunes, Bonjour and Safari on Windows.

    Additionally, I think in the past few years a lot of programs on Windows have come closer to being enjoyable and easy to use. Also, the advent of nice web apps by (e.g) Google has helped a lot. I'm mainly after simple, enjoyable, easy-to-use, preferably elegant programs.


    My random and partly obvious suggestions:

    • Change the default theme to: "Windows classic"
    • switch to the "classic" start menu
    • Activate "clear type"
    • use the "quick start"-part of the task bar as a "dock"
    • refrain from installing - anything - that you aren't familiar with
    • use Sophos Anti-Virus

    For web browsing, obviously Safari. ((now) 2nd choice: Firefox)

    Mail: I have yet to find an equivalently straight-forward mail client as "Mail.app". While I'd put Mozilla Thunderbird down as my favorite, it isn't elegantly simple. I would actually suggest creating a Google Mail-account and using the webmail interface on windows. That, in my mind, comes closest to replicating some of the nicety of Mail.app on OS X.

    Additionally I kind of like gmail's address book and it seems to slowly evolve.
    That's another point I would make: I miss OS X's address book.app and the way it integrates with everything. Its simple and obvious style, as far as I know, can't be found in a Windows app, but gmail's address book comes close in the way of integration with mail.

    Calendar app: Same as address book - use: Google Calendar !

    Music managment: again, obvious choice would be iTunes

    photo managment: Google Picasa ! (one choice that arguably even trumps the OS X equivalent in some ways)

    instant messaging: as far as simplicity is concerned: Google Talk ! This also helps better integrating Gmail's web app into the system, by automatically following mailto: -shortcuts, providing new-mail-notifications etc...
    if you need more flexibility (very probable) I'd suggest Pidgin to replace "Adium.app" on OS X.

    Media Player: VLC (not that elegant, but otherwise excellent, and simple enough to use, even for beginners)

    Office apps: "Google docs" if it's sufficient, otherwise MS Office

    Text editing: Notepad2

    Internet TV: Miro
     
  2. tkermit thread starter macrumors 68030

    tkermit

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2004
    #3
    thanks, although it's not what I meant. This is another example of trying to tune Windows XP's appearance to make it look like OS X at first glance.

    I, personally don't care about that as long as it doesn't also change Windows' behaviour to that expected of OS X. To be honest, I think the desire to achieve that is unreasonable and any attempts in that direction are futile.

    (The possible exception being Apple's own applications, especially Safari - and even there one might argue that they'd be better off adhering a bit more to system-standard controls)

    I find it far more compelling to use Windows applications (or web apps) that, while possibly not looking like OS X, offer a high degree of usability and in this regard remind oneself of OS X.
     

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