“It’s finished!! I will call it Windows 7”
(Image credit: Q8geeks.org)
Don’t you wish that someone would combine the best of Windows 7 with the best of Snow Leopard? I like and regularly use both Operating Systems in my San Francisco consulting business. Both are modern, competent Operating Systems. Both help me get my work accomplished. But both have misses that are real head scratchers.
Take calendaring for example. Snow Leopard installs an application called iCal. It’s a bit bare-bones, but it is useful and manages to get the job done. Importantly, it synchronizes with on-line calendars such as Google Calendar. It even synchronizes with Microsoft Exchange calendar services.
Windows previously offered a calendar dubbed, appropriately enough, Windows Calendar. However, for reasons that are difficult to understand, that functionality was removed from Windows 7.
Microsoft seems to have acknowledged this omission by offering a free add-on for Windows 7 called Windows Live Calendar. It is part of a Microsoft package called Windows Live Essentials. And the Calendar itself is part of Windows Live Mail. According to Microsoft, “Windows Live Essentials is a set of programs that helps you manage just about everything you do online. You can install all of the programs or just a few-it’s up to you.”
That’s a good thing because I just need a calendar and I am not particularly interested in installing a bunch of other stuff-even if they are free. However, though the Microsoft Windows Live Essentials installer will let you select the specific applications that you want, there is other bloatware that manages to slip through and install itself on your hard drive. (Watch the installer window and you’ll see multiple things install even though you only selected just one item from the application list.)
I can live with that, but for me, the show stopper was that there is apparently no simple, direct way to do a two-way synchronization between Windows Live Calendar and Google Calendar. That feature is important to me. Google Calendar contains all of the business appointments that I have scheduled with clients in the Bay Area. You can synchronize Google Calendar and Microsoft Outlook Calendar. You can synchronize Google Calendar and Apple iCal. But synchronizing Google Calendar with Windows Live Calendar seems to be a no go.
I want to be fair, so let me state there are equivalent slips and oversights in Snow Leopard. These are things that you find in Windows 7 but not in Snow Leopard. (Check out how you deal with copying and moving files in OS X if you want an example.) Strangely some misses have been in Mac OS X since the first version. (They could warrant a column all of their own.)
Both Operating Systems seem to have overlooked features that the other has included. Maybe someday we’ll have an Operating System that does it all. That would be so very nice!