Well, that’s no big surprise. Here’s two Infoworld slide shows that attempts to show the top 10 items each stole from the other. They got some things wrong though.



What macOS stole from Windows

  • Finder sidebar - stolen from the Explorer navigation pane. Yep.
  • Finder breadcrumb path display - stolen from the Explorer address bar. Probably.
  • Finder back and forward buttons - stolen from Explorer. Probably.
  • Dock minimize app windows to icon - stolen from Taskbar. Yep.
  • Screen sharing - stolen from Remote Desktop Connection. Yes, indirectly. Screen sharing is based on the open source VNC. But VNC was developed after Microsoft released RDP.
  • Time Machine - stolen from Microsoft backup. No. The two are so different you can’t say Apple lifted it from Microsoft.
  • System preferences - stolen from control panel. No. The original Mac OS put all of the system preference items in a folder. That folder looked very much like both system preferences and the Windows control panel.
  • ActiveSync - stolen from Outlook. No. I think its disingenuous to include licensed technology.
  • Command-tab - stolen from Windows command-tab. Yes. Very much yes. It’s a true copy-cat.
  • Terminal - stolen from the command prompt. Oh hell no. macOS is a variant of Unix, which live and die by the terminal window. Windows had nothing to do with the Terminal.

What Windows stole from macOS

  • Windows 7 taskbar - stolen from the Dock. Yep.
  • Jump lists - stolen from Dock menus. No. They’re not the same thing.
  • Aero Peek - stolen from Exposé. Yep.
  • File preview - stolen from the Finder. Yep.
  • Screen sharing - I think this is a mistake in the article.
  • Sticky notes - stolen from Stickies. Yep.
  • Saved searched - stolen from Finder smart folders. Yep.
  • Network shared in sidebar - stolen from Finder. Not sure.
  • RSS reader in the browser - stolen from Safari. Not sure.
  • Disk burner - stolen from Disk Utility. Not really. Disk Utility is a general purpose tool. The burning functions are in the Finder and in Disk Utility.

The real lesson here is that both operating systems “steal” from each other. They stand on the shoulders of the operating systems that came before them and learn from each other.