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New Windows Search Interface Borrows Heavily From MacOS (arstechnica.com) 86

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Press clover-space on a Mac (aka apple-space or command-space to Apple users) and you get a search box slap bang in the middle of the screen; type things into it and it'll show you all the things it can find that match. On Windows, you can do the same kind of thing -- hit the Windows key and then start typing -- but the results are shown in the bottom left of your screen, in the Start menu or Cortana pane. The latest insider build of Windows, build 17040 from last week, has a secret new search interface that looks a lot more Mac-like. Discovered by Italian blog Aggiornamenti Lumia, set a particular registry key and the search box appears in the middle of the screen. The registry key calls it "ImmersiveSearch" -- hit the dedicated key, and it shows a simple Fluent-designed search box and results. This solution looks and feels a lot like Spotlight on macOS.
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New Windows Search Interface Borrows Heavily From MacOS

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  • The thing I don't get about Windows 10 is its continual upgrade. This means there is always changes to the UI, which can get annoying... Sure I like a change in UI for my home system, but that is me and I like trying new things, but I have seen users stop in Panic because I have changed the background from #3366CC to #0033CC just so the white text would be easier to see. I had to deal with many angry emails from this change.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Srsly?
  • There is not a single element of the Windows UI that does not borrow heavily from Mac. What is Apple going to do, sue them? They already tried [wikipedia.org].

    Instead of focusing on this stuff, Apple should instead focus on making a decent piece of hardware: like a keyboard that doesn't suck. I'm sure someone in the world likes that keyboard, but there don't seem to be many.
    • Breaking news! The ghost of Steve Jobs has been secretly running Apple via an Italian what-I-imagine formerly Lumia/Windows Phone focused blog. More at 11.

    • Instead of focusing on this stuff, Apple should instead focus on making a decent piece of hardware: like a keyboard that doesn't suck. I'm sure someone in the world likes that keyboard, but there don't seem to be many.

      Who said apple focuses on Microsoft?

      And up until jobs carked it, they've always made pretty great hardware.

      But yeah, that goddamn keyboard.

    • Dude, I am with you on the keyboard. 3 the MacBookPro, especially the touchpad, hate the keyboard (mostly due to lack of keys). I have ranted on this repeatedly. I've been wondering if anyone would be interested in a kickstarter to fabricate a new bottom for the MacBookPro that would feature a full keyboard and be thicker with extra ports. I call it the PhatBook Pro. And while we are on the subject, I refuse to buy anything without at least on old school USB 2.0/3.0 port.

  • Copying Apple has worked for 30 years. Why quit now?

    http://applemuseum.bott.org/se... [bott.org]

    • by Merk42 ( 1906718 )
      There is definitely some irony in an article about the GUI having its images not load.
    • by sl3xd ( 111641 )

      'Except they aren't copying Apple...

      It's an old UI paradigm. It's been implemented since 1996 (and probably earlier), and has multiple implementations including two in KDE alone (to say nothing of the dozens of others that exist in Windows, Mac and Linux).

      The only interesting thing here is that Microsoft is baked one into Windows, just like Apple did; and in both cases, they did it years after third-parties did it...

    • Copying Apple has worked for 30 years. Why quit now?

      http://applemuseum.bott.org/se... [bott.org]

      Yep, like this never gets old!

      https://youtu.be/N-2C2gb6ws8 [youtu.be]

  • by ZackSchil ( 560462 ) on Tuesday November 21, 2017 @04:45PM (#55598449)

    It's worth noting that Apple copied Spotlight's current interface from an app called Quicksilver. Sherlock, Apple's previous search interface (also cribbed by Windows), was taken from an app called Watson. While I'm at it, don't forget that iBooks was copied from Delicious Library and then later reproduced across with Windows ecosystem.

    It's the circle of life.

    • And I have been using a quicksilver knockoff on Windows called Launchy for probably well over a decade.

      Although just a month or two ago, I switched to Keypirinha [keypirinha.com] because Launchy development stalled out long ago and I was starting to have some weird bugs with it (long hangs when I started trying to use the calculator feature or search for anything that started with digits).

      • QuickSilver started off in 2003, and is a knockoff of LaunchBar, which has been around for NeXSTEP since 1996.

        Launchy started ~2007 or so.

        To say nothing of the dozens of others for Linux, Windows, and Mac.

        It's a useful (and popular) enough interface that both Apple and Microsoft baked it into their OS.

    • Quicksilver was/is nice if you have a bunch of custom actions you want to set up. I tended to just use it as a simple launcher. So once Spotlight got fast and accurate enough at that (which did take a few years), I stopped installing Quicksilver.

      It's pretty much the only way I open apps and documents now - so on those rare occasions it doesn't work, it's incredibly vexing.

    • It is because all the Microsoft Developers run Mac OS/X with Windows as a Virtual Machine. Everyone wants to be the cool kid, but looks only get your so far.

