November 18, 2004

Entbloess: Expose on Windows XP

Exposé is a cool application switcher that runs on MacOS.  When invoked, it displays all your windows tiled neatly so you can pick the one you want to switch to.  I recently heard about a similar application for Windows XP called Entbloess 2.  I am not a MacOS fan but I'm curious, so I tried it and it does exactly what Exposé does, including the smooth transition.  Users of both MacOS and Windows XP will be pleased.

Having said that...

  • It crashed when I tried to move my cursor to my second screen.
  • It disrupts the stacking order of your windows.
  • What the hell where they thinking when they came up with that name?  Even though I installed it, I couldn't remember its name in order to write this entry and I had to look on my hard drive to refresh my memory.  The irony is that their main Web site doesn't even come first on a Google search(Update:  Andre Weynand pointed out to me that Entbloess means Exposé in German...  Doh.  I speak a little bit of German but obviously not enough.  Thanks Andre!).

The second point is a deal breaker for me.  I am fairly familiar with the way Windows arranges my windows so that I can pretty much ALT-TAB and ALT-SHIFT-TAB without even looking.  I do that all the time and since I usually cycle between three or four applications maximum, I am able to switch windows very fast.  But if you change the stacking order from under me, you force me to look for my windows visually, which is exactly what I wanted to avoid in the first place.

Another reason why Entbloess is not for me, but maybe it is for you. Despite these limitations, it's still a cool-looking little application.


Posted by cedric at November 18, 2004 02:25 PM

You asked: "What the hell where they thinking when they came up with that name?"
Hey, a few other languages besides English exist on this planet. And you may have heard that some people are even able to understand (and speak) more than one language.
So if monolingual people can cope with the French "Exposé", so may be they can handle a German "Entbloess" too. IIRC they already use Über-words, and Gedanken-experiments, and send their kids to the Kindergarten...
And "Entbloess" is really cute because the difference between "Entbloess" and "Exposé" is like the difference between Windows and Mac :-)

Posted by: Andre Weinand at November 18, 2004 03:27 PM

Sorry can't resist spelling it out...

'And "Entbloess" is really cute because the difference between "Entbloess" and "Exposé" is like the difference between Windows and Mac :-)'

translation: one is awkward, unintuitive, but used because people just don't know better. The other is svelte, elegant, and smooth?

Yay for self deprecating software!

Posted by: Hani Suleiman at November 18, 2004 03:45 PM

There's a windows XP powertoy that displays a little iconified version of the window in question when you alt-tab. From the microsoft powertoys web site.

Posted by: at November 18, 2004 03:54 PM

I *hate* the alt-tab powertoy. It is evil, it changes the behavior of alt-tab to display the current window the first time you press alt-tab instead of moving to the next window. What were they thinking?

Posted by: Ben Galbraith at November 18, 2004 09:53 PM

Well, 'entbloess' is for those who live in that part of the world that does use UTF 'entblöß' and more maps to 'expos' than 'Exposé' because 'entblöß' is not a proper german word.

Posted by: Stephan Schmidt at November 19, 2004 05:27 AM

WinPLOSION was been out for a year and a half and is a much more stable version of "Expose" than entbloess.

Posted by: Jason Horman at November 19, 2004 06:22 AM

I just installed Entbloess -- in addition to the "Expose effect" being aesthically pitiful and much slower compared to real thing on OS X, it barfs on multiple monitors.

Why it feels the need to restore all the minimized windows whenever it triggers the effect is beyond me...

Posted by: Ben Galbraith at November 19, 2004 12:12 PM

Stephan, "entblöß" is a proper German word: "Entblöß dich nicht in der Öffentlichkeit." It's the imperative form: "Expose yourself".

Posted by: Andre Weinand at November 19, 2004 01:50 PM


Posted by: Andre Weinand at November 19, 2004 01:56 PM

Yeah, I agree. I love Entbloess. It has a great name, plus, it is very reliable, reasonably priced, and fast relative to all the other switchers on the market. Plus, it works on both 2k and XP which is very rare. Its my top choice. Check it out:

Posted by: Keith at December 8, 2004 03:39 PM

Quite pathetic it is - stealing another firms ideas. But it fits the whole non-quality cheat steal and lie Microsoft-philosophy. If you like exposé why not simply switch to Apple next time you think about buying a PC - exposé comes free of charge, together with the rest of the most advance operating system this side of the universe.

Oh and Apple users don't get hacked by there OS system virusses either..and they have ipods..and it has designers... cheers

Posted by: Mad McGunn at January 14, 2005 06:12 AM

give me a break, nice UI and some good enhancements isnt a reason to shift to a new OS

every PC person admits, Apple does UI really well but doesnt mean we want to ure their OS, we only want the UI

Posted by: Nik at January 22, 2005 03:50 PM

give me a break, nice UI and some good enhancements isnt a reason to shift to a new OS

every PC person admits, Apple does UI really well but doesnt mean we want to ure their OS, we only want the UI and that is perfectly fine

Posted by: nik at January 22, 2005 03:50 PM

I must say, that after a few tweaks (get rid of the fading, that's really taking speed, and fiddle a little with the preview-options too), this software is pretty cool. And for 8 USD? That's good! Really, Entblöß s the first PC thing I've seen that comes close enough to Exposé (in both speed and esthetics), for me to keep it in use.

