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Windows Blogger Gets Excited About A New, Innovative Windows Tool That… Is A 5-Year-Old Mac OS X Feature

Published March 22nd, 2006

Rob Gonda: “Web 2.0 on the desktop! A new feature!” Um, no, Rob, Sorry…

NetJaxer Enables a Mac OS X Feature on Windows!It’s hard to imagine that this is actually a new thing in Windows. Gonda blogs about a new software package for Windows that lets you add URL’s to your system tray. Something called NetJaxer, “A Free Download!” Take a look at their website and see for yourself (Mac users only… Windows users obviously don’t know what they’re missing until it comes to Windows). This is nothing more than a software package that enables a standard feature of the Mac OS X dock… Something we take for granted here on Mars: The ability to drag URL’s into the dock, or even whole folders of URL’s and launch them from there.

Do Windows users really have no choice other than launching Explorer (or Firefox) in order to access their bookmarks? Geez… wait until they get a load of Quicksilver. Talk about innovative!

So, I couldn’t help myself but chuckle a little. Actually, I laughed fully out loud. :-) I also left a brief note on Gonda’s website:

You Windows junkies really should get out more often. Mac OS X has had the ability to do this kind of thing in any of several different ways since it was born in 2001. It’s so easy and basic, I’m surprised it seems innovative on Windows XP. Here are a few options that replicate NetJaxer’s tricks, as part of the core OS:

  1. 1. You can drag URL’s into your Dock (the next generation “system tray” Mac users enjoy) and launch them directly if you want.
  2. You can fill a folder with URL’s, put the folder in the Dock, and have a set of your favorite web 2.0 sites readily at hand.
  3. Of course, you can put URL’s directly on your Desktop and launch them from there.
  4. Dashboard widgets are essentially little tiny Ajax/DHTML applications, many of which contain interfaces to the best websites (Backpack, Google, Amazon, Yahoo, Delicious, gMail, etc etc) Widgets are nothing more than little web pages running on the open-source Webkit rendering engine that fires Safari. I think Microsoft is going to try to copy this in Vista.
  5. In a real browser like Firefox or Safari, you can put a bookmark full of your favorite websites into your bookmark bar and then have all of the sites launch in separate tabs when you load your browser. Voila! Instant best web 2.0 apps.
  6. Heck, there are numerous hacks that let you run web pages directly on your desktop in Mac OS X if you want to.

Sorry to burst your bubble… I tell you what, though, if you think that’s cool, there’s a whole world of cool you can’t even imagine in Mac OS X. For starters, pay a visit to Apple’s excellent Grand Tour, Mac 101, a tutorial/overview that hits all the highlights pretty well.

Or, you could continue to wait for good ol’ Microsoft to try to hatch a creative idea… one that’s actually good. It’s a real problem for the company in its drugged-out-on-monopoly stupor.

Heck, just today, I read about the Microsoft employee’s blog that today reflects a morale problem that goes far beyond a month or two delay in releasing Vista. Interestingly, their opinion on Apple and Mac OS X doesn’t reflect envy at all… nor the maliciousness that so often characterizes Windows users in the real world when forced to think about the Mac. No, instead their comments about Apple reflect simply . . . admiration.

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