Microsoft Internally Worked on a Mac OS X Aqua Inspired Windows XP Theme

Microsoft tested a Windows XP theme that closely resembled Mac OS X's Aqua GUI, reports The Verge.

twarren windowsxpsqualeak xpaquadbuttons 1

A recent Windows XP source code leak has revealed various unreleased themes that Microsoft developed in 2000, at a time when Microsoft was in heated competition with Apple regarding desktop operating systems.

One of the themes, codenamed "Candy," mirrors the design of Apple's Aqua interface, which was first introduced at the Macworld Conference & Expo in 2000. Aqua was an iconic Apple design and gave a sense of depth through the use of shadow and translucency, metallic textures, and rounded liquid-like assets.

twarren windowsxpsqualeak

The theme was described as a "Whistler skin with eye candy," with "Whistler" being the codename for Windows XP, and was marked as "for internal use only." Though the theme was never finished, fundamental aspects such as the Windows Start button and various UI elements were a close match for Aqua.

Most striking is the replication of Mac OS X's rounded water-like buttons. Windows developers reportedly used the theme as a placeholder to build the theme engine for Windows XP.

The theme was ultimately rejected in favor of the blue and green Luna theme for the final version of Windows XP released in 2001. The source code leak reveals another instance of the influence of the Mac on Windows behind the scenes.

Top Rated Comments

macsplusmacs Avatar
11 months ago
Truly "Redmond, start your copiers" was both bang on truthful and behind the curve.
Score: 44 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AngerDanger Avatar
11 months ago
I remember spending hours as a teen, theming the family PC to look like OS X.

Never knew Microsoft had already done so much work for me.
Score: 37 Votes (Like | Disagree)
quaresma Avatar
11 months ago

Can nobody do anything without Apple doing it first? Jeez... the creative bankruptcy of other tech companies is palpable and the nerve with which they blatantly steal the IP of others is criminal.
yes... Apple is the inventor of all tech in the world. /s
Score: 31 Votes (Like | Disagree)
maflynn Avatar
11 months ago

do anything without Apple doing it first? Jeez
I know seriously, it's not like Apple visited Xerox and copied the idea of the mouse, gui and what not. They would never do that

And then inventing the MP3 player :oops:
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
sracer Avatar
11 months ago

Can nobody do anything without Apple doing it first? Jeez... the creative bankruptcy of other tech companies is palpable and the nerve with which they blatantly steal the IP of others is criminal.
It was an experimental theme and not released to the public. As for Apple doing it first, Apple rarely does things first. They didn't produce the first laptop, mp3 player, nor smartphone, nor tablet. Their offerings weren't even the first successful ones.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
almondwine Avatar
11 months ago

Can nobody do anything without Apple doing it first? Jeez... the creative bankruptcy of other tech companies is palpable and the nerve with which they blatantly steal the IP of others is criminal.
Apple almost never does anything first. This is a well understood and well documented tenant of their business model. Sheesh.
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

cortana ios twitter

Microsoft Shuts Down Cortana App for iOS and Android

Wednesday March 31, 2021 1:46 am PDT by
As expected, Microsoft today discontinued its Cortana mobile app. As a result, the company has ended all support for third-party Cortana skills and eliminated the Cortana app for iOS and Android devices. For those unfamiliar with Cortana, it is Microsoft's version of Siri or Alexa, an AI-based personal assistant that can answer questions and complete small tasks. The eponymous mobile app was ...
Apple vs Microsoft feature

Rivalry Between Apple and Microsoft Heating Up Again Over Augmented Reality, Gaming, and More

Friday May 14, 2021 11:04 am PDT by
The iconic and industry-classic rivalry between Apple and Microsoft, which has arguably seen a slowdown in recent years, is poised to begin heating up as both companies target the future of augmented reality and renewed competition in the PC industry, according to an analysis from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. Both Apple and Microsoft have strong ambitions for the future of augmented reality....
microsoft outlook web app

