The private school where I work in the Chicago area has a mass mixture of both Mac and Windows PCs; desktops and notebooks, so I’m familiar with troubleshooting and fixing both to keep students and teachers happy.
Without going into detail, suffice it to say that Windows PCs have more troubles than Macs (which have more trouble than the growing lineup of Chromebooks, which also cost much less, but that’s a story for another time). Every now and then a teacher or staff member, but occasionally a student will ask to make their PC more Mac-like, or to make their Mac more Windows-like. Why?
Familiarity Breeds Contempt
People are comfortable with what they already know, and it seems that most adults are comfortable not learning anything new. The teachers and staff members who use Windows PCs don’t want a Mac, and the Mac users, of course, don’t want anything to with windows.
What if you want a little both on your Mac? Yes, Virginia, there’s an app for that. It’s called iTaskbar and it emulates, for better or worse, the Windows Taskbar. You know the one, right? In the bottom of the screen; the one you click to see a popup menu of various apps, folders, utilities, etc.
See? If you’re a former or current Windows users this will look familiar.
Lots of Windows-like features show up in iTaskbar.
Use it as the Start menu from Windows. Or, switch between app windows, minimize an app window, or even uncover the desktop below the apps. iTaskbar is good for quick app launches, but it’s a familiar interface to former Windows users new to the Mac.
If you’re something of a power user you know the value of keyboard shortcuts and iTaskbar does not disappoint; use keyboard shortcut combos to start the menu and minimum open app windows. It even comes with a few customization options to match your Mac’s screen decor.
Setup is straightforward on older Macs running OS X pre-El Capitan. Just download, drag and drop, double-click to open, change a few setting and presto Voila! Part of your Mac’s screen looks like the Windows Start menu and taskbar tray.
Using iTaskbar on El Capitan is different because Apple has a new System Integrity Protection (SIP) built into OS X, and that prohibits the app from being installed without jumping through a couple of hoops first (all nicely documented as step-by-step instructions on the developer’s website).
Otherwise, if you want a little extra Windows-like utility on your Mac, iTaskbar fills the bill but there’s a chance you might be scorned by your Mac friends and neighbors.