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Head to Head: Mac OS X 10.7 Lion vs Windows 7

The eternal question: which is better, Windows or Mac OS? With the release of a new Mac OS, 10.7 Lion, David Ludlow takes another look at this age-old debate.

Dock/Task Bar

Applications that you use a lot on OS X can be pinned into the Dock, which also doubles as a Task bar for running programs. It can be hidden out of view and the size reduced, magnifying just the part that your mouse hovers over. We like the way that file stacks can be added, giving you quick pop-up access to folders of your choice.

Jump Lists let you access an application's features quickly.

Jump Lists let you access an application's features quickly.

Windows 7's Task Bar is a more complicated version of this. Any app can be pinned to the Task Bar, giving you a quick shortcut to run it. Hover the mouse over any open application and you get a thumbnail view (Aero Preview) of every open window, which can make switching tasks easy. It's what you can do with the right-click and Jump Lists that's particularly impressive, though.

On any supported open or closed application, right-clicking an icon gives you a Jump List. This can include recently accessed documents, or access a program's features, such as starting an Incognito window in Chrome. Once you start using them, they're a valuable and fast way of interacting with applications and their extra features. Application icons in the OS X Dock can have contextual menus similar to Jump Lists, but few applications actually do.

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