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Not as bad as it could have been

This unintuitive Windows dock is still better than many others we've seen.

We've seen a lot of docks for Windows in our day, and they're usually not very good. We regarded XWindows Dock first with skepticism, then with guarded excitement, and finally with a sense of not being as disappointed as we usually are. But yes, we were still disappointed.

One thing XWindows Dock gets right--to some extent--is the dock's appearance. It comes with icons for My Computer, Control Panel, and Trash, and all three of these are sleek and attractive. Adding other programs to the dock is a bit problematic; the icon for Firefox became pixelated and ugly. Users can set open windows to minimize into the dock, which displays a preview of each open window. Nice in theory, but in practice it's not very attractive. Controlling the dock is even more problematic. It's hard to find the right place to right-click in order to access the preferences, and the preference menus are not intuitive. There are plenty settings, but it's unclear what many of them do. Adjustments to the interface that should have been simple, like having the dock hide and reappear, were confounding. The program has a built-in Help file, but it's brief and vague. We suspect that there's nothing functionally wrong with the program at all, it's just severely lacking in intuitiveness and guidance. Patient users may find that it's not so bad.

XWindows Dock is free. It installs and uninstalls without problems. We recommend this program with reservations; although there's plenty of room for improvement, it's far from the worst dock program we've ever seen.

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