And for Mad McGunn: Neither OS is perfect, and it's a needless discussion to try and figure out which one is less perfect than the other. So why switch an entire OS if we can enhance the one with great features of the other?

Cheers // EP

P.S. I had no problems with the Alt+TAB order. Did they update the program?

Posted by: Eric-Paul at January 23, 2005 04:10 PM

Entbloess is cool but it does'nt work on multiple screens... so i go for winplosion...

Posted by: mrv at April 14, 2005 07:09 PM

Maczealots are brainwashed morons.

Posted by: Sebhelyesfarku at August 10, 2005 05:04 AM

just a small point; if you wanted to change apps without looking, how in the HELL was an expose type effect (a spacial, visual app switcher) going to be of any use to you?

Posted by: supengupen at September 16, 2005 08:37 AM

very beautiful

Posted by: Ari Wibowo at January 13, 2006 10:29 PM

The problem with both of these products is that they work by making a picture of each window, then shrinking it down. The Mac takes the actual windows and shrinks them down directly. The Mac way saves time (especially with many windows open) and mucho mucho memory. Also, with the mac approach, the windows continue to update - a cool but ultimately unnecessary feature.

I have two Windows machines and a Mac, and I am looking for an Expose for Windows clone. These come pretty close, but are simply not as usable right now. Credit the authors, though, because I think they are quite limited by way the operating system displays windows.

Posted by: Ray at January 17, 2006 03:47 PM

Well, if they use the PrintWindow API, the same effect will be had. Check out "Visual Task Tips" and "TaskSwitchXP Pro"... both uses PrintWindow API, and I can see my WinRAR progressing with them.

Posted by: Pandu E Poluan at October 18, 2006 11:06 AM

iEx is better and *FREE*:

Posted by: Gabriel U. at November 9, 2006 12:18 PM

I think the closest pronounciation to the original would be 'entblues'

Posted by: jot at May 15, 2007 04:28 PM

that's what the internet's like.. lot's of talking less of knowing. First.. in OSX there is a thing called CoreImage, means gui-effects like exposé are accallerated by hardware. So they secondly don't even have to build in the feature keeping window-contents up to date. It'a really just shrinking so why would you add code to stop the windows from updating. And third it is THE ultimate way to handle lot's of opened windows.. haven't seen anything better yet.
Those winXP clones are pretty nice too. I'd go with iEx cause it's free and skips the animation-stuff so it's faster too. But I did figure out that it won't work with multiple photoshop-windows opened (CS3)(...Exposé does).
And the idea is OF COURSE just copied... but who cares?


PS: Germany rocks!

Posted by: Tim at June 25, 2007 07:16 PM

no crashes, freeware, shows all windows including minimised ones. (updated)
give it a try

Posted by: hiho at June 29, 2007 05:28 PM

the grg thing doesn't work with dual monitor setup... crashes

Posted by: Tim at July 3, 2007 07:22 AM

Just a quick note to all the mac lovers in here. those nice little animated docks and desktop gadgets that make the ui look so cool were actually taken from stardock apps for the win98 os. hmm whos stealin whos ideas now eh.... ps macs dont get hacks or viruses because there in the minority unless you own a print firm

Posted by: paul b at July 22, 2007 05:17 AM

Well that's kind of an old fashioned opinion.. you don't necessarily have to own a print firm.. music-studios use them as well as motion-picture-studios, photographers and designers in general. Mac's for design :P It is that way because it offers a much better work-flow than a PC does.
Back to the "stealing"-thing: true, things like docks and gadgets might have been there before apple used'em in osx but they actually BOUGHT those ideas.. that's a little diffrent from stealing right? Also they invented the f&%§ing gui so in the first place.. so on. Also the only thing talked about here is exposé which is definately an apple-invention. Furthermore there are no hacks or viruses because osx is a safe os. So it's just not that easy to do a hack on osx than it is on windows.


Posted by: Tim at July 23, 2007 07:39 PM

Winplosion = $30?!?

Are they high?

Posted by: David at October 16, 2007 09:42 PM

wao super cool

Posted by: pluppy at November 9, 2007 04:37 PM


the French term 'Exposé' does NOT translate to the German 'entblößt'. The *ENGLISH* term 'Exposed' translates to 'entblößt'. Those latter two words mean barren, stripped, de-nu-ded. (broken in syllabes because "comment could not be submitted due to questionable content: nu-de")

The French term, on the other hand, translates better to "displayed, shown" (like Ausgestellt).

So, let's use our common sense rather than gesunder Menschenverstand. At least because it's easier to read :-)

Posted by: John Doe at February 4, 2008 09:27 AM
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