How many times have you been on a roll in MS Word or similar typing your heart out & then looked up at the screen and something stole Word's window focus and half of what you typed was lost?)
Not often enough for it to be an issue, and I'm writing all the time. If you touch-type, you see when a box pops up. Maybe people should be installing fewer "helpful" applications that end with -gator
Not only is there no work-around, but this is billed as a new feature of Windows 7.
This feature was already present in XP, where you have an option to disable it (i.e. let windows steal focus). Has it been further "improved" in 7? Has it changed?
It's potentially dangerous too, because you may miss notifications that are important (or interesting to you), as they will be obscured by other windows. And it's a source of unending grief for users and coders who *want* a focus-stealing popup in some legitimate scenarios (e.g. when you press a hotkey to bring an application to foreground).
It's always been possible to code for non-intrusive popups (see Calendarscope for a perfect implementation). Users who've had problems with this should have taken the issue with application authors, instead of prodding MS to further hobble the OS.
Now you can work with your apps without fear of anything stealing its focus freeing you to deal with intrusive dialog boxes in your own time on your terms.
It seems to me that Josh is describing something a little different though - you click to start/open a window/application, and it opens but does not receive focus. That would be unbelievably brain-dead, e.g. start Word, then you still have to click it before you can start typing. Not the same as pop-up dialogs from already running apps. Thankfully I haven't observed it on my wife's installation of 7. Josh, could you please confirm?