AP: Microsoft’s ‘insanely late’ Windows Vista has Apple ‘Mac-like look and feel’

“Known for years by the code name ‘Longhorn,’ the successor to Microsoft’s Windows XP has been dubbed ‘Longwait’ for its numerous delays. As features have been announced, it’s also been accused of copying of Apple Computer Inc.’s Mac OS X,” Matthew Fordahl reports for The Associated Press. “And that was before most people had the chance to see — let alone use — what’s now been christened Windows Vista. Microsoft finally took some of the wraps off last week, releasing Vista’s first major test version to about 500,000 programmers and tech professionals.”

“Yes, it does have more of a Mac-like look and feel. And, yes, it’s insanely late. But it also gives users hope that some of Windows’ most serious annoyances and dangers might be mitigated just in time for the holidays of 2006, when the final version is expected to be out,” Fordahl reports.

Fordahl describes Windows Vaper, er Vista’s search capabilities and writes, “Mac fans are probably screaming. Yes, this is very similar to the Spotlight function in the recent update of Mac OS X. At this stage of development, Vista does bear a significant resemblance. “

“Mac lovers are also likely to fume once they see Vista’s graphics. Green progress bars shimmer. The Minimize-Maximize-Close buttons look something like glowing Chicklets when moused over. Each window has a drop shadow while borders and title bars are slightly transparent. Folder icons now show the documents inside, such as a very small picture thumbnail for an image file. The icons also can be enlarged,” Fordahl writes. “Finally, when a program is launched, its window doesn’t just appear but pops open in a slick animation. When minimized, the window slides into the taskbar. It remains to be seen whether the graphics capabilities will be turned into something more than eye candy. Apple has made great strides on this front, particularly with a technology called Expose that quickly tiles open windows with one key press.”

Fordahl explains Microsoft’s challenge is to maintain “backwards compatibility” with previous Windows versions writes that if Microsoft fails to adequately address this issue, “there could be a revolt at the same time that Apple — for once copying the Windows PC industry — builds Intel Corp. processors into its computers and updates Mac OS X yet again. Though Microsoft is largely thought to have won the PC war, the biggest battle might just take place in 2006.”

Full article, with more details and promises from Microsoft of greater security (didn’t they promise that with Windows XP?), in the full aritcle here.

MacDailyNews Take: We’ll take “insanely great” over “insanely late” any day of the week. You knew that was coming didn’t you?

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Microsoft’s Windows Vista will attempt to incorporate many features from Apple’s Mac OS X Tiger – August 01, 2005
Apple to unleash Leopard on Microsoft’s Windows Longhorn; Mac OS X 10.5 due late 2006 – early 2007 – June 07, 2005
PC World names Apple’s Mac OS X Tiger ‘Best Operating System’ – June 01, 2005
Apple’s Mac OS X Tiger ‘is the most advanced operating system on the planet’ – May 31, 2005
TrustedReviews: After using Mac OS X Tiger ‘going back to Windows XP is something of a joke at best’ – May 18, 2005
The Butler Group: ‘Apple’s Mac OS X Tiger the best desktop operating system in the world to date’ – May 13, 2005
BBC News: Apple’s Mac OS X Tiger ‘the most stable and reliable OS, well ahead of Windows XP’ – May 10, 2005
Windows users show strong curiosity about Apple’s Mac OS X Tiger – May 09, 2005
Windows tech writer Thurrott: ‘In many ways, Mac OS X Tiger is simply better than Windows’ – May 07, 2005
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BusinessWeek: ‘Tiger bolsters Mac OS X’s edge as the best personal-computer operating system’ – May 06, 2005
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Chicago Sun-Times: Mac OS X Tiger shows ‘there’s never been a more compelling time to switch to Mac’ – May 05, 2005
Dan Gillmor: ‘With Mac OS X Tiger, Apple is plainly in the lead today’ – May 05, 2005
Jupiter Research VP: Apple’s Mac OS X Tiger ‘runs rings around Microsoft Windows’ – May 04, 2005
The Independent: Apple’s ‘faster, smarter, simpler’ Mac OS X Tiger ‘a must-have’ – May 04, 2005
Mac OS X Tiger review for a Windows PC audience finds Tiger’s ‘far, far better than Windows XP’ – May 03, 2005
Boston Herald: Mac OS X Tiger should compel Windows PC users to think about switching to Apple Mac – May 02, 2005
Mac OS X Tiger will likely improve performance of your Macintosh – April 30, 2005
PC World review gives Apple’s Mac OS X Tiger 4.5 stars out of 5 – April 30, 2005
Ars Technica: Mac OS X Tiger ‘at least twice as significant as any single past update’ – April 28, 2005
BusinessWeek: ‘Tiger bolsters Mac OS X’s edge as the best personal-computer operating system around’ – April 28, 2005
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Thurrott: Longhorn ‘has the makings of a train wreck’ – April 26, 2005
Thurrott: Longhorn demos ‘unimpressive, fall short of graphical excellence found today in Mac OS X’ – April 26, 2005
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38 Comments

  1. Okay, I want to say this:

    Thurrott the other day was discussing MS Search over Spotlight..

