I use both OSX (Tiger, thank you) and Windows (XP, thank you) but that doesn’t mean I’m simply indecisive. There are some things each OS does better, and one of the things OSX has going for it is its for the most part excellent UI. If you don’t have the motivation or, more likely, the scrilla to switch over to a Mac, maybe these programs will help put a shine on Windows’ rougher interface. Check ‘em out below.
I really have never had a problem with XP’s taskbar, and have never really liked OSX’s dock – but a lot of people seem to feel the other way, XP folks should give this faux-dock a try to see which works for them. The basic version is free and customizable, but looks kind of, well, big.
I love Exposé, alt-tabbing has nothing on it. The Exposé alternatives on XP I’ve used were pretty awful, and this one crashed on my work computer, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try it. Looks okay.
Some would say that Dashboard is a ripoff of Konfabulator – I won’t get into the argument because both are useful if you want them to be, and in the end that’s what matters. Of course, I don’t use either, but it’s nice to know the option is there.
Deskspace is a shiny little desktop manager with that much-ballyhooed “cube” effect found in OSX and the more robust Compiz Fusion. Now you can spin a desk-cube on XP, too.
“Look and Feel”: Flyakite OSX
I haven’t tried this, but I have tried Windowblinds (also mentioned) and I think that’s probably a more customizable and windows-orientated skinning suite. Flyakite is apparently a bit serious, “monkeying” with your system files and such. Joy!
Of course, these are only surface-level changes and relatively minor features. The major differences are deeper, but if you’re thinking of making the switch later on when you’ve raided your piggy bank, then these little apps will help ease the transition.