Microsoft concerned that Longhorn’s look and feel will be copied if revealed too soon

After months of speculation, Microsoft plans to give developers their first hard look at the next version of Windows in October,” reports Ina Fried for CNET “The Redmond, Wash., company expects to release a ‘developers preview’ of the new operating system, code-named Longhorn, at its professional developers conference in Los Angeles.”

Fried reports, “As for the new user interface, it’s unclear just how much of the design, code-named Aero, will be shown. Microsoft did preview some user interface features at its Windows Hardware Engineering Conference in May. One concern is that if the look and feel is revealed too soon, it could be copied by others well before Microsoft ever ships Longhorn.” Full article here.

Here are some QuickTime movies of the “Aero” UI preview from – you’ll have to let them download fully before they will play:
Windows wave (3.6 MB)
Stars Wars rotate (3.5 MB)
Aero dizzy (7.1 MB)

MacDailyNews Take: Whoops! Longhorn’s “Aero” UI look and feel has already been copied due to a dastardly act by Apple Computer, Inc. The Cupertino Mac maker seems to have employed some nefarious method of time travel; jumping forward to 2005 to steal Longhorn’s “Aero” UI look and feel, then jumping back to March 2001 to release a copy known by the unoriginal (and obviously Aero-inspired) name “Aqua” and employing a so-called technology named “Quartz.” See the results of this obvious act of copying via time travel here. Apple also seems to be intent on building upon the copied “Aero” look and feel with their own “innovations,” including Expos


  1. first irregardless/regardless and now double negatives. what da hell???

    Stingerman: “wasn’t delayed for no reason”???

    I’m guessing you’re referring to StarOffice and the MadHatter project from SUN? Hopefully you’re not referring to Apple ’cause Safari is a hack of the Mozilla codebase; I was under the impression that when you “contribute back to the community” that you improve, not make it unstable.

  2. They really don’t get it. They think that what makes the Mac special is the eye candy. Like usual, Microsoft thinks that they can copy the look and forget the feel. The Mac effects add to the visual concept of the interface. The Genie effect makes you get the feeling that the programs are being placed on and removed from the dock – improving the users understanding. The fact that it is cool looking is just a classing implementation of a good concept. How do these effects help a windows user get a better understanding of what is happening with his computer? The answer is it doesn’t. When Microsoft copied the mac to make windows, they did the same thing – they gave it a GUI – a difficult one to manage, but it was a GUI. Unfortunatly, the masses will blindly buy into it.

  3. Man, there’s a lot of misinformed people out there:

    From tthomcarl: “The first time was back in the mid 90’s when they came out with the first Windoz 90 something. Looked a lot like Apple’s System 7, and they got by with it because at time Apple and the great Steve had parted ways and Apple was so broke from bad management that they couldn’t afford a lawsuite”.

    Wrong. Apple was not so broke that they couldn’t defend themselves. Two things happened depending on which rip-off you’re talking about. First, in an original software development between Apple and Microsoft circa 1982, Apple inadvertently gave them permission to use the Mac OS to develop software, even their own OS, which they did. The second time was for Windows 95 and Sculley caved because Bill threatened to kill Office for the Mac. They did actually sue MS and lost. Apple: Great technological innovators, lousy businessmen.

    Second, from grammer: “Hopefully you’re not referring to Apple ’cause Safari is a hack of the Mozilla codebase;”

    Wrong. Safari was built from Konqueror, not Mozilla. The Mozilla group was pissed that they didn’t use Mozilla.

  4. Fast User switching on a Mac first… spare me (XP first). Windowed interfaces first… again spare me (Xerox did it). Mac GUI is pretty, but a far cry from a Windows Interface. Aero looks and feels nothing like OSX, so why bother saying that it was ‘stolen’?

    Only Mac zealots would actually look at Aero and see anything Mac-like on it. They would also say something like – ‘irregardless’.

  5. RP – You’re right on the Fast User Switching. Steve said so himself. He openly admits that this is something that windows does much better and that they’re copying it. That’s one thing.

    The wondowed interface was a Xerox thing, but it wasn’t stolen. Zerox was an R&D facility and one of the things Jobs saw there was a little winsow/mouse thing. Xerox weren’t actually going to do anything with it. They created the concept, bt it was fully developed by Apple.

    So in 1984, the Mac is released. In 1993, when I bought a Win 3.1 system (because it was affordable and I mistakenly thought it was like the mac that I couldn’t afford), PC using friends used to really take the mickey becasue I wasn’t using command line DOS (A real man’s OS, according to them). That’s NINE YEARS LATER and microsoft was only just starting to catch up.

    I think windows has come a long way, but in terms of a user interface, it’s still behind and in terms of the stuff under the hood, I just don’t trust it. Just look at how you uninstall something on windows and compare it to the same thing on a mac (i.e.simple drag to the trash). No DLLs! The equivalent to DLLs are kept local to an application package and only Apple updates system level library stuff. And it can keep multiple versions too, so if an app needs an older version, it can run that one instead.

    I use Win2KPro at work, and i have to say, it’s really stable, but it’s maintained by professionals and is a standard hardware and software configuration. Even so, it’s less stable than my 3 year old mac that has really not been looked after particularly well.

  6. RP

    I am so sick of people bringing up the Xerox connection. Yes, for heavens sake, Apple used ideas from Xeroxs original GUI, but did not copy it. On top of that, they received the rights to use the ideas explicitely from Xerox, they did not steal it.

    Microsoft lifted not only the ideas but directly copied many features, in the process violating copyright laws. Microsoft and Apple were in an extended court battle, with Microsoft using their ONLY ORIGINAL THOUGHT to wear down companies in extended court battles until either their competitor goes bankrupt, can no longer afford the court battles and settles out of court(which Apple did)

    Oh, wait a minute. This tactic isn’t Microsoft’s ORIGINAL THOUGHT, they stole it from other ethicly corrupt corporations and have refined to state of the art.

    By the way, I’m not a Mac zealot nor am I a Microsoft apologist or TROLL.

  7. Complain all you want y’all. These videos have nothing to do with Aero – this is Avalon (the new graphics subsystem). None of you have even seen Aero yet. Until then, your comments only show prejudgement.

  8. The ONLY usefulness that I think these effects can serve is as a screensaver. They use too many resources to be useful, and would cause any user to freak-out if they looked at these effects too long.

  9. RP, you seem to be devoid of any factual knowledge concerning Apple so please give it a rest. You only show yourself to be an idiot.

    “The Mozilla group was pissed that they didn’t use Mozilla.”

    And the Opera group actually threatened to stop developing for the Mac if Apple didn’t use their engine. Ohhhhhhh, they seem to be even more ignorant than RP!

  10. From WordNet (r) 1.7:

    adv : in spite of everything; without regard to drawbacks; “he
    carried on irregardless of the difficulties” [syn: regardless,
    irrespective, disregardless, no matter, disregarding]

    An Interseting dialogue bettween Bruce Horn & Jeff Raskin (both worked on the Macintosh project & both worked at Xerox Parc) about Apple, Xerox & the development of the GUI….I’m tired of hearing the BS about Xerox Parc from PC centric users. Do some research the story is out there. There also used to be some very good articles at about what was developed when & by who…I’m not sure if they are still there.

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