Apple vs. Microsoft: The Top 20 Stolen Ideas of the OS Wars

Although Mac fanboys and Windows zealots don't like to admit it, the fact is that both Windows 7 and Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard contain features that originated in the other OS. Some features were stolen so long ago that they've b

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ecome part of the computing landscape, and it's difficult to remember who invented what.

Two of Windows 7's most touted new features -- the task bar and Aero Peek -- are clearly based on Mac OS X's Dock and Exposé. Apple's copying of Windows is less recent, such as cloning the Windows address bar in 2007's Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard as the path bar.

[ See InfoWorld's slideshows: Top 10 Features that Apple Stole from Windows and Top 10 Features that Microsoft Stole from Mac OS X ]

But the borrowing goes For example, the Mac Finder's Sidebar of shortcuts to drives and so forth that debuted in 2003's Mac OS X 10.3 Panther was "inspired" by the appearance of the Navigation pane in Windows XP two years earlier.

And Windows Vista's previews in 2006 are derived from Mac OS X 10.0 Cheetah's preview feature from 2000.

The most egregious rip-offs are almost certainly Windows 7's task bar and Aero Peek and Mac OS X's Command-Tab and the Mac's System Preferences.

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