Microsoft’s Attempt to Copy Snow Leopard

If you are a fan of Apple’s computing options, you already know that using Snow Leopard provides a certain ease that other operating systems simply can not provide. From easy options for searching your system, to the ever present dashboard found at one side of your screen, Apple has pioneered a more user friendly operating system. Many of the customers who have transitioned to Apple over the past few years have credited the easy to use operating system for their decision.

Rampant accusations of Microsoft using Apple’s OS for inspiration first began with the release of Windows Vista. In fact, Steve Jobs and Bertrand Serlet poked fun at the situation at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in 2006. The overall design of the operating system evokes a sense of déjà vu for many computing users. Indeed, the system’s attempt to make the files more easily viewable in a “Finder” of sorts, coupled with the overall design aesthetic, led many users to feel that the Microsoft product had copied Apple’s OS. Furthermore, most felt it was a cheap copy, as Vista had poorly written code that caused many computer users issues.

Shortly after Windows 7 was released in October of 2009, an official from the company made headlines across the globe by declaring that Microsoft had indeed tried to copy many popular features of Apple’s Snow Leopard operating system. If there had been laughter towards the entire situation before, this time around users of both systems got involved in a vicious online war of words, with aficionados of both operating system hurling insults and accusations. Once the comments had been made by Simon Aldous, who is a Microsoft partner group manager, the company jumped into action, denying that his statement was an accurate portrayal of Microsoft’s strategy.

Nevertheless, the damage had been done. So, what in fact did Aldous say that reflected so negatively upon Microsoft? “What we’ve tried to do with Windows 7 – whether it’s traditional format or in a touch format – is create a Mac look and feel in terms of graphics.” Essentially an employee of Microsoft declared to the world was many Mac users already felt to be the case: Apple’s operating system had been copied. Microsoft’s Communications Manager Brandon LeBlanc later labeled Aldous’ comments both “inaccurate and uninformed.”

While this debate is perhaps one that will never have any sort of resolution, at this point it is obvious that Microsoft is trying to play catch up with Apple. In addition to gaining popularity rapidly, particularly amongst computer users, Apple is way ahead of the game. Features in Snow Leopard like fully integrated 64-bit support and QuickTime X do not fade in the least bit in comparison with Microsoft’s offerings, and this doesn’t seem slated to change anytime soon.

Ultimately, as anyone who has used both operating systems knows, as much as the products from Windows and Apple may evolve in similar design patterns, the two are as different as can be. Window’s further transition to a product code named Midori, which is believed to be a Windows-replacement, could potentially further highlight the difference between computer running Mac OS and a Windows product. As the war of words continues between diehard fans of both computers, Mac users are confident that Apple will continue to remain on top.