Linked by snydeq on Mon 12th Oct 2009 15:24 UTC
Graphics, User Interfaces InfoWorld's John Rizzo chronicles the 20 most significant ideas and features Microsoft and Apple have stolen from each other in the lead up to Windows 7 and Mac OS X Snow Leopard. 'Some features were stolen so long ago that they've become part of the computing landscape, and it's difficult to remember who invented what.' Windows 7's Task Bar and Aero Peek come to mind as clear appropriations of Mac OS X's Dock and Expose. Apple's cloning of the Windows address bar in 2007's Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard as the path bar is another obvious 'inspiration.' But the borrowing goes deeper, Rizzo writes, providing a screenshot tour of Microsoft's biggest grabs from Mac OS X and Apple's most significant appropriations of Windows OS ideas and functionality.
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How about anything borrowed from Linux?
by Fusion on Mon 12th Oct 2009 18:32 UTC
Fusion
Member since:
2005-07-18

We frequently remark on all the ideas that Linux has borrowed from Apple and Microsoft in an effort to be 'on par' with their user experience... but I feel like there are a few often neglected items that have found their way into the Apple/Windows world from Linux. Virtual Workspaces, for example, have been part of almost every linux desktop environment (even the 'light weight' / minimalist ones) forever and were only recently introduced as a 'feature' of OSX (when Leopard was released, I believe).

I could be very mistaken, but I also believe the whole PostIt!/"Sticky Note" concept has been available in GNOME and KDE for ages...and may possibly pre-date related implementations in Win or Apple camps.

Also, as noted by a number of people as soon as the first builds of Win7 leaked... the taskbar appears to borrow more aesthetic inspiration from KDE4's panel than it does the Dock. But that's likely more an amalgamation of ideas than anything.

Reply Score: 3

smashIt Member since:
2005-07-06

the problem with such lists is that you have to know the origin of a feature before you can say who copied it

and the features you mentioned definitely don't come from linux (as most win/mac features don't come from mac/win)

Reply Parent Score: 2

Fusion Member since:
2005-07-18

Exactly. And that's why, unlike the article, I framed my attributions in a rather 'non-committal' manner... because I don't really know. =/

Reply Parent Score: 1

strcpy Member since:
2009-05-20

Take the example of GNU.

The whole practical ideology behind GNU was to provide alternatives to common UNIX tools. As sad as it might be, at the level of true innovation and originality, GNU has not contributed anything worth mentioning.

Even today, several of high-profile GNU projects are nothing but copy-and-rewrite something that someone else came up with. I appreciate them doing all this work and they make good (alternative) tools, but at the fundamental level they are just "copying".

Edited 2009-10-12 18:53 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 4

wirespot Member since:
2006-06-21

Even today, several of high-profile GNU projects are nothing but copy-and-rewrite something that someone else came up with. I appreciate them doing all this work and they make good (alternative) tools, but at the fundamental level they are just "copying".


I'm afraid I can't agree to that. Even though you used quotes around "copying". To copy is to not do any work, or to do very little. But if you're given the task of replicating functionality by implementing it from scratch it's certainly not as easy as "copying" would make it seem. Yes, innovation and breakthroughs in conceptual development are hard and those who do it deserve credit. But actual implementation, even if it is re-implementation, is work that is just as hard and also deserves credit. And very often those who reimplement software perform feats of innovation themselves, during the creation of their particular solutions of implementation.

This is actually why sharing ideas and allowing reimplementation is good, and why blocking ideas or software or fundamental knowledge like math with patents is bad. Because by building upon ideas from others we evolve much faster.

Let me put it this way. If you see a public park arranged in a particularly nice way and you go home and work hard and make your garden look that way too, does it mean that you stole from that park? Yes, those who made the park payed for a skilled designer. But they meant the park to be seen by the public at large and once you saw it you cannot "unsee" it.

Should I avoid following the philosophical ideas in a book because the author thought about them first? Even though he meant for them to be read? Should we refrain from using things that get into our brains because we feel like we owe whoever had that idea first?

Reply Parent Score: 3

rirmak Member since:
2009-06-23

Heh, your truism/comment is really perverse, but RMS deserves it. Hell, you even found the most foxy context (article) for it, LOLZ!

Indeed, FSF don't deserve our fairness because they promise and don't deliver. As sad as it sounds, they pretend they're all about innovation but all they do is they basically provide "free software" versions of warez that, well, I can always download for free anyway. Philosophically speaking, at some fundamental level they are just "downloading" the warez for me.

(Don't get me wrong, I appreciate FSF doing all this work. I just hate doublespeak. Especially honestly sad, appreciative, and off-topic doublespeak.)

Reply Parent Score: 1

lightweight Member since:
2009-10-14

Hmmm...
Emacs ('nuff said)
GCC (probably the most widely used compiler available)
Gzip (if I'm not mistaken, this was the best compression around for quite a while)
The GNU General Public License (the most widely usd free/open source software license)
The concept of Free Software

Not innovative?

Reply Parent Score: 1

steogede2 Member since:
2007-08-17

Take the example of GNU.

The whole practical ideology behind GNU was to provide alternatives to common UNIX tools. As sad as it might be, at the level of true innovation and originality, GNU has not contributed anything worth mentioning.

Even today, several of high-profile GNU projects are nothing but copy-and-rewrite something that someone else came up with. I appreciate them doing all this work and they make good (alternative) tools, but at the fundamental level they are just "copying".


Firstly, several are "rewrites" - however the vast majority of those rewrites add massively to the original. Secondly, there are GNU has many many projects - many of which are highly inovation and very unique. Have you ever seen another "text editor"/OS like GNU EMACS - or how about a boot loader like GNU GRUB?

Reply Parent Score: 1

Carewolf Member since:
2005-09-08

Windows actually borrows a lot from KDE these days. Then again it was Apple that once used a KDE wallpaper as their default in one release.

Edited 2009-10-12 18:50 UTC

Reply Parent Score: -1

Zifre Member since:
2009-10-04

Then again it was Apple that once used a KDE wallpaper as their default in one release.


Link please?

Reply Parent Score: 1

sdhays Member since:
2007-03-13

I could be very mistaken, but I also believe the whole PostIt!/"Sticky Note" concept has been available in GNOME and KDE for ages...and may possibly pre-date related implementations in Win or Apple camps.


Umm...yeah, you're very mistaken on this. Stickies were in the Macintosh System 7 (and I believe System 6 too), which predates Gnome and KDE. Now, maybe it was first on some other system, but Gnome and KDE certainly didn't invent them.

This article made my head hurt, especially the part about Apple adding support for Microsoft Exchange. If you're going to use "adding support for someone else's products" as your definition for borrowing ideas, what's the point?

Reply Parent Score: 1

sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

Umm...yeah, you're very mistaken on this. Stickies were in the Macintosh System 7 (and I believe System 6 too),

But it was Novell that rocketed that once and still trivial application to true success by placing a framework the likes of which makes "OpenOffice.org" look like "Hello World" underneath it. That's innovative, isn't it?

Reply Parent Score: 3

Bobthearch Member since:
2006-01-27


I could be very mistaken, but I also believe the whole PostIt!/"Sticky Note" concept has been available in GNOME and KDE for ages...and may possibly pre-date related implementations in Win or Apple camps.


I recall seeing a freeware Windows sticky note application years ago for Windows 98 or 95. Was it the very first one? I doubt it.

Reply Parent Score: 2

benjaminperdomo Member since:
2005-07-12

I remember one, In windows 3.11

Reply Parent Score: 1