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For six years, the Internet Nexus served as my technology blog, but I've since started blogging at the SuperSite Blog instead. If you're looking for the blog, please head there. --Paul

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Cupertino, Start Your Copiers!

It's always amusing when people finally catch on. No offense to Mr. Wilcox, but I've been saying this for quite some time:
In October 2003, I blogged about how much Windows Vista—then code-named Longhorn—looked like Mac OS X Panther. Apple CEO Steve Jobs' recent Leopard demo was a déjà vu experience, since the new Mac OS looks so much like Windows Vista.

Microsoft gave the first real, public look at Windows XP's successor during the company's 2003 developer conference. Its features were all too reminiscent of Mac OS X: translucent windows; resizing windows (that maintained the integrity and quality of playing or streaming video); live search lists; a common address book and many other features.
Hm. That's a bit of revisionist thinking, or at least a bad memory: Apple didn't announce or ship Spotlight OS search until after the 2003 Microsoft event he's referencing. But we digress...
Four years later, it's Mac OS X that would appear to be the "copier."
Does any of this sound familiar? It should. I wrote something just like this back in August 2006:
Sometimes I wonder how Apple CEO Steve Jobs can sleep at night. He appears to spend half his waking hours ridiculing Microsoft's admittedly behind-schedule operating system, Windows Vista, for copying Mac OS X features. But this week at Apple's annual Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC), he announced ten new features for Leopard, the next version of OS X, most of which will seem more than vaguely familiar to Windows users. I'm not dim: Microsoft does copy Apple on a fairly regular basis. But seriously, Steve. Apple's just as bad.
The sad thing here, of course, is that's more true now than it was after the last WWDC. Because now we know the full feature set of Leopard. Now we know there are no secret features. And now we know that OS X is as mature an OS as is Windows and, in the end, there's really just not much you can do beyond the evolutionary stuff. Ultimately, that's why the mobile device stuff is so exciting, at least on the Apple side: It's a place where Apple can continue to make big advances. I suspect that's part of the reason Microsoft gets into new markets like video games, phones, and music players as well.

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