Network Computing is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Does Microsoft's Vista Have Major Mac Envy?

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.

  • 1