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
EarthWeb: Apple’s Mac OS X Tiger is a ‘serious enterprise operating system, a pivotal release’ – May 06, 2005
BusinessWeek: ‘Tiger bolsters Mac OS X’s edge as the best personal-computer operating system’ – May 06, 2005
The Guardian: Mac OS X Tiger a powerful solution while Microsoft’s Longhorn remains on drawing board – May 06, 2005
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
Associated Press: Mac OS X Tiger ‘provides another excellent incentive to switch from Windows’ – April 28, 2005
Mossberg: Apple’s Tiger ‘the best, most advanced personal computer operating system on the market’ – April 28, 2005
InformationWeek columnist: Apple’s Mac OS X Tiger ‘a compelling upgrade’ – April 28, 2005
NY Times: Apple’s Mac OS X Tiger is the most secure, stable and satisfying OS on earth – April 28, 2005
Wired News: Apple’s Mac OS X Tiger ‘full of welcome surprises’ – April 27, 2005
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
Apple posts QuickTime movies of Mac OS X Tiger features in action – April 13, 2005


  1. Reading one of Enderle’s other posts on the Vista naming (http://www.technologypundits.com/index.php?article_id=152) I loved the ending. It is so fitting of his general perspective around here. I quote:

    “This column is dedicated to the careers of those employees everywhere that have ever had to experience the joys of naming a product and learning first hand the one rule that almost always applies is: “The only thing everyone agrees on, when it comes to naming, is that the person who actually came up with the name is an idiot”.

    “Which all goes to show why I am so glad I don’t have to do naming anymore.”

  2. Microsoft also bought a poot-man’s version of UNIX for PCs when it delivered DOS 1.0

    We have \ vs / in path names, etc. ad infinitum.

    At least others didn’t pretend not to borrow concepts. M$ seems to choose opposite orientations when it copies or borrows from original implementations (munu bar on bottom, desktop icon on left, window controls on right, etc.).

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    Waiting for a reply ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />, Mercy.

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