I Miss Windows (July, 2019)

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I’ve been using a new top-of-the-line Mac as my primary desktop for the past 11 months. Although it was not by choice, I made the best of it. I installed the Beta of Sierra and now Catalina. I experimented with different apps and ways of organizing my desktops. Lately however, I have been missing Windows. Here are the things I miss:

A decent dock (start bar)

The biggest problem for me that it’s annoying to find the window you need. I have my work browser, my home browser, Figma, and other files/programs open at once. I want to flip back and forth without getting lost.

My dock doesn’t show what window is currently showing

The problem is that the dock doesn’t show what window I’m looking at. With a windows start bar it is very obvious. It groups things logically and has a quick UI to switch. (I use Alt-Tab frequently on Windows, but hardly ever on Mac) With the Mac, I am constantly losing windows underneath other windows.

I think one of the problems is how the windows are managed in general. See next section.

Maximization and Snapping

It’s easier to show than explain, but when I maximize a program on the Mac, I can’t also put a finder window floating on top of that. There are lots of times that I want to do this. One is when I want to drop icons on top of Figma. In Windows, Maximizing doesn’t stop you from floating something on top of it. It’s much more intuitive and functional for me.

The ability to drag a window and snap to the left or right or top is so great. I totally miss it. With Mac, I have to fiddle with windows until it’s just right. I know I can maximize more than one window in a space, but then the dock goes away. I want the dock to stay regardless of if I maximize a window. It just doesn’t work for me.

Start Menu

I think spotlight search is generally fine, but I find the windows start bar to be more functional and useful. It has more built in functionality and I find it is a convenient anchor for me.

Keep in mind, that Windows and Mac are really similar. They are 95% the same. Anyone who says they are more different than that are not paying attention to the details. I am pointing out small differences that (for me) make a difference in the UX.

Screen scaling

I have a nice big curved 4k monitor. Unfortunately, my new MacOS can not perform scaling on it properly. So I get this terrible mix of font sizes and have to constantly change the zoom to make it work depending on if I am in a conference room or docked at my desk. This is probably my number one annoyance. In Windows, the scaling works much better.

In Conclusion

I still am not allowed to use a Windows laptop, but the minute I am able to, I will switch. I miss the UI and think its objectively better. I will continue to make the best of the Mac, but I just don’t see how it is better.

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