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ZDNet: Mac OS X Leopard copies Windows Vista

updated 05:45 pm EDT, Wed June 13, 2007

ZDNet: OS X copies Vista

One ZDNet blogger has claimed that, at least in her eyes, Mac OS X Leopard is a copy of Windows Vista in many respects. "If you've seen Vista, there's no way you could help but compare the feature-complete Leopard beta Jobs showcased with Windows Vista," wrote ZDNet blogger Mary Jo Foley. "And -- surprise -- Vista looked pretty darn up-to-date in comparison." Foley says Leopard's new desktop is "not a whole lot different" from Vista's Aero and Sidebar, while the new Finder offers many of the same capabilities as the integrated "Instant Search" feature in Vista, which many industry watchers said closely resembles Apple's "Spotlight" technology that shipped on April 29th of 2005 -- more than two years ago -- with the company's current version of Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger. Most of the 'copied' features cited by Foley are known to have seen existed in various forms within the Mac community long before Vista began shipping to the general public earlier this year.

"What struck me at the June 11 Apple Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) event wasn't the glitzy demos, the rockstar-like worship of Apple CEO Steve Jobs or the 'I'm Steve Jobs' parody video by the 'I'm a PC' guy," Mary Jo Foley wrote. "Instead, it was the excitement by the 5,000 WWDC attendees about many technologies in the forthcoming Mac OS X 'Leopard' release that already exist in Windows Vista."

"I've sat through countless Microsoft demos of Vista at a variety of consumer and business events. I don't remember ever hearing thunderous applause when Microsoft showed off Flip 3D or Vista's ability to preview thumbnails of documents. The 'wows' were few and far between," the blogger continued. "Yet when Jobs put almost identical versions of these features in Leopard through their paces, there were lots of oohs and ahhs."

Facing the facts, who copied who?

The blogger compares Apple's QuickLook for live file previews with Vista's 'thumbnail preview' capability, and incorrectly states that Mac OS X Leopard is the first 64-bit only version of a desktop client.

"Vista comes in 32-bit and 64-bit varieties. And most expect Windows Seven will still be available in 32-bit flavors. Until 32-bit machines go away, it seems like a good idea to offer 32-bit operating systems."

Apple's Mac OS X Leopard does in fact support 32-bit applications, but also extends its capability to run 64-bit applications at native speeds in a top-to-bottom fashion, as was revealed during Apple's keynote address that kicked off WWDC 2007.

Core Animation, 'Spaces' of little interest?

Discussing Core animation, Foley cannot draw a Windows Vista comparison but suggests that WWDC developers attending Jobs' keynote did not seem "wowed" with the functionality. The blogger also points to Apple's 'Spaces' feature that allows users to group applications into separate areas, saying that while she hasn't seen any such feature in Vista, "the audience didn't seem overly impressed by it."

iChat borrows ideas from Vista, too?

Drawing even more comparisons, Foley points to Apple's new iChat software that will ship with Leopard, saying that the photo-boot effects and backdrops remind her of Vista's Meeting Space and/or the new Microsoft 'Shared View' code-named 'Tahiti.'

Boot Camp, Dashboard with widgets, and Time Machine

The blogger draws even more comparisons between Leopard and Vista by pitting Apple's Dashboard with widgets vs. Microsoft's Vista Sidebar with gadgets. Time Machine functionality "doesn't look anywhere near as cool" on Vista but seems to provide a lot of the same functionality, according to Foley.

by MacNN Staff




  1. ff11

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Fair claim

    You can honestly claim that Leopard copies Vista, since both Vista and Leopard are derived from Tiger.

  1. chas_m



    This is the kind ...

    ... of idiocy we have to deal with in the PC press.

    Almost every single item discussed is built on or was present on the Mac years ago, but this moron is too stupid to realise that Leopard builds on previous releases (in ways that Windows Vista doesn't).

    I assume the Macinistas will set her straight soon enough, but her article is just another example of the biggest problem with America: fact-free, check-free reporting is now considered just another valid point of view. Truthiness wins, truth loses.

  1. russellb

    Joined: Dec 1969



    yup thats right OSX is a copy of Vista and I want to complain that Apple duped us ... they left out valuable features in Vista that OSX does not have yet !

    Only this morning I walked past my wife's desk as she was cursing and swearing at her Vista PC (only PC in the house) her machine had done an official Microsoft auto update at 3am and then crashed .. she could not get it to start.

    Why did apple leave that feature out of OSX ???

    Last night she was cursing Microsoft's ebook reader and that it refused to register any of her paid for books..

    I could go on an on but hey PC people suffer .. you can claim that OSX copies Vista but we all know that mostly thats a load of c*** and that we dont use OSX for the eye candy we use it as it just works ... (most of the time .. no computer is 100% but Macs come pretty close)

  1. horvatic

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Microsoft copied Apple

    Microsoft copied Apple and everyone knows it. Mainly to make Vista look somehow more glitsy but nothing more. It doesn't help the user do anything easier or better. Mainly copied it from Tiger. Apple is the true inovator and Microsoft is the true copy machine who then claims to be the inovator which is what turns people off. She forgot to mention that in order to get all of these features in Vista you have to pay 400 bucks while OSX you can get the full Ultimate version for $129. Because every version of OSX is the Ultimate version as there is only 1 version for the client computer and 1 version for the Server version.

  1. Salty

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Uhh OK?

    Wow a blogger was dumb... I'm amazed! Seriously though, I will say in some ways it did feel like OS X was stealing from Vista, maybe it was just the green background or something but something just seemed more windowsy. The new dock background reminds me of the edges of things in vista... I dono just a couple things seemed to have that same vibe. But either way the blog entry was retarded.

  1. Nostromo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I think I smell someone who wants more hits/attention to her blog so she baits the Mac community into visiting her site by making moronic claims like these.

  1. chotty

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Then by all means

    let's not give her the pleasure... Chas_M is right on the $ too. Except, it extends far beyond just PC reporting... though all MSM reporting is "PC" ;-)

  1. ::maroma::

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Why in the h*** is MacNN propagating this garbage? Its uninformed, ignorant bullshit that has no basis whatsoever.

    Must be a slow news day eh MacNN? You have to post an article about how some chick thinks Leopard is a direct copy of Vista?? Anyone who knows anything about anything knows thats total c***.

  1. Markarian421

    Joined: Dec 1969


    and again

    Yeah, I can't decide if she's really that clueless or just a troll. She's posted a followup now, which is just basically a rehash of the original:

    She says among other things that she's not a mac user and "I am too set in my Windows ways to switch." So why is she writing pieces like this? Troll or loudmouth idiot? I can't decide. Maybe both.

  1. Beechlady

    Joined: Dec 1969



    She probably LOVE The O'Reilly Factor....sigh *bangs head on desk*

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