updated 03:50 pm EST, Wed November 11, 2009
Continues to feature Vista-based core
The "look and feel" of the Windows 7 interface borrows from Macs, according to a Microsoft partner group manager, Simon Aldous. "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," explains Aldous in an interview. "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."
The most visible interface element is Windows 7 is a revised taskbar, which lets users "pin" applications in place, in effect recreating the Dock from Mac OS X. A new Aero Peek feature replicates Dock Expose, showing previews of the content in running apps before they resize. Windows as a whole has been cosmetically enhanced, in some cases evoking touches familiar to Leopard users.
Aldous notes however that 7's interface is "built on that very stable core Vista technology," which he also calls "more stable than the current Mac platform." Much of the new OS remains functionally similar to Vista, for instance relying on a familiar filesystem. Vista was highly criticized on its initial release, described as slow, lacking support and in some cases marred by odd interface conventions. It has since been patched to solve many of these problems.