Microsoft to use Apple’s ‘Piles’ in Longhorn?

Nealry two years ago, we and others reported on Apple’s patented “Piles” (Apple’s patent was filed in 1994), and the rumors that Apple would bring “Piles” to Mac OS X, which didn’t happen with “Panther.” Some MDN readers also suggested at the time that “Stacks” would probably be a better and more-palatable name for the feature than “Piles.”

We provided a link to a flash demo from Piles Preview creator Richard Das who showed his impression of how the rumored feature ‘Piles’ would work here.

Now, we see from Paul Thurrott’s SuperSite for Windows that Longhorn will feature, “Stacks” (screenshot) which “will help aggregate content by such things as authors, keywords, type, and so on. You can then group Stacks by various properties, such as name, size, modified date, type, or authors, in order to provide multiple relevant views on the same data.”

Is this “business as usual” for Microsoft or are Longhorn’s “Stacks” an original idea?

Full SuperSite for Windows’ article here.

[Thanks to MDN reader “Tom V” for alerting us to the Longhorn “Stacks” information.]

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Mac OS X 10.3 Panther ‘Piles’ screenshots posted online – April 26, 2003
The Register goes deep inside Apple’s Piles – April 23, 2003
Mac OS X Panther ‘Piles Preview’ author comments on rumored ‘Piles’ implementation; can’t do this on Windows – April 17, 2003
Readers not happy with ‘Piles’ name suggest Panther ‘Stacks’ instead; link to preview ‘Piles’ here – April 16, 2003
Preview shows the promise of rumored Mac OS X Panther ‘Piles’ – April 15, 2003


  1. Microsoft copying/stealing from Apple. Some people never change. Maybe old dogs can’t learn new tricks and it’s time for the Microsoft dog to be euthanized.

  2. Same as usual. Always imitating, never innovating.

    Keyword: Want, as in MS wanting to do something big, very soon to show that they can compete which they cannot.

  3. Didn’t Steve put up a poster that said “Redmond…start your copiers”.

    Hhmm…seems they took him at his word. Give an inch, they’ll take a mile.

    Well, it seems to be the commonly held belief that Apple is Microsofts true R&D department. Appears that that it just might be the case here as well.

  4. Hey, watch the language there guys.

    Imitation is the highest form of flattery so be proud. We’ve got the best OS around so just be happy and let Apple’s lawyers take the matter into their own hands. Just hope they don’t screw it up…gotta bleed Redmond really dry this time when that litigation comes around.

  5. You know what a doctor prescribes for ‘piles’ – well I think Microsoft needs the cream because for the last 2o years all that has come out of Redmond is crap.

    Bill gates probably also suffers from extreme smelly wind – caused by eating too many Apples!

    Magic word: FEAR – As in you can smell it a mile away from Microsoft’s HQ!

  6. it was “Redmond, start your photocopiers.” Yeah, but can we really be surprised? We’ll possibly have the NEXT kitty to play with by the time it ships, and knowing apple, it will be able to do things too late for MS to copy into the big cow.

    Anyone visiting the Longhorn site see: iSync, Spotlight, user/password intervention …..

    just smile and move on…

  7. Copying Apple? Give us all a break people. The’re isn’t any resemblence to Apple’s Piles. In Longhorn, the deeper the “stack”, the more documents are associated with that name. If you look in the bottom of the screen shot, it shows 62 docs for steve. It isnt expanding and contracting as the flash demo suggest’s. Give it a rest.

  8. Take a breath, fellas. iSync came *after* MS ActiveSync. I don’t think either is a “copycat” – it’s a pretty basic function. But MS didn’t steal the idea for a sync tool in the OS — they did it before Apple.

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