Microsoft denies employee’s comments about copying Apple

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In an interview with PCR at last month's Microsoft Partner Network conference, Microsoft partner group manager Simon Aldous was asked whether Windows 7 was a more agile operating system than its predecessor, Windows Vista.

In an answer that would not be the least bit surprising if it weren’t coming from a Microsoft employee, he 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 […] is create a Mac look and feel in terms of graphics.

He does, however, go on to claim that Windows 7 (and even Windows Vista before it) is “far more stable” than Mac OS X, but what would you expect from a Microsoft employee?

Well, certainly not the part about Microsoft basing Windows 7’s UI on the Mac.

Microsoft didn’t take very kindly to Aldous’s comment and went on record saying that he was incorrect and that subsequent news stories focusing on the comment were “totally inaccurate.” They even point out that Windows 7 supports multi-touch, while Mac OS X does not—you know, just to make sure we know who’s copying from…wait a second, wasn’t it Apple who brought multi-touch to the market in the first place? Ah, well, never mind.

That said, I do feel that the situation is being played up a bit more than it deserves. After all, what company would want its employees to publicly admit that its new flagship product was “inspired by” a competitor that it considered superior? And even if Microsoft did ape a few features of the Mac OS, it doesn't mean that Windows 7 was “inspired by Apple.” What, just because they copied Spotlight, Dashboard, certain Exposé features, and now the Dock, you call it a shameless ripoff? Give 'em a break.

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