Microsoft to Replace Outlook for Mac With New Universal Client

Tuesday January 5, 2021 5:25 am PST by
Microsoft is planning to replace Outlook for Mac with a new web-based universal Outlook client, according to Windows Central. Months after announcing a complete redesign of Outlook for Mac, Microsoft is reportedly intending to scrap its current Mac app and replace it with a new client based on the Outlook web app. Codenamed "Monarch," the project is Microsoft's attempt to build a single ...
microsoft xcloud devices

Microsoft xCloud Beta for iPhone and iPad to Launch This Week [Updated]

Monday April 19, 2021 7:46 am PDT by
Microsoft has today announced that it will launch its browser-based Xbox Cloud Gaming service in beta to selected testers on iPhone and iPad tomorrow. Starting tomorrow, Microsoft will begin sending out invites to selected Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members to test the Xbox Cloud Gaming limited beta for iPhone, iPad, and Windows 10 PCs using a web browser. Invites will be issued on a continuous ...
maxresdefault

Microsoft Targets MacBook Air's Need for Dongles, Lack of Touchscreen in New Ad

Monday April 26, 2021 9:40 am PDT by
Microsoft is out with yet another ad highlighting the new Microsoft Surface Laptop 4, but rather than primarily focusing on the features of the machine, Microsoft has chosen to pit it against Apple's MacBook Air. In the spot, the same Windows user who was in previous ads, shows off his new Microsoft laptop to his sister. She continually asks questions about how it compares to the MacBook...
mac os x

Today Marks 20 Years Since Mac OS X First Launched

Wednesday March 24, 2021 12:00 am PDT by
On March 24, 2001, a Saturday, Apple began allowing customers to purchase Mac OS X, the successor to the classic Mac OS. The first version of Mac OS X, "Cheetah," was famous for its "Aqua" interface with a water bubble-style design for everything from windows to buttons. Today, March 24, 2021, marks 20 years since Mac OS X went on sale, and Apple's Mac software has gone through many changes...
ulysses Blog Publishing

Ulysses 22 Brings New Blogging Options and Visual Customizations

Monday March 22, 2021 5:24 am PDT by
Popular writing app Ulysses today received its 22nd major release, introducing new publishing features and additional options for users to customize the visual appearance of their writing environment. As well as providing a focused writing environment, Ulysses offers ways to publish texts from within the app to various blogging platforms. Version 22 adds the ability to publish to Micro.blog, ...
microsoft teams

Microsoft Teams Gains System Audio Sharing Option, macOS Notification Center Integration Coming Soon

Thursday April 22, 2021 1:21 am PDT by
Microsoft Teams for macOS has been updated so that other people on a video call are able to hear a Mac's system audio when another user is screen sharing. Teams for Windows has always offered users the option of system audio sharing. Today's update brings parity to the Mac app by including the optional feature, which is likely to be welcomed by teachers and businesses. Microsoft also says ...
twitter blue

Twitter Confirms Plans for 'Twitter Blue' $2.99 Monthly Subscription Service

Thursday May 27, 2021 3:29 pm PDT by
Twitter appears to have mistakenly confirmed its plans to launch a new subscription tier called "Twitter Blue," with the new purchase option now listed in the iOS App Store. Under In-App Purchases, there's now a "Twitter Blue" option that's priced at $2.99, though the feature does not appear to be live in the iOS app at this time. The Twitter Blue in-app purchase option was discovered by...
command shirt apple

Throwboy Launches New Collection of Apple Themed T-Shirts

Thursday March 25, 2021 10:33 am PDT by
Throwboy, known for its pillows and blankets that look like classic Apple products, this week debuted a new series of t-shirts that may interest Apple fans. Available in both women's sizes and men's sizes, there are several Apple product-themed design options to choose from like the iconic Apple time 9:41, or the design of the Command key. There's a rainbow design that lists Apple's...