Remember when Vista was released in 2006 and Apple (once again) claimed that Microsoft was copying Mac OS X? Well, 3 years down the line, we’re there again. Windows 7 will be released on October 22nd, and many comparisons have been made between the new Windows SuperBar and OS X’s dock. Despite this though, there’s still no feature in Windows resembling Stacks in OS X. That’s where 7 Stacks comes in… made by a small software company called Alastria Software, it allows you to have Windows icon stacks, but best of all it’s a free download.
7Stacks adds the functionality of stacks to the superbar of Windows 7, or the quick launch bar of Windows XP or Vista. Like OS X Stacks, there are 3 viewing options: normal, grid and menu. It also has the ability to navigate folders in a stack, a feature Apple has only just introduced with Snow Leopard.
When in normal view, a vertical stack is displayed. Grid view displays a grid of icons and menu view displays a cascading menu with small icons. When creating a stack, you can pin a folder to the superbar. I used it for groups of applications and documents. You can pin up to 10 stacks to your superbar at once.
When using 7Stacks under the Windows 7 RC, I found it to be generally responsive, but it crashed a few times during the test (I used it for a day to frequently navigate through documents and applications.) When I emailed the developer, I was told that they were aware of the various problems, and are completely re-writing the program to include more features and make it more reliable.
Despite a few bugs, 7 Stacks shows a lot of potential, and should get even better when future versions are released. It’s well worth a look for anyone using Windows 7, as it blends effortlessly into the desktop environment, and is very easy to set up and use.