Microsoft turns to former Apple designer for Windows Vista graphics and images

In 1989, Robert Brunner accepted the position of Director of Industrial Design at Apple Computer, where he provided design and direction for all Apple product lines, including the Newton and the PowerBook portable series, including the PowerBook 100 which moved the keyboard toward the screen, providing wrist rests up front and leaving an obvious place for a trackball; most portable computers now follow this design.

In January 1996 he became a partner in the San Francisco office of Pentagram and has designed products for PC-maker Dell and is now “moving deeper into Apple enemy territory as well: The graphics and images in Microsoft’s new operating system called Vista (formerly codenamed Longhorn) will be designed by the Apple vet,” BusinessWeek reports

Full article here.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Windows czar Allchin says Apple copying Microsoft’s Windows Longhorn – April 27, 2005
eWEEK Editor Coursey: Longhorn so far ‘looks shockingly like a Macintosh’ – April 25, 2005
Due in late 2006, many of Windows Longhorn’s features have been in Mac OS X since 2001 – April 25, 2005
Microsoft’s new mantra: ‘It Just Works’ ripped straight from Apple’s ‘Switch’ campaign – April 22, 2005
Apple CEO Steve Jobs on Microsoft’s Longhorn: ‘They are shamelessly copying us’ – April 21, 2005
Microsoft’s Windows Longhorn will bear more than just a passing resemblance to Apple’s Mac OS X – April 15, 2005
Silicon Valley: Apple CEO Steve Jobs previews ‘Longhorn’ – June 29, 2004
PC Magazine: Microsoft ‘Longhorn’ preview shows ‘an Apple look’ – May 06, 2004
Microsoft concerned that Longhorn’s look and feel will be copied if revealed too soon – August 25, 2003
Windows ‘Longhorn’ to add translucent windows that ripple and shrink by 2005 – May 19, 2003


  1. Fucking traitor.

    Microsoft continues it’s strategy of copying Apple and making everything “good enough” so people won’t switch.

    I hope Jobs & Co have a second wind and take OS X and the hardware to the next level. Let those ass bags in Redmond copy Apple’s designs from 5 years ago.

    Take it to the next level (again) Apple. Change the game on those posers.

  2. Gee, the lack of maturity here is stunning. The guy did great work for Apple. The PowerBook 100 was a landmark in laptop design. He’s hasn’t worked at Apple for a long time; it’s not like he was “lured” away by MS. He’s part of a independent design firm that’s been hired to do a job. Sure, it’s pretty sad that MS can’t find the internal talent to accomplish the task, but that’s not Brunner’s fault.

  3. I thought the original Powerbook line was a landmark of computer design. I still have my 165, and it’s running beautifully, even after 11 years.
    The LC, too, had a great design, especially when matched with the 12″ displays.
    So the guy got pissed at people like Sculley and Spindler and left Apple to build up something of his own. He’s a business man who has to pay his employees and for his kids’ tuition. He takes Billy Boy’s money, helps them a little bit to build a somewhat less ogreish user interface, and laughs all the way to the bank.
    I fail to see why anyone should diss him. Like Steve Jobs, he makes a living off the ineptitude of MS.

  4. John,

    You need to turn your Juvinility© Filtering Processor™ on.

    You seemed to have read past the articulate comments, while making an asinine comment yourself.

    Welcome to MDN, and continue to read and post comments.

    But, remember that the JFP™ is your friend, and it is cross platform. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”tongue wink” style=”border:0;” />

    And be mindful of low energy levels and topic interference.

  5. Don’t worry John, luckily it is just indicative of the readers here at MDN, and the maturity level is a direct reflection of the MDN “takes”.

    There are plenty of Mac users out there who agree that the comments here are more times than not ridiculous.

  6. I seem to remember, and maybe someone with a longer memory can correct me or add details, microsoft did this with the first windows OS. They hired the same designer that had created the icons for the first mac OS. I forget her name but i believe it was a woman. i´d confirm this and look up the details by myself but due to circumstances beyong my control i´m using IE on windows and there are no tabs or integrated or search or other forms of civilization. browsing is like having teeth ripped out and there are few websites that are worth the torture.

    MDN = met as in “I wonder if all of the apple rejects that MS has hired have met yet?”

  7. It is not so much who works for Jobs, as to “what and How Much” Jobs and only Jobs gets out of them.

    it can be summarized in three very rare words

    Passion Taste and Vision

    Now go copy that.

  8. Now come on guys Pentagram was THE design house when I was at college producing some of the best design and designers the modern world has ever seen. Unfortunately I was at Art College circa 1980 and design and design companies have a distinctly limited lifespan. Pentagram is wonderful as an historical 20th Century icon, thankfully Apple design is a 21st century icon. Long may Microsoft not get that.

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