Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer talked with eWEEK Senior Editor Peter Galli at Microsoft’s professional Developers Conference in Los Angeles last week. One of Galli’s questions provoked Ballmer to comment on Apple and Mac OS X.

Galli: Some Microsoft critics say that many of the features in “Longhorn” already exist in other operating systems. How do you respond to that?

Ballmer: I don’t hear that from enterprise customers. They don’t look at the Mac. They just don’t. Some people will say some of the features are kissing cousins to features they’ve seen elsewhere, and that is true. I’m not apologetic about the fact that we should, in a way that doesn’t offend anyone else’s intellectual property, study and learn and benefit from the work others have done.

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Galli didn’t specify Apple’s Mac OS X, so it’s telling that Ballmer brings up Apple and the Mac immediately. Microsoft’s enterprise customers who “don’t look at the Mac,” presumably will think Microsoft developed many of Vista’s features on their own and won’t even realize that they could’ve have most of Vista’s upcoming features for 5+ years already – if only they’d looked at the Mac. Certainly, Microsoft won’t mention to their customers where they got the ideas for Vista, they’ll instead trumpet Vista’s “new” features as “Microsoft innovation,” oxymoron be damned.

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