Microsoft: Mac OS X Did NOT Inspire Windows 7

Mac OS X is Mac OS X and Windows is Windows. They've always been operating systems with different philosophies and foundations, but earlier this week Microsoft UK partner manager Simon Aldous said something about the development of Windows 7 that raised more than a few pair of eyebrows.

"One of the things that people say an awful lot about the Apple Mac is that the OS is fantastic, that it’s very graphical and easy to use. What we’ve tried to do with Windows 7 – whether it’s traditional format or in a touch format – is create a Mac look and feel in terms of graphics," said Aldous in a PCR interview. "We’ve significantly improved the graphical user interface, but it’s built on that very stable core Vista technology, which is far more stable than the current Mac platform, for instance."

The mention of Apple's influence on Windows 7 made many people sit up and take notice – including those at Microsoft. Clearly the notion that Microsoft tried to emulate "Apple Mac" with Windows 7 is an unpopular view.

Microsoft community manager Brandon LeBlanc responded to the interview through the Windows Team Blog, writing, "An inaccurate quote has been floating around the Internet today about the design origins of Windows 7 and whether its look and feel was “borrowed” from Mac OS X.  Unfortunately this came from a Microsoft employee who was not involved in any aspect of designing Windows 7. I hate to say this about one of our own, but his comments were inaccurate and uninformed."

Microsoft also sent another statement to PCR, which read, "Simon was incorrect in describing Windows 7 in this way and subsequent headlines claiming that the Mac OS inspired Windows 7 are totally inaccurate.

"Over nine out of ten computer users choose Windows.  Over the years, hundreds of millions of Windows users have given us great feedback and we have derived great insight about User Interface (UI) design. The Windows 7 UI was designed to make computers simpler to use and to take advantage of new and innovative technologies Microsoft is bringing to market.  One example of this is the multi-touch support in Windows 7, which is not supported by the Mac OS."

So there you have it. Windows 7 wasn't Apple's idea, it was your idea.

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  • gbismack
    Its a lie to say that Mac OS X hasn't influenced Windows, just as much as it is a lie to say that Windows hasn't influenced OS X. They're competitors and they do take note of what each other are doing. They may not have intentionally influenced each other, but I would doubt that. Its business, its competition.
  • jellico
    AntilycusSorry, but MS has ALWAYS copied Apple...and they always will. They dont innovate, they duplicate. Though both are becoming completely unstable

    Spare us your self-righteous indignation. Apple has been accusing Microsoft of copying them for a long time. They even tried to sue Microsoft after they released their first version of Windows claiming it was a blatant rip-off of the "look and feel" of the Mac. However, the case was tossed when the judge saw evidence indicating that both Gates and Jobs borrowed heavily from technology developed by Xerox's PARC labs.

    There is a well-known argument between Jobs and Gates that was witnessed by numerous Apple employees where Gates told Jobs:
    "Its like we both have this rich neighbor named Xerox, and you broke in to steal the TV set and found I'd been there first, and you said, 'Hey, that's not fair! I wanted to steal the TV set,'"

    In their more recent offerings, I agree with gbismark, I think they both influence each other.
  • Anonymous
    Well duh! Apparently *I* am the one who inspired it.
  • Other Comments
  • Anonymous
    Well duh! Apparently *I* am the one who inspired it.
  • matt2k
    yep, i will gladly take credit. now wheres my free Windows 7 Ultimate?
  • AtuBrian
    who cares...