If you are currently using Windows Vista or Windows 7, you probably knew about the new replacement for the conventional Alt-Tab Application Switcher, the Windows Flip (only can be used with Aero-activated), activated by Win+Tab (as depicted by the screenshot below). Though it does look pretty nice, but it isn’t practical enough to replace the conventional Alt-Tab; it doesn’t give enough view for the windows in the queue, and it is pretty wasting time for the user to scroll through the whole list of windows (imagine there is more than 20 windows opened at the same time). What about a feature to let you have a glance on all windows, without compromising the nice transition effects and practicality? (Hint: Mac OS X Exposé)
Windows Flip in action. Nice to see, once broken, considered failed.
Originally featured in Mac OS X in 2003 (yea, it was almost 7 years ago and Microsoft still doesn’t realize it), Exposé allows a user to quickly locate an open window, or to hide all windows and show the desktop without the need to click through many windows to find a specific target. Can’t imagine how does it work? Check the screenshot below, showing the real Exposé in action:
Mac OS X Exposé in action.
Does it look more practical and cleaner? Envy about that, Windows user? Fear not, you have gotten the same (almost) feature implemented in Windows and it can be made as a replacement for Windows Flip. Introducing the application, Switcher by Bao Nguyen. Though it has been released at Q4 of 2007, but it does work pretty well in Windows 7 (tested in 64 bit version).
Switcher is a free software meant to imitate Mac OS X Exposé in Microsoft Windows (only Vista and 7 because Aero is needed) and of course, as a replacement of Windows Flip. It has three view modes – Dock mode, Grid Mode, and Tile Mode (screenshot below). Other than that, it is pretty customizable in appearance to suit your liking, works well with multi-monitor, and a feature I loved the most – quick search on window. The search feature can be activated by just start typing after it has entered the interface. Switcher also allows customizable shortcuts to activate the interface, either using keyboard or mouse. By default, the keyboard shortcut is set to be Win+`, but it has no problem to replace the Win+Tab.
Can’t wait to get it? Head to Switcher home page and click on download (version number is 2.0.0, and most probably is the last version), install it and start using it. No restart is required. If you prefer, there is also a green version of Switcher (non installer version). Do note that Switcher requires Aero in Windows Vista/7 to be activated, and it works well with BumpTop.