“Windows 7 GUI Inspired by Mac”… Not True

Yesterday, PCR trade magazine carried out an interview with Simon Aldous, Microsoft’s partner group manager. The interview was running smoothly until the Microsoft employee was asked: “Is Windows 7 really a much more agile operating system, in terms of the specific uses it can be moulded to?”

Aldous gave out a response which would – most likely – start another endless PC vs. Mac debate. For some reason he claimed that the Windows 7’s graphical user interface (Windows Aero) was “borrowed from Mac OS X”. He then criticized Mac OS X for not being as stable as Windows Vista. Here’s the full quote:

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. 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.

Do you see any similarity between the Windows 7 interface and Mac OS X?! Unsurprisingly, his statement spread through the internet. Although the claims are NOT true, this wasn’t good news to the Redmond company, which has been trying hard to avoid any bad publicity for its latest operating system.

Microsoft spokesman, Brandon LeBlanc, quickly responded to the issue on The Windows Blog saying that such information is incorrect and described his discontentment to the fact that it came from the company’s own employee, who didn’t take part in any aspect of designing Windows 7:

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.

For more information about the designing of Windows 7 Aero, you can read this Engineering Windows 7 blog post  and/or this guide which I had written earlier this week.

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13 Responses to “Windows 7 GUI Inspired by Mac”… Not True

  1. sony November 12, 2009 at 9:54 am #

    windows 98 through windows 7 look similar because it jest look more animated that is all.

    stolen form mac ?? give me a brake! you forgot what 98 99 me xp vista look like!

    this is nothing more than vista “black combed!”

    windows version 6.1 (7600) version 6 is vista! 6.1 is supposed be on update!

    • Anonymous November 14, 2009 at 8:28 pm #

      I don’t care who designed it, MS is clearly incapable of producing a better platform than XP was/is. I just installed Windows 7 Pro on a brand new build, no problems. I updated my bios, graphics driver, etc., installed my programs, all was cool, thing worked awesome…..UNTIL I made the mistake of letting it install automatic updates: it was the kiss of DEATH! Now, no matter what, it will only boot into safe mode. I tried to do a system restore, which it allegedly did…same thing. Tried it twice. Then, tried to just re-install it(re-format to wipe it clean) but the CD starts to load files, then has all sorts of lines running across the screen. I’ve never seen anything like it and I find many people are having the same/similar issues after updates. So, why is that MAC can make a reliable OS, but MS is clearly pathetic in this endeavor? Microsoft: you’re pathetic!

      • Disgusted November 14, 2009 at 8:32 pm #

        To clarify: cannot re-format now unless I pull the HD and do it with an external enclosure….cannot reformat in safe mode and cannot do it during a re-install, because that does not work now. Great job, another turkey.

        • Blackjesus November 14, 2009 at 8:44 pm #

          Wow. You screwed it up real good (read as You as in you screwed it up not MS). Typically this isn’t caused by MS patches. It probably is a driver issue. Why don’t you boot off the CD and repair your installation and not whine to us about your failure to manage your machine even once you’ve loaded Win7 which is the easiest MS OS to manage yet.

          Better yet go to this site and learn how to load OSX on your PC instead. See how much better you fair with OSX.


      • Disgusted November 14, 2009 at 8:39 pm #

        To clarify: cannot re-format now unless I pull the HD and do it with an external enclosure….cannot reformat in safe mode and cannot do it during a re-install, because that does not work now. Great job, another turkey.

      • blackjesus November 14, 2009 at 8:49 pm #

        -Then, tried to just re-install it(re-format to wipe it clean) but the CD starts to load files, then has all sorts of lines running across the screen.

        This is a hardware failure. You just updated your bios? Why did you do that? did you have a problem or just jackin off. you don’t ever update your bios unless you have a problem. Silly kid. When you figure out what piece of hardware took a dive why don’t you post a retraction.

  2. sony November 12, 2009 at 9:57 am #

    mac need to do this for survival!! keep attacking pc you p.m.s ing freek!!!

    look at this


  3. Mohammed November 12, 2009 at 10:32 am #

    I really believe Brandon. I always read his articles about Windows 7 from the beginning of Windows 7 Beta. This guy seems more knowledgeable about Windows 7 than Who said Aero was borrowed from Mac.

  4. Anonymous November 12, 2009 at 1:46 pm #

    OS X has been using GPU accelerated desktop since 2002 with the introduction of Quartz Extreme. Aero didn’t come along until 2006. It makes the origin of Aero a bit suspect to being a borrowed idea, but saying Micro$oft stole the idea is a big statement. Remember when the recycle bin showed up in windows 95? How long was apple using that idea before windows 95 came along? It’s always the same argument about different features. A lot of these features are just the next logical step in the technology behind them; so of course two companies can seperately come to share some features. Personally I don’t care where the ideas come from, as long as the good ideas are here to stay.

  5. Onuora Amobi November 12, 2009 at 4:07 pm #

    Redmond needs some message discipline regarding the rollout of this operating system. These slipups always seem to happen at the worst times. Like last year when Ballmer said that companies didn’t really have to move to Vista and could wait…

    C’est la vie..


    • Blackjesus November 13, 2009 at 3:29 am #

      How about we think about MS engineering instead of their message discipline. MS was thinking about that instead of paying attention to what happened with Vista and where did that get them?

  6. Anonymous November 13, 2009 at 8:06 am #

    Stole from a Mac? Can I see previews of my windows on the dock? Can I move two windows on either side and have them automatically take half the screen? No.

  7. Feloneouscat June 22, 2010 at 9:37 am #

    Read the MS employee’s words. He is talking about the user experience. Most people who have played with Mac’s have a very positive user experience. That is important. He said (and rightly so) that Windows 7 was designed to have a positive user experience.

    Microsoft, in it’s bloated stupidity, comes out and says “oh, what he said was inaccurate and uninformed” – I guess Windows 7 WASN’T designed for a positive user experience, eh?

    No where does the quote even vaguely hint at anything being borrowed, appropriated, or “stolen” from the Mac. Anyone who says it does can’t read English.

    What he says is that OS X is a fantastic user interface, which it is. And they tried to make Windows 7 equally fantastic. How this is a bad thing escapes me.

    For the record, I work with Windows XP, Mac, and Linux on a daily basis. My preference is Mac, but I have tried Windows 7 beta. I was unimpressed as it seemed no better than many Linux distros. The user experience was on par with XP… perhaps a little better, but certainly no worse.

    However, let me say that when I bought VMWare, I also bought XP. I’ll let everyone else be beta users for Windows 7.

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