Spot the difference: Apple photoshops Vista logo

Apple's Vista logo comparison
And Steve Jobs Bertrand says,

“This is their logo. You may think I took a Windows logo and added a nice Aqua bubble on top, but no, that’s the logo, but underneath it’s still Windows.”

Sorry to break the ice to you Steve Bertrand , but you did take a Windows logo and added a nice Aqua bubble as well as a blue inner glow. That’s not the logo. And beneath it, there’s no operating system, it’s a logo.

Apple will go as far as editing an image to prove a point, what else can they do?

59 insightful thoughts

  1. Hi Long,

    Photoshop or not, you have to agree that most of the features Microsoft is trying to sell as ground breaking and new are already available in Mac OSX Tiger.

    I think the re-action of Robert McLaws on Longhorn Blogs says it all: Jobs might actually have point.

    The new Leopard features Apple showed off are in my opinion mostly eye candy. I think the fact is that Mac OSX Tiger and in my opinion Windows XP are pretty close to what you really need in an Operating system.

    I think Apple would be better other to fine tune and fix what usability issues are still there. MS on the other hand should concentrate less on fancy eye candy but instead make their OS more stable and less resource hungry. I can’t see a single feature at the moment in either Vista or Leopard which would make me run out and buy an upgrade.

  2. The start button is different to their version still. It doesn’t have a second layer of gloss, nor does it have the overwhelming blue glow.

  3. Not that it matters much, but you misquoted your source. It was Bertrand – not Jobs – who did the UI comparison and made that “Aqua Bubble” quote.

    IMO, McLaws was overanalyzing the situation and almost taking personal offense, though I agree that the banners were overkill and a too blatant. Having watched that part of the keynote webcast, I thought it was clear that the entire segment of the keynote was to break the ice with the developers, get a few good laughs, and then get on to the real stuff. Of course they exaggerated the logo and tried their hardest to get the screenshots to look the same (the Vista beta doesn’t come with the standard Apple demo emails). The point was to show that Apple made it to market with these features long before Microsoft will. Developers have already been harnessing a lot of features *in their apps* (i.e. fast, indexed search) in Mac OS that won’t be available in Windows for a long time. Sure, 3rd party apps like Google Desktop are available and get the job done, but Apple makes frameworks (i.e. Spotlight, Address Book) available to developers for easy implementation. If I were a programmer, I would be more excited about using those features now than waiting 3 extra years for Vista. (I’m not a programmer but I know a whole lot more about Xcode than .NET, so sorry if I missed some key features on the Microsoft side. My main point is that, from a developer’s perspective, Mac OS probably compares better to Vista than it does to XP – and by the time Vista and Leopard are out, Leopard will be beyond Vista in some respects)

    The big difference is that Apple was able to move to a totally new platform with OS X. Microsoft is too afraid of breaking compatibility with old apps to rework the system’s foundation and solve most of the platform’s problems.

    For me, the biggest example of the technology lag in Windows is the UI framework… Mac OS utilizes the GPU for almost all UI effects (transparency, vectors in the dock, etc.) while WinXP is still redrawing bitmaps. Also, I’m curious, does the display framework utilize the GPU for processing with Aero disabled, or does it revert to a legacy mode? I’ve seen the beta of Vista on an measly old 64MB GPU and it *looks* like WinXP with a new skin.

  4. Actually, Apple’s version looks remarkably similar, taking into consideration it’s being projected which could probably account for greater “shininess”.

    And no Long, don’t go convincing yourself that Apple has Vista envy. In the time it has taken Microsoft to get Vista even close to release, Apple has released several operating system upgrades. Not only that, but their next major release will, I wouldn’t be surprised, be available months before Vista is released. Vista will bring nothing to the game that Apple hasn’t had for years. Not one thing.

  5. Leopard is good. It has some great features. But why would Apple take so many cheap shots at Microsoft and Vista?

  6. OK,right-off-the-bat, here’s links to two articles about vista, using the same Logo apple showed, from long before WWDC 06.

    Feb 24 2k6 :
    2005 :

    MS has changed the Vista logo a few times, as even a quick glance at a Google image search for “Windows Vista Logo” will show you. Try, I don’t know, “researching” before your run your mouth (or keyboard, as it were).

  7. @ZylogZ80: But thats not the ‘official’ Vista logo. That could have been made by a third party. The official logo one from Microsoft does not have all the excessive gloss.

  8. Apple take cheap shots at Microsoft because that’s what rival companies do to generate hype over their products. Just like Microsoft takes cheap shots at Linux by getting “independent” researchers to “prove” that it’s actually cheaper to run Windows based servers that Linux ones. It has nothing to do with envy; it’s called marketing.

  9. @Chris Grande: Thanks for those links. The second one from the original Vista naming announcement looks more like the one Apple used. But then again, it is a year old.

  10. Long Zheng: “Leopard is good. It has some great features. But why would Apple take so many cheap shots at Microsoft and Vista?”

