Does the new Windows 7 taskbar look like the KDE 4 taskbar?

Does the new Windows 7 taskbar look like the KDE 4 taskbar?

Summary: When I started posting screenshots of the new Windows 7 desktop several people commented both in the TalkBack and via email on how similar the Windows 7 taskbar is to the KDE 4 taskbar. Not being familiar with KDE (I'm more of an Ubuntu user rather than Kubuntu) I didn't think much of this. After all, if you look closely enough, anything can look a bit like something that performs a similar function.

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When I started posting screenshots of the new Windows 7 desktop several people commented both in the TalkBack and via email on how similar the Windows 7 taskbar is to the KDE 4 taskbar. Not being familiar with KDE (I'm more of an Ubuntu user rather than Kubuntu) I didn't think much of this. After all, if you look closely enough, anything can look a bit like something that performs a similar function.

However, the other day a reader asked me to compare these two images, one of Windows 7 that I posted, and another of Kubuntu 8.10 which runs the KDE 4.0 desktop:

Windows 7:

Win7

Kubuntu 8.10:

Kubuntu 8.10

[poll id=407]

Yeah, I'll admit that there are a few similarities there. That said, there are plenty of differences too.

Personally, I think that the new Windows 7 taskbar will be one of those things that people either love or hate. Initially I hated it but I'll admit that it's grown on me the more I use it (although I do feel that some aspects of it are somewhat vague and counter-intuitive and rely too much on tiny visual cues that are easy to overlook). However, I predict that there'll be a lot of people who'll instantly take a dislike to it and dismiss the entire OS based on this.

Topics: Software, Microsoft, Open Source, Operating Systems, Windows

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Talkback

79 comments
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  • Tomato Tomato

    They both share similarities with Vista. There is an
    underlying insinuation that Microsoft "stole" from
    KDE. I think its quite obvious that KDE is heavily
    inspired by Vista - only a true Linux fan would never
    know as he can diss Vista and Microsoft without ever
    running the software.

    I find it interesting that the new taskbar blurs the
    distinction between running windows and applications.
    After all it is us dinosaurs who are used to think in
    terms like processes, running programs etc.

    If you take a step back it makes perfect sense that
    you can interact with the Excel button whether there
    is an excel process or not. It is Excel right there.
    Why should I have to doubleclick it to start
    interacting with (the process) Excel? I think it is a
    stroke of genius to drag parts of the application
    menu/commands out into the icons/taskbar and to center
    on applications instead of processes.

    After all, the distinction between the OS menu and the
    applications' menus are mostly dictated by history and
    technicalities. But for most users they are just ways
    to interact with the computer. Windows have become the
    visible part of processes. An application needs (in
    conventional wisdom) a process to be able to interact
    with the user. Starting a process is - for historical
    reasons - an explicit action: A double-click (on
    Windows). But it need not be that way. Personally I
    look forward to trying this out.
    honeymonster
    • Considering that KDE 4

      was out before Vista... I think it's Vista that looks like KDE 4.0. ]:)
      Linux User 147560
      • Oh really?

        The first version (4.0.0) of this series was released on 11 January 2008.

        Vista RTM: November 8, 2006;

        2 quotes from wikipedia.
        N_L_D
      • FAIL!

        Vista was released 1? year before KDE4. After a very
        long beta. But what is the point anyway. Are you
        desperate to show that OS can innovate without copying
        Microsoft and Apple?
        honeymonster
        • Well on the final release you are correct

          and I was wrong. Se la vie. But we have had access to KDE 4 a lot longer than Windows Vista Aero and that is the premise I was coming from. But if you wish to use final release date then yes, you are correct and I was wrong. BUT also keep in mind that KDE 4 has been out in the open much longer, so in reality it's quite possible the Microsoft team simply saw something and copied it. ]:)
          Linux User 147560
          • Also not true

            The Vista betas containing Aero preceeded KDE 4.0. You just can't face the truth!
            ShadeTree
          • Shade the only person that can't face the truth is you.

            But we knew that already. ]:)
            Linux User 147560
          • and LU147560 also cant

            C'est La Vie

            [i]"May 11, 2007, KDE 4.0 Alpha 1"[/i] Wiki

            [i]"Microsoft began work on Windows Vista, known at the time by its codename Longhorn in May 2001"[/i] Wiki

            [i]"Until the release of Windows Vista Beta 1 in July 2005, little or nothing had been shown of Aero in public or leaked builds"[/i] Wiki

            Seeing a pattern here? Vista/Aero is documented as being *years* older than KDE 4.... Any more arguements?
            ariesghost
        • I dare you

          I dare you to tell me that the default Gnome desktop using two panels, a three-part menu, and a spatial browser is copying EITHER MS or Apple.

