Windows Vista brings clarity to your world, so you can more safely and easily do everyday activities and instantly find what you want on you PC. Explore entertainment, such as TV and music, on your Windows Vista-based PC like never before.
a) Can the passage highlighted be considered an example of compartive degree of inequality?
b) If so, is it a comparative adverb?
Thank you very much,
If it were a comparative adverb it would have to compare two things, and it's not. It's similar to, say, "Explore ... like crazy" (i.e., explore in that way). It's just an adverbial phrase.
Now, given the wording here, 'comparative degree of inequality', it could be construed as such in the following sense: the phrase like never before contains or is composed of dissimilar, unequal, opposing elements:
Explore ... (vb) like (prep) never (freq adv) before (adv/prep).
Explore ... as (conj) you have never before explored.
'like' is a preposition; prepositions require nominal objects; 'never before' is an adverbial object. It's a perfectly good phrase, yet its grammatical structure doesn't fit the rules. 'like never before' derives from, as (you have) never before (explored). 'as' is a conjunction. Omit its subject-verb pair and speakers will slip 'like' in quite easily.