Ross Rubin has posted an interesting Switched On column at Engadget this week analyzing two of the largest enhancements on their way in Leopard: Time Machine and Spaces. Ross points out that, obviously, Apple isn't quite first with a virtual desktop manager or a piece of backup software - not by any stretch of the imagination. He even explains some of these features' counterparts from other platforms, which is an interesting trip through time and other platforms.
However, Ross tips his hat to Apple's versions because they do soar above the rest in their presentation, integration and (an Apple trademark) user experience. Time Machine wins a specific merit in its own right because it seems to be the first backup utility to allow users to browse the history of their directory structure just as it existed on their machine - with file previews, folder structure and everything. This is especially useful because of the visual nature of so much of our work; tracking down a deleted roll of images, for example, is much easier by browsing their thumbnails and original folder organization than trying to guess whether IMG_0841.JPG or IMG_0814.JPG was the picture of little Johnny taking his first steps.
It's a good article that gives credit where credit is due, and offers some high hopes for the quality of these major new features.