Windows 7 Look and Feel Modeled after Mac OS X - At least they admit it!
According to Microsoft's partner group manager, Simon Aldous Windows 7 was designed to look and feel like the Mac OS X. In a interview with PCR Simon Aldous said “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.”
Microsoft copying Apple's look and feel for their new Windows 7 release is not very surprising. They have been doing it for years its just that Microsoft doesn't usually admit it. Maybe they don't feel like it's much of a secret anymore. Microsoft is opening retail stores just like Apple and are even stealing away Apple Store employees to open their stores. That doesn't sound like a very discrete move to me.
With Windows Vista and Windows 7 there are many features that are surprisingly similar that of the Mac OS X. The Windows 7 Taskbar has a new look and feel, similar to that of the Mac dock, where you can launch, add, and remove applications. The taskbar also has the nice new jump list feature that is much like the Dock item menu. Windows 7 also has a feature called Aero Peek which is much like Apples Expose with the ability to move windows around with the touch of a button or a movement of the mouse. Windows 7 also added a preview plane to the explorer giving it a column view, something the Mac OS has had since the Cheetah release in 2000. Lets not forget about the fact that Vista and Windows 7 both have a feature called gadgets, little single purpose apps that do a single task, something Apple calls widgets and have had since the Tiger release.
There are more but I think you get the point. I'm not making fun of Windows and I don't really care that they are copying Apple. If I have to work on a Windows machine I want it to work well, so why would I mind if Windows stole some ideas from Apple. I am simply pointing out the simularities in the new operating system. It is nice however that as Windows becomes more like the Mac OS it will be easier for people to switch over to a Mac. They will see the Mac OS and feel comfortable in it because it's similar to that of Windows. I do feel however that the Mac OS X will always be a better OS than Windows. Apple is dedicated to innovation and that is something you can't keep down.
Update November 11, 2009 2:36 PM
I would like to add, before people accuse me of Windows bashing, that Apple has done their fare share of steal ideas as well. The idea behind stacks was stolen as well as the idea for space so there you go.