    He thinks Apple screwed up by running search instantly as you type letters..

    I love that.. just like iTunes..

    With Windows you have to hit enter after you type in the search…

    Does Apple have some kind of IP on this.. anyway.. I love the way Spotlight does it.. just like iTunes. Boom.

    in his words, “an instance where Apple actually got it wrong and MS got it right”

    Thurrott.. check the mailbox.. another cheque from Gates.. thanks for your fair and balanced view

  2. “Mac lovers are also likely to fume once they see Vista’s graphics.”

    Not likely. MS has proved over and over again they have no sense of good interface design when it comes to their OS. If they maintain the same design team as before, I look for it to look more like a Fisher-Price OS than anything that truly shimmers.

    In 3 years all the Winzealots will be touting the next version of Windows that will be the MacOS killer, just like they’ve done with every previous OS release.

    Or perhaps they’ll still be waiting for Longhorn.

  3. Let MS work tirelessly to create a quarter-assed knock-off of Tiger!

    Because within six months of shipping Windows Fistula, Apple will ship Leopard and – by the time Fistula is fully-featured and stable (!), with it’s second Service Pack – the likelihood is that Apple will have pre-announced Cougar/Lynx/insert your preferred feline codename for 10.6 and be within months of shipping.

    So people will have a choice: run a well-engineered Mactel box where the OS and the hardware work with each other and, if you’re sufficiently masochistic, you can still run Windows “in a window”.

    Or buy a Dell or a Gateway and wonder why when you start up a USB printer that you’ve used a hundred times before, Fistula suddenly feels the need to re-install the printer in such a way that the original no longer works, but it’s difficult to work out which is the original: it happens now with Windows XP and certain Epson printers, so I don’t see any reason why it won’t still be the case with Microsoft’s latest course in operating system construction for the terminally underqualified.

  4. The “Mactel” name doesn’t make sense. Nobody calls G5 PowerMacs “MacBM”s, and nobody calls G4 PowerMacs “Macrolla”s. WTF? Who cares what brand of CPU it’s using – Motorola, IBM, Intel — it’s still a Mac.

  5. If anybody listens to “This Week In Tech”, Episode 14 had John Dvorak (I know, I know, I’m still dealing with that…), stating boldly that Windows is finished; that in a few short years, everyone will be running Mac OS X on either Apple or generic PC computers as their desktop system, that they will be running LInux on their servers, and using Google as their search engine; and that Microsoft will be confined to desktop apps like Office and Powerpoint. It’s kinda scary hearing those kind of predictions from him.

  6. I agree, please oh PLEASE stop writing ‘mactel’

    Cheap, cheap cheap it looks as well as sounds.

    STOP WRITING ‘MACTEL’
    STOP WRITING ‘MACTEL’
    STOP WRITING ‘MACTEL’
    STOP WRITING ‘MACTEL’

    Ok no more…Lets hope it doesn’t make it to Wordspy

  7. Actually, there are a couple of things which aren’t so hot in Tiger.

    Spotlight searching is great, but the entry box annoys me due to the delay after pressing a few characters – for fast touch typists such as myself, I still find I’ve only gotten 3 characters in before the search engine kicks in, chews thru the index on disk, and I get a spinning beach ball. I’m unable to add characters until the first few (usually non related) entries come back. As I said, I’m a fast typist, yet this search as you type stuff is too fast. And if you’ve mistyped as well – forgetaboutit for a minute whilst the search on the wrong thing is performed. I wonder if I’m better off copying/pasting the word I want to look up into the search box? If they haven’t fixed this by 10.4.3, I’ll be logging a feature request to ask them to either give us the option to turn auto search off until Return is pressed, or perhaps something more fancy like sense the time between keystroke pauses – and if one such pause appears longer than another, then start searching (it might already do this, but a minimum of 3 characters have to be entered).

    The firewall could probably do with checking outgoing net traffic as well – something like Little Snitch (which I haven’t got btw) Microsoft are right in putting in such a firewall into Vista. Apple doesn’t really need it yet, but it’s something they should seriously consider for future security, esp. as the platform becomes more popular.

  8. I quickly looked at Windows Vista and I thought that Microsoft was trying to copy Linux more than Apple. Now thinking about it Linux users are trying to make Linux look like Apple OSX.

    IMOP Windows Vista isn’t worth getting worked up about I really isn’t impressive at all.

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