Earlier today we handed out 10 gold stars to the best desktop and web apps of 2007; now it's time for some less conventional recognitions. Who had the Most Obnoxious Icon, Best Splash Screen, and Best Easter Egg of the Year? Find out after the jump, where we'll also hand out our Most Likely to Make You Downgrade and Most Likely to Turn Completely Evil honors. Then, add your own in the comments. Photo by milesgehm.Without further ado, Lifehacker's First Annual Software Superlatives.
The Most Likely to Make You Downgrade Award goes to.... Windows Vista!
Aww, such a predictable Microsoft potshot! Perhaps, but OS loyalties aside, 2007 wasn't a good year for MS in the operating systems department, with user demand extending XP's shelf life and even the most hardcore Microsoft geeks "upgrading" from Vista to XP to regain their sanity. There are lots of things we like about Windows Vista, but stability, speed, and hardware compatibility could use a whole lot of work, even a year after it hit shelves. Here's to hoping for good things in Service Pack 1.
The Most Obnoxious Icon of 2007 Award goes to... Apple, for Leopard's PC Blue Screen of Death Icon!
As if Apple's annoying "Hi I'm a Mac" commercials weren't smug enough, the latest version of Mac OS X Leopard shipped with a built-in icon that represents a Windows PC with an old CRT monitor displaying the blue screen of death. Here's what it looks like:
The Best Splash Screen Award goes to... Skype! "Take a deep breath."
It'd been awhile since I fired up Skype on my Mac until the other day, when I actually did exactly what it said and took a deep breath before I logged in. Nice touch.
The Best Easter Egg of the Year Award goes to... Google Earth for the Flight Simulator!
Dooooood, if you haven't tried this, you must. Download and fire up the latest version of Google Earth, and hit Ctrl+Alt+A (Mac users: Cmd+Opt+A). Choose your runway, your plane, and fly the virtual skies using the hidden flight simulator. Here's more on the flight sim built into Google Earth.
The Best Way to Peer in Your Neighbor's Window Over the Internet Award goes to... Google Maps for Street View!
Want to see your cat sitting in your apartment window on the internet? Zoom on into your address using Google Maps Street View feature, launched this year, which includes high res photos clear enough to check parking signs on some streets.
The Most Likely to Turn Completely Evil Award goes to... Facebook!
As if the incessant zombie bites, lost hours playing Scrabulous, and endless notification emails telling you you have a new message on Facebook but not containing the message itself weren't enough, once Facebook launched the controversial Beacon feature (which tracks your activity on other web sites without the ability to opt out), they earned the honour of most likely to turn evil. Sure, Zuckerberg did a pretty fast about-face regarding Beacon, but if you already canceled your account, chances are you won't create a new one.
So let's hear it, lifehackers. What other superlatives should we hand out and to whom this year? Bust out your brilliance in the comments.