Yes, Apple Copies Microsoft

With the debut of iTunes 7, Scoble asks if Apple copied Microsoft. The interface enhancements, most notably views of album cover art and more space (mmm…space) takes a page right out of Microsoft’s Windows Media Player 11. Hell, it was just last month that highlighted this exact deficiency in iTunes 6.
It’s good to see Microsoft’s work copied by Apple. Above all else, it shows that Microsoft is really starting to care about the end-user experience. Media Player 11 is a seriously impressive piece of software. As the saying goes, “imitation is the best form of flattery” (or something). Their upcoming Office 2007 product is all about a completely new interface – and it’s also very impressive.
Is Microsoft a good design company? Weird.

3 Comments Yes, Apple Copies Microsoft

  1. John Dowdell

    Paying attention to Scoble may or may not be a good investment…. ;-)
    To pull the pettiness train to its final destination, the new aesthetic introduced by Microsoft (as in Las Vegas last March) was brought about by many of the designers they hired, who grew their styles using Macromedia Flash from the late 90s on. It’s these individual designers who introduced the richer interfaces, not any particular company.

  2. eric dolecki

    Well, the album view idea was certainty lifted (unless there is prior art that M$ lifted before WMP11), but I haven’t seen anything nearly as slick as Cover Flow for WMP11.
    And you won’t either.

  3. Jeremy Graston

    I think its a safe bet to say there are good, if not exceptional, designers underneath the hood at Microsoft…but the difference between MS and Apple is the ‘good designer’ to current project ratio. Apple gets their cred for design because they’ve just got a lot more designer poindexter types running around the labs thinking non-stop about design. And who knows…it could have been an intern at Microsoft who blurted his fantastic album art idea out in a meeting.
    Hell…I would make another safe bet and say that there are probably more Basement readers at Apple than MS. That would explain it wouldn’t it? ;-)
    Either way…its ultimately the user that wins out in battles like this.


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