Microsoft rebukes employee who claims Windows 7 was inspired by OS X

Microsoft rebukes employee who claims Windows 7 was inspired by OS X

No matter how you look at it, the release of Windows 7 has gone off without a hitch compared to the headaches that accompanied the launch of Windows Vista.  Not only that, but reviews of Microsoft's new OS seem to be universally positive, with both critics and consumers liking what they see.  Windows 7 is Microsoft's most eye catching OS to date, and the similarities to OS X are undoubtedly there.

Still, one doesn't usually expect a Microsoft executive to say that OS X was the inspiration for Windows, but that's exactly what happened yesterday when partner group manager Simon Aldous said the following in an interview with PCR.

When asked about Windows 7, Aldous responded in part:

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.


You might often hear the Mac faithful complaining about Microsoft "borrowing" design elements from OS X, but it's not too often that you hear a rival company openly admitting to using a competitors product as inspiration for their own.

Aldous' comments made the rounds yesterday across the web, and not surprisingly, it wasn't too long before he was taken to task by Microsoft for his comments.

Writing on the Windows 7 blog, Brandon LeBlanc writes that Aldous' quote was completely off base.

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.


I certainly wouldn't want to be Simon Aldous walking into work this morning.  But in all seriousness, LeBlanc may insinuate that Windows 7 borrowed nothing from OS X, but many reviews have pegged Windows 7 as the most "Mac-like" release of Windows.  And to be fair, it's not as if Apple has never "borrowed" design elements from Windows.  One thing's for sure, though - you'll never hear an Apple employee ever praising Microsoft Windows.. at least not while Steve Jobs is in charge.

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