Microsoft Slams Employee Over Mac Comments

Product manager says Windows 7 was inspired by Apple's user interface.

Microsoft chastised one of its own employees Thursday for claiming that the software maker based the design of its new Windows 7 operating system on rival Apple's Mac OS.

Windows 7 screen shot
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Microsoft partner group manager Simon Aldous told industry publication PCR that Microsoft looked to Cupertino for inspiration when building Windows 7.

"One of the things that people say an awful lot about the Apple Mac is that the OS is fantastic, that it's very graphical and easy to use," Aldous said. "What we've tried to do with Windows 7—whether it's the traditional format or in a touch format—is create a Mac look and feel in terms of graphics," Aldous reportedly said.

Microsoft wasted no time lambasting Aldous through official channels, calling his comments erroneous.

"An inaccurate quote has been floating around the Internet today about the design and origin of Windows 7 and whether its look and feel was 'borrowed' from Mac OS X," wrote Brandon LeBlanc, Microsoft's in-house Windows blogger, in a post Thursday.

"Unfortunately, this came from a Microsoft employee who was not involved in any aspect of designing Windows 7," wrote LeBlanc. "I hate to say this about one of our own, but his comments were inaccurate and uninformed," LeBlanc added.

Microsoft didn't say whether it planned to take any disciplinary action against Aldous.

To be sure, his comments likely didn't go over well in Redmond. Microsoft has spent millions of dollars advertising and promoting Windows 7, in part to differentiate it from Apple's increasingly popular Mac OS.

Apple has hit back with ads that depict Windows 7, personified by "the PC guy," as just another in a long line of Windows operating systems that Apple claims are less user-friendly and visually appealing than the Mac OS.

InformationWeek has published an indepth report on Windows 7. Download the report here (registration required).

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