Microsoft wanted to snitch Apple’s Aqua UI

A theme for Windows XP used to run in the labs in Redmond that was strikingly reminiscent of the old macOS user interface.

When Apple released Mac OS X public beta in 2000, the brand new interface wowed many users . 'Aqua' looked “liquid” As Steve Jobs said at the time – “one of the design goals was that if you said it, you wanted to lick it”. Photo-realistic effects and elements including shadows catapulted the operating system to a new level compared to the competition.

Apparently Microsoft saw it that way too. As can now be seen from the source code of Windows XP, which ended up on the Internet this month along with that of Windows Server 2003, there was a phase during the development phase of XP in the early 2000s when Microsoft was planning a theme significantly based on Apple’s Aqua to deliver. The IT blog The Verge discovered this.

The name of the theme was "Candy" and it is heavily based on the Mac OS X UI that Apple introduced at Macworld in 2000. This applies to the famous buttons and other user interface elements, for example. However, the theme is not completely finished – the windows still look very much like Windows, despite the blue color scheme. Microsoft itself titles the theme in the source leak as “Whistler skin with eye candy”. – Whistler was the code name for Windows XP. It is explicitly listed as “for internal use only”. marked.

Microsoft’s approach – whether the group would have ever released the theme remains unclear – is reminiscent of earlier times . Apple accused the software giant from Redmond in a lawsuit that is significant for computer history, that Look & Feel of the Mac operating system. However, the procedure decided in September 1995 for Cupertino – at that time still without Steve Jobs at the helm – backfired. Apple later made fun of the XP successor Windows Vista, among other things, and at its WWDC developer conference it raised a banner that called on Microsoft in large letters to “start its photocopiers”.

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