Desktop Evolution: Windows and Mac OS Visual Comparison Through the Years

Illustration for article titled Desktop Evolution: Windows and Mac OS Visual Comparison Through the Years

Click to viewSince Windows 95 dropped more than a decade ago, our desktops have evolved to no end. Having recently had a fresh Leopard install on our Macs, we thought we would take a look back, with a side-by-side comparison of Windows and Mac operating systems by visual interface alone. All the major releases are here, and it is interesting to see the general progression made by even just the UI. Jump for our ridiculously large and awesome image, put together by our new intern, Eric Sheline:

Illustration for article titled Desktop Evolution: Windows and Mac OS Visual Comparison Through the Years
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The breakdown shows Windows to be making major aesthetic development around the release of Windows 2000. Mac OS took off a little later, with OS 9 looking like a gimped UI in comparison. Mac OS X saw Apple make a large step up in the graphic pants department. The eye candy at present seems pretty level between the two. Perhaps Apple has the slight edge? However, functionality is an entirely separate ball game. What do you guys make of it all? Post your views, as well as the obligatory Apple/Microsoft flame war, in the comments below. [Top image via VineetB-log]

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DISCUSSION

deejayqueue
DeeJayQueue

I don't see any difference in the look of the OS between windows 95 up to ME. XP looked different but even then you could get the "old" look back if you wanted to.

Mac OS made slow but steady progress from 7.5.3 to 8, adding color and texture, support for 16 and 32 bit color, etc. OS 9 wasn't so much of a leap, but it did add sticky folders along the bottom, which was sort of a precursor to the dock. I had 9.2 on my blue and white g3 tower, and it ran like lightning. When I upgraded to OSX it was a whole other story. That thing was slow as molasses. Things are just now getting back up to the speeds they should have been at all along.

Ever since windows came out it's been buggy and crashy and unpleasant. I can't really blame it though, it was written to be able to use just about anything you plugged into it in some form or another.

My biggest observation about the 2 OS's is in the search command. Apple has always had a simple, intuitive search command that would just find the file you were looking for. Windows didn't, and AFAIK, still doesn't. If you rely on google desktop to search files on your computer, then that's as sure a sign as any that your OS sucks. Apple-F worked wonderfully, Sherlock was pretty good, and now spotlight is wonderful even if you don't have indexing turned on. I get tired of waiting for an hour in windows for it not to find my file, and I really want to shoot that damn dog in the face.