Microsoft's Vista Had Major Mac Envy, Company E-Mails Reveal - InformationWeek
IoT
IoT
Software // Enterprise Applications
News
1/29/2007
02:44 PM
50%
50%

Microsoft's Vista Had Major Mac Envy, Company E-Mails Reveal

Microsoft executives in 2004 were awed by Apple's just-added desktop search and acknowledged that what they did in Windows Vista would be directly compared with Mac OS X.

Internal Microsoft e-mail messages from 2004 reveal that company evangelists and executives were awed by Apple's just-added desktop search and acknowledged that what they did in Windows Vista would be directly compared with Mac OS X.

The messages, which were filed as evidence in an Iowa state court trying a Microsoft antitrust case, were between several company evangelists and executives, including Jim Allchin, the head of Windows development efforts at the time. The Vista, then "Longhorn," evangelists had just returned from the June 2004 Apple Worldwide Developers Conference.

Lenn Pryor, former director of Microsoft's platform evangelism, said Spotlight, the new Mac OS X 10.4 search tool that Apple chief executive Steve Jobs highlighted at the conference, was "amazing. It is like I just got a free pass to Longhorn-land today." Pryor now works for Skype.

Allchin agreed. "I don't believe we will have search this fast," he wrote in an e-mailed reply June 30, 2004.

Another Microsoft evangelist, Vic Gundotra, who also attended the conference demonstration of Mac OS X (Tiger), noted other impressive components of Apple's operating system, including video conferencing, what Apple calls desktop "widgets" (whichVista ended up calling "gadgets"), and user interface rendering.

"The bits we deliver in Sept. 05 PDC [Professional Developers Conference] must be compelling, even in beta form," Gundotra wrote in his message of June 30. "UI must be hot. We will be directly compared against tiger." Gundotra recently left Microsoft, and will join Google after a year's sabbatical to abide by a non-compete clause.

Microsoft released the first beta of Vista to a limited number of testers two months before the 2005 PDC.

Other Microsoft documents and e-mails posted to a Web site by the Iowa case's plaintiffs have embarrassed the Redmond, Wash., developer several times. In an e-mail made public in late 2006, Allchin said: "I would buy a Mac today if I was not working at Microsoft." He later rebutted the statement, saying that he has "being purposefully dramatic in order to drive home a point."

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
Annual IT Salary Report 
Base pay for IT professionals has remained flat this year with a median annual salary of $88,000 for staff and $112,000 for management. However, 58% of staff and 62% of managers who responded to our survey say they're satisfied with their compensation. Download this report to find out which positions earn the highest compensation.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of November 6, 2016. We'll be talking with the InformationWeek.com editors and correspondents who brought you the top stories of the week to get the "story behind the story."
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll