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Windows 7 design takes cues from Mac OS X, says MS manager

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.

by MacNN Staff



  1. appleuzr

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Ripped off yet better.

    So, what he's saying is they blatantly ripped off the ease of use and design feel of OS X but yet their's is built on a that "more stable Vista technology". Is this a joke? I love his everything is ripped off of OS X... but "this" attitude. And we kept "this" because we created the back end and it's more stable than OS X. Wow, just wow.

  1. danviento

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Tell Me Again,

    How is this 'news'?

  1. TheAppleFreak

    Joined: Dec 1969


    How am I not surprised?

    This is not news. We've all been suspecting as much since the Windows 7 betas were distributed; heck, I'm surprised that they haven't said this about Vista.

    And how is Vista's core more "stable?" Have you guys at Microsoft forgotten about Conficker? What about that flaw in 7 that could have created a virus rivaling that of Conficker (though I think that was fixed)?

  1. Feathers

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I'm not sure I want to live in a world where Microsoft actually tells the truth. It's just too upside-down. If this continues, Glenn Beck might actually do something similar but I doubt it. How can a company secure the confidence of its shareholders when it openly admits to having to look to the competition for innovation. Microsoft are dying the death of a thousand cuts. This has to be the weirdest piece of tech news I've heard in ages!

  1. tsmelker

    Joined: Dec 1969



    How shocking! Microsoft is trying to copy Apple? Who'da thunk it?

    And just to put the record straight, MS has been copying Apple ever since the first release of Windows. Duh!

  1. Okonomiyaki

    Joined: Dec 1969


    The sincerest...

    Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery but the kind of imitation on display here is nothing more than evidence of incompetence. I don't remember any progress dialog in OS X that contains 2 lines of text, a progress bar, and requires 50% of my screen real estate, yet I see this all the time in Win7.

    Also, I'm old enough to remember how the critics panned 10.0/10.1 for being too flashy and loud. OS X has toned it down a bit since then but Vista/7 is 10x as obnoxious as X ever was.

  1. chas_m



    I like the way ...

    ... Mr. Aldous tells us this like it's something new they're doing. :)

  1. Mr. Strat

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Try again

    They may have tried to copy OS X but did a mediocre job of it.

    Whose idea was it to have that putrid green progress bar? And the default desktop of Windows 7 looks a bit...uh...effeminate.

  1. JulesLt

    Joined: Dec 1969



    There's a tiny amount of truth in that (both Leopard and Snow Leopard shipped with more bugs in them than I encountered even in the Win 7 Beta - with Snow Leopard actually causing full machine crashes before the first update - most of which seemed related to Grand Central).

    But it's obviously a statement they had to make - they can't imply it's a better system overall.

    Really the key point is applications - and what makes OS X different is that the majority of apps are written using current technology, whereas there are barely any applications that use Microsoft's equivalent to Cocoa.

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