Is Windows 7 a Mac OS X wannabe? That explains why I like it

A Microsoft employee tells a UK blog that Windows 7 was designed with Apple's Mac OS X in mind - but Redmond is quick to say that isn't so.
Written by Sam Diaz, Inactive

Now, it all makes sense. The reason I liked Windows 7 so much was because its design was inspired by Apple's Mac OS X.

At least that's what Microsoft's partner group manager Simon Aldous told PCR, a UK-based online tech trade pub, in an interview. Specifically, Aldous was asked abiut Windows 7 being a more agile OS and began to talk about how it is basically the next version of Vista - but stripped of a lot of code, more efficient, with a smaller footprint and far more agile. Then, he went on to add:

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.

Whoa? So basically Windows 7 is a Mac OS X wannabe? We Mac fans will have a field day with that comment for years. But wait just a minute there. As soon as word hit Redmond that one of its own uttered such blasphemy, the company took to its official blog to clear the air. A post on the Windows Blog, titled "How we really designed the look and feel of Windows 7," went up last night.

That post is relatively short, so here it is in its entirety:

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. If you’re interested in learning more about the design of Windows 7, I suggest reading this AP story with Julie Larson-Green as well as these WSJ (membership required) and Fast Company articles. And here is one of many blog posts on the E7 blog discussing the design process of Windows 7.

The headline on the post is a bit misleading. Author Brandon LeBlanc doesn't really tell you how the company designed the look and feel of Windows 7. Instead, he points to pretty favorable pieces in other publications so they can explain it.

I've said once before that I do like the look and feel of Windows 7 - and even dropped a few bucks to save a Windows Vista laptop that came close to being thrown from the window of a moving car a few times and install Win7 on it. Microsoft can say all it wants to distance itself from the Mac Wannabe comment - but I can't help but look at the screen of a Windows 7 machine and wonder if this function or that function was supposed to replicate something off of Mac OS X.

I guess this makes me feel like less of a traitor for thinking highly of Windows 7.

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