Leopard finder redesign: the webified windows explorer redux?

I was distinctly unimpressed by the WWDC keynote as I “saw” it in realtime, taking advantage of the live updates by various websites. Now that I’ve seen some of the online demo videos, it triggers some further thoughts.

Seeing Finder being made over to look like iTunes triggered strongly mixed emotions. On one hand, it feels very much like Windows’ misadventure with making over Windows Explorer to look and work like Internet Explorer. Microsoft did that for some different reasons, but it did share the reason that it wanted to tie in with a familiar, popular interface that people dealt with every day. Hey! iTunes is familiar! People like iTunes! Let’s leverage that!

On the other, I’m cautiously optimistic about the new finder features. I spent about fifteen minutes with a recent Leopard seed, and found myself missing the Quick Look feature for the rest of the day and during the next day. That’s a seriously powerful feature. Expanding that to the CoverFlow view seems like it will have a lot of potential for browsing certain types of documents, but I’m not sure. I’d also have serious concerns about performance on my PowerBook.

Overall, I’m not sure if the new Finder features are glossy demo-ware that I seldom (spotlight) or never use (dashboard), or that it will make for a helpful step forward. The only things that will ultimately matter with the new Finder is performance, stability, and ease-of-use. We shall see…