          Top panel, by default: Gnome menus, quick launchers,notifications, clock/calendar, and logout button.
          Bottom panel, by default: task manager, trash, and workspace switcher.

          Gnome wrote its HIG (human interface guidelines) based on research and created a desktop based on that document.
          daengbo
    • Backwards.

      Karumba and Superkarumba (and gdesklets) preceded Vista by two years. The clock, the other desktop eye Candy, I have had the identical clock on my desktop since 2004. Not that this is a terrible thing, but I would say that Vista's overall theme is similar to Keramik on KDE, of which I have been using since 2002.

      Now for me, KDE 4's new launch, I just revert back to old style, I don't like it, not direct enough not a fan of tabs in the launch window.

      TripleII
      TripleII-21189418044173169409978279405827
  • I voted No.

    GUI is GUI is GUI.

    The most obvious difference is that one of the taskbars costs you a lot of money and hassle, and locks you in to a single abusive monopolistic vendor. The other is the future of mankind.
    fr0thy2
    • re: I voted No

      [i]The most obvious difference is that one of the taskbars costs you a lot of money and hassle, and locks you in to a single abusive monopolistic vendor.[/i]

      What does that have to do with the question:

      [i][b]Does the new Windows 7 taskbar look like the KDE 4 taskbar?[/b][/i]

      Basically, you voted no because you hate MS?
      Badgered
      • Wrong!

        I voted no because they, in my opinion, they don't look that much the same, hence I said GUI is GUI is GUI.
        fr0thy2
        • Not Wrong!

          [i]I voted no because they, in my opinion, they don't look that much the same, hence I said GUI is GUI is GUI.[/i]

          That's odd... I'm fairly sure your answer was:

          [i]The most obvious difference is that one of the taskbars costs you a lot of money and hassle, and locks you in to a single abusive monopolistic vendor.[/i]

          Even if you believe a GUI is a GUI is a GUI, then your answer should have been yes since it seems you feel they all look alike.
          Badgered
          • lulz were to be had.

            Game. Set. Match. Thanks for playing frothy.
            ariesghost
    • KDE Is abusive?

      While I will agree that Windows is the future of mankind, I would never imply that KDE is abusive.
      GuidingLight
      • KDE is free, Windows is expensive.

        Read it again.
        fr0thy2
        • And that affects appearance how?

          First time I was ever able to tell what something cost by looking at it... :)
          wolf_z
  • KDE pretty much copies Windows . . .

    KDE pretty much copies Windows, so I wouldn't be surprised. Can't say it more like Windows 7 than any other version of Windows, though.

    Gnome just sucks. Linux people have no idea what "user friendly" means. They have the truly contradictory notion that more complicated is simpler, and if you can fix it via customizations then it's OK to ignore having decent default settings.

    No, having two toolbars isn't simpler. And being able to customize it won't make people like it any better.

    I don't need to wonder why Linux isn't more popular - I know why. They're still stuck thinking that most people who drive cars want a 747 cockpit.
    CobraA1
    • Linux Stereotyping

      I just love the Linux stereotyping. Why do MS fans feel the need to make assumptions about the Linux community when the Linux community fires back with real issues?

      I have used Windows since 1989. I have used every desktop and server version, except ME. I have also used Unix/Linux since 1994. I have been the IT manager for 3 different organizations in that time.

      I wish the Linux interface was more fluid. There is an undeniable dated feel to much of it and I hope the troops rally around Mr. Shuttleworth's goal of making the GUI experience better.

      On the otherhand Linux has much to offer, and some of these features are serious shortcomings for Windows. To the technically-knowledged Windows is the toy of the OSes. Where is the true multi-tasking? Where is multi-user? Why is 64-bit still such a challenge? Why can I not have inherited permissions from the user profile? Why did I log in just this morning and get the "cannot find profile" message and a generic login and had to reboot to "find" my profile. (And the profile is local so don't blame the network.) A properly configured Compiz makes Aero look silly, and it actually has great benefits to the skilled user. I will take placing multiple applications on different panes of the cube any day compared to all applications sharing the same desktop.

      Instead of defending a shiny piece of junk how about demanding that they give you something better? I could care less whether Windows, Mac, or some flavor of Linux wins the OS battle. I don't mind paying for the best solution. I just want the best of all features in one system. I will continue to use all three, but right now Windows is my gaming machine because it does make a good toy. For real computing and things that require stability and security I will stick with Linux.
      Paradigm_Shift