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User Interface Solutions

Software that makes Windows look like Mac OS, and visa versa


Know of any other products that could be listed here? Please let us know.

Windows Products

Want to Mac your PC, or your Windows running in Boot Camp, Parallels, or VMware, more Mac-like? Here's a list of software that makes Windows look and/or act more like Mac OS.

Company

Product

Description

OpenWares.org Aqua Dock A free utility for Windows XP that makes the Taskbar look and act like the Mac OS X Dock. Items are minimized with Dock-like icons that will zoom when you mouse over them. Aqua Dock can be customized using settings for the look of each Dock icon. You can also change the type of animation when you mouse over the Dock.
FlyakiteOSX FlyakiteOSX

A free “transformation pack” for Windows XP that turns XP in a Mac OS X look-alike, even including a working Dock. PC World Downloads describes FlyakiteOSX:

FlyakiteOSX…goes beyond skinning to transform your entire XP interface into a near-perfect replica of Mac OS X. FlyakiteOSX converts sounds, cursors, title bars, icons, startup and log-in screens, and more. It even has an OS X-like dock for launching and managing running applications.

The FlyakiteOSX web site has some screen shots, including this screenshot of the XP desktop. We noticed that it moved the XP Taskbar to the top of the screen, gave it a Mac-like color, and changed to start button to an Apple icon. Even the boot screen has an Apple icon.

Jeff Bargmann
email

MacVision

A program that makes Windows look and act more like Mac OS, including adding an Apple menu (see screen shots). Among the features, there's a Control Panels menu to in MacVision's Apple menu that displays the contents of the Windows Control Panel. A Finder for Windows is planned.

MacVision is no longer being upgraded. The project has become Stardock's Objectbar (see below).

Michael Mallory

WinMac (free)

Makes Windows look and act like System 7, Mac OS 8.x/9.x, and Mac OS X with menu bar, Dock, and desktop. (See screen shots.)

hmmnsoft

FreeShade (free)

Adds the old Mac OS 8/9 windowshade feature to Windows: double-click on a window's title and the window rolls itself up so that only its title bar is visible.

Lion Tech (Peter Stuer)

IconShop (free)

A Windows icon utility that can manage ICL icon libraries let you use Mac icons on Windows.Can extract icons from Macintosh icons, resources, executables, IconDropper icon packs and Kaleidoscope schemes, including MacOS 8.5 24-bit icons.

Drag and drop icons or icon images between IconShop windows. Extract icons from Windows icons, cursors, animated cursors, BMP bitmaps, GIF bitmaps, TIFF bitmaps, XPM bitmaps, resources, executables and libraries. Export icons to icon, cursor or BMP bitmap format.

Stardock
17292 Farmington Rd. Livonia MI 48152 (734) 762-0687 Fax: (734) 762-0690 Orders: 1-800-672-2338 Email

Objectbar

Objectbar can make Windows XP look and act like Mac OS X, including Dock and menu bar. (It can also Mac Windows XP look like Vista and other operating systems.) Objectbar lets users create inteface widgets ("bars") that can replace the Windows Start bar. It can also remove the menu bars from applications and put them in the bar itself.

Each object bar that users create or download is fully "skinnable" on its own. As a true super-set of the Windows Start bar, ObjectBar includes a fully skinnable system tray, configurable (and filterable) taskbar, Start bar menuing, and custom menus. The menus can be configured to be tear off or just standard menus.

Macintosh Products

Software that makes Mac OS look and/or act more like Windows.

Company

Product

Description

Gregory D. Landweber and Arlo Rose

Kaleidoscope

(Mac OS 9 and earlier only)

Lets you alter the look of Mac OS windows, dialog boxes, etc., using interface modules modules called "schemes." There are schemes that look like Windows 95, 98 and other OS's. Kaleidoscope takes advantage of the Mac OS 8/9 Appearance Manager, so that any Appearance-savvy application will use the Kaleidoscope interface you've chosen.

Similar to WindowBlinds for Windows, listed below. (Kaleidoscope has been around longer.)

Proteron

LightSwitch X

(free)

A utility that adds the Windows Alt-tab popup menu to Mac OS 9 and X for switching, relaunching, or quitting applications.

Rage Software

Macintosh Explorer

A file browser for Mac OS that is similar in concept and functionality to the Windows Explorer of Windows. You can use it to find, copy, move and delete files and folders. With version 3.1, there's support for Mac OS X featuring long file name support, unix paths and scroll wheel support.


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