  • I'd turn off and never use...
    • I'd turn off and never use...

      Well you're in luck! From the summary

      set a particular registry key and the search box appears in the middle of the screen

      It's not on by default.

    • by garcia ( 6573 )

      That's your prerogative, to be certain, but why? You prefer to have to click through a bunch of icons and/or menus to get to a search functionality option somewhere in your UI? Do you just memorize the location of everything?

      Me? I have 0 icons on my desktop and only a handful on my hidden taskbar and I use the MacOS search to launch just about everything else.

      It's fast and easy; like tab-complete on the CLI. Just seems like a no-brainer. To each their own.

      • That's your prerogative, to be certain, but why?

        Because having to switch between keyboard and mouse kills productivity. Of course, everything is where it's supposed to be, so I don't have to memorize where it is. I can still navigate to it and open it with a mouse quicker than typing and selecting. It's one of the things that I really hate about Win10, no easy to navigate by mouse hierarchy making me use the much less efficient search functions.

    • by sl3xd ( 111641 )

      If you get used to the interface style (key combo + the first character of the program)... it's actually hard to go back.

  • It's mentioned on the 2nd page of search-results and it, erm... points directly back to this article.

    Anyway, I guess we all finally learned what "CMD" means after all these years.

  • Uh, keyboard launchers have done this forever on both Linux and Windows. Let's not make this another thing we falsely believe to be an Apple invention.
    • by sl3xd ( 111641 )

      It makes me wonder what axe TFA's author has to grind. It's a UI model people liked, and (shocker) Apple added a similar interface to Spotlight. It's far from the first on the Mac, and exactly nobody at Apple would claim otherwise.

      The first (that I know of) is LaunchBar, which started on NeXTSTEP; and even that is probably not the first interface (I'll bet Xerox PARC had something similar too...)

      There were probably a dozen (at least) LaunchBar and similar launchers in OS X before Apple made their clone.

      Bott

      • by sl3xd ( 111641 )

        It seems the TFA's author doesn't have an axe to grind...

        There's no mention of it being a "stolen" interface anywhere.

        So... seriously... this appears to be BeauHD getting the Anti-Apple crowd into a frothy mess because Microsoft has decided to do the same thing Apple did -- add a bit of good UI into their OS.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    What the hell? Press Start button on any Windows PC, start typing, it does the same thing as Spotlight and it has done so for as long as I can recall.

    Welcome to the current year, where despite having access to the INTERNET, the amount of ignorance from FAGs is so rampant, it's spreading into everyday life. Moving from Mac OS to Windows was the best thing I could have done, as it's at least a clear separation from all the FAGs that still masturbate to their ignorance about OSs in general.

    If you want
  • by AbRASiON ( 589899 ) * on Tuesday November 21, 2017 @06:17PM (#55599083) Journal

    Even "everything" isn't particularly good compared to it.

    Why can't people develop a powerful search? I want to include an exclude file types, search within size ranges, specify a path to search, etc.

    Locate32 still does this, I think the latest build is 3.1 RC3m 11.7100 - it's sadly abandoned but does the job flawlessly..

    I'd bet dollars to donuts, without even looking, that the Microsoft search looks flashy and 'clean' with very little tweakability to it. (example, I index my NAS drives)

    • by ChoGGi ( 522069 )

      The search interface that comes with Directory Opus does that and more (you can setup advanced filters and save them).

      • The search interface that comes with Directory Opus does that and more (you can setup advanced filters and save them).

        Even before Spotlight, macOS allowed for saving search templates.

  • Copy. That's what innovation amounts to in MS. So, no news here.
    • Microsoft is innovating in Software Licensing agreements and cloud lock-ins. I have MS stock and it is rocking!

  • by The_Revelation ( 688580 ) on Tuesday November 21, 2017 @08:15PM (#55599863) Homepage
    If you search for 'documents' on an OSX machine it take you to documents on your computer. If you search 'documents' on a windows computer, it will open a non-default web browser, a substandard search engine and start searching for your local files on the web
    • by jez9999 ( 618189 )

      Nope, when I hit Windows and search for Documents I get my Documents folder. Oh, I'm using Windows 7, not that pile of shit they're shipping now.

    • 1) Windows+S to open search

      2) type "documents"

      3) press Enter

      4) My Documents opens in a file explorer Window

      This is on Windows 10. What are you talking about?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Microsoft search is broken. It was okish in Win7. But something changed and now trying to search the pc for basic features like ‘accounts’ or ‘user’ will confuse the fuck out of me.
    Spotlight is fucking amazing, quick and packed full of useful OS features. The two are just not the same at all.

  • Quicksilver on OSX with its extensiblity and key learning is still better than spotlight.
  • Putting a search textbox in the middle of the screen is hardly borrowing heavily from Apple any more than they tried to pull that shit with anything with a rectangle is Apple. Fuck off with that shit. This is not Wired.

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