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Thursday, November 12, 2009, 04:55 am PT (07:55 am ET)

Microsoft denies Apple had influence on Windows 7 design

After a Microsoft official was quoted as saying that the "look and feel" of Windows 7 was inspired by Mac OS X, Apple's rival to the north has officially retracted the statement.

On the official Windows Blog, Brandon LeBlanc said that the widely circulated quote was "inaccurate." He flatly stated that the style of Windows 7 was not inspired by Mac OS X.

"Unfortunately this came from a Microsoft employee who was not involved in any aspect of designing Windows 7," LeBlanc said. "I hate to say this about one of our own, but his comments were inaccurate and uninformed."

The retraction came in response to an interview that Simon Aldous, partner group manager with Microsoft, gave to PCR, in which he said the graphical style of Windows 7 was inspired by Apple's Mac OS X.

"One of the things that people say an awful lot about the Apple Mac is that the OS is fantastic, that it's very graphical and easy to use," Aldous said. "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."

Despite Microsoft's official retraction of the comments, many, prior to Aldous' statement, had noted similarities between Microsoft's latest operating system and Mac OS X. In particular, the Windows 7 taskbar and the Mac OS X dock act very much alike, by combining program icons for both launching an accessing open windows.

The similarities between the two were acknowledged by The Wall Street Journal's Walt Mossberg in his review of Windows 7.