Apple has grown in the last few years due to the quality of its software offers. The UNIX-based Mac OS X has proved to be a great option for users interested in a robust operating system with a really useful and friendly graphical user interface.

It has been acknowledge for a long time that Macs have a user interface that is more intuitive and more polished that Windows. That is one of the reasons why it has been of interest to bring some of the features of the Mac OS X interface to the Windows world. Even Microsoft itself can be "accused" of trying to do exactly this: Vista, the latest version of Windows, incorporates several features that are almost directly taken from the Mac OS X graphical interface. For example, windows moving effects, desktop search, and widgets, have all existed earlier in the Aqua desktop.

A program to "Macify" your desktop

Following this trend, a free software called RK Launcher was created for those who want to recreate the experience of the Mac OS X launcher on Windows. The program aims at replacing the standard windows task bar with the elegant task bar of the Mac OS X.

The program has a very simple operation. You can download the installation package in the zip format, and unpack in any directory. To make things easier, it is better to decompress the contents on the Program Files folder along with other programs.

You can just click on the executable file RKLauncher.exe and it will present the task bar with a standard set of programs. The RK Launcher can manage minimized windows, and it does it in a way that is very similar to the Mac OS X way. You will see not only the icon, but an actual image of the minimized window. This makes it easier to identify the window that is minimized.


As any free software that is still in beta, the customization of RK Launcher is not a priority. However, users can change the initialization file to achieve some customizations.

For example, the initialization file allows changes in the icons, fonts, sizes, and backgrounds used in the launcher. The options are simple, and there is a help file explaining some of the most important customization options.

A lot of the customization can be done through the menus in the application. You can use them to change the properties of each item, such as the icon, the path of the application launched, and the displayed label. RK Launcher also allows icons to be easily added and removed. You can drop any shortcut to create an icon in the task bar. To remove elements, you can do in the Mac way: just drop the icon out of the task bar and it will be "destroyed".

In general, RK Launcher is a good software, and it can be very interesting if you want some innovative features in a boring windows desktop. Moreover, it is free, and takes just a couple of minutes to download, install, and use.

Article created on 2008-08-19 22:35:16

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