    Because it is Apple’s WWDC. 😉 I attended once, and believe me that we Mac developers love the ‘cheap shots’. Afterall, this is a conference for us (we pay the fees), just consider it a little entertainment for Mac developers. :-)

  11. “But why would Apple take so many cheap shots at Microsoft and Vista?”

    Apple makes takes “cheap shots” at Microsoft. Granted. But on the other hand, Microsoft keeps making cheap shots at Linux and keeps copying/ripping everything Apple and the open-source community does AND then claim they’ve invented it.

    Who’s really taking cheap shots at who? Apple with their marketing or Microsoft with their outright lies and thefts?

  12. Steve’s logo is better :). Vista can copy this one and paste it to their “original” OS! (i like windows but i dont like xp and vista because it looks like os x 😀 i like os x very much btw :D)

  13. I don’t get it! Why cry over the logo. Either way, many mistakes were made…including calling it Vista {TM). It’s Microsoft Vista (TM). I wonder if Mac fans realize it but you can copy a UI but not the code. Linux uses a UI similar to windows but MS never attempted to sue…remember what Apple did??? Besides, when you release so many upgrades to your OS…isn’t the due to the fact that you didn’t get it right the 1st time. Windows has desktops populate this planet 10 times over the number of Mac. How many version can you release when you’re being sued from all corners for any improvements you make to your OS! Please, let’s agree that a good & funcional OS is better released over a longer range than to allow for major improvements than incremental upgrades that just cost the consumer.

  14. Regardless of whether or not it’s the true Vista logo you obviously missed the entire point Steve was trying to (and sucessfully did) make.

  15. Firstly i’ll address the logo issue – Yes, apple made this logo in photoshop or illustrator, you can tell it’s not the official logo because of two things;

    1. The contrasts on the glass effect are dramatically different, something that a projector wouldn’t affect as badly.
    2. The next phase of the presentation is where Bertram goes “underneath, it’s still windows…” the glass bubble fades seamlessly away to leave the XP logo underneath, something they couldn’t have done so perfectly with the original logo.

    To Be Honest, i’m a huge apple fan, but when i saw that video even i thought that apple were being a little childish, i mean yeah – fair point, some features look like they’ve been taken straight from OS X, but i’m sure that there are features in OS X that Microsoft Pioneered in Win 95/98.

    In Response to people talking about the fact that windows Operating Systems Populate most of the planet’s computers – i think this is simply due to the fact that you can buy ANY hardware and put Windows on it. Where as you have to buy an apple OS X computer as a package.

    I am severely tempted to move back to windows on the next laptop computer i buy – simply because it is so much cheaper and you can get a better configuration for your money. But the fact that other manufacturers’ Dual Core processors don’t seem to go over 2Ghz like the apple computers’ do is putting me off buying one, considering that vista is meant to be so terribly RAM intensive.

  16. Well, I don’t mean to sound dense, but you can trace the basics of Microsofts logo all the way back to Windows 3.1. I don’t seem to remember it much before then. But the basic badly drawn window with it’s scary children’s TV like colours is the same. However, Apple’s logo has changed from what I remember as the really bad 70’s rainbow apple which was harsh on the eyes, to a shiny glossy feminine silvery apple. There is however one thing missing from both logos. Horns! The Windows logo should have horns because Bill Gates is the Devil. The Apple logo should have horns, because Computer mice should have MORE THAN ONE BUTTON!
    The amazing thing about both operating systems is that they were both extremely basic and functionless in the 1980s when I was editing video on my Amiga. Still now I wish that the Amiga and it’s Workbench had managed to stay around, rather than these two clown companys comparing penis sizes. Both operating systems are flawed. MS write security breaches in the software deliberately, then “fix” them and add some other undesirable breach to your computer. Apple just releases beta versions, and charges you the full package price to upgrade and fix the original problems. So with all the arguements going on here, don’t you realise, Macs will never be more than they are. Too expensive. And when it comes to kicking back once you’ve finished, you can’t pop down the local supermarket and pick up a game, because they only sell PC games running Windows. They try to compete with the “Anyone can build one” PC market but at the end of the day, it’s not going to work. Microsoft will always have faults, and yes I agree they should re-work the whole operating system from the ground up – IT IS BROKE – SO FIX IT!
    But All that aside, thank you for listening to my rant. It may have a point, it may not. I’m not sure….

  17. hey kendros my friend, how is it that bill gates is the devil, if using a mac sends you to hell, even if your a samaritan.
    im not a huge fan of Linux either, but its not bad i spose.
    Windows rules. period.
    nobody cares about the logo that apple used for a demo.
    there is a reason there are so many more PCs than macs, and mac is no more secure than windows, just noone can be bothered to go to the effort of writing a virus for it.
    (btw, using an iPod on a PC gets you a few years in purgatory, after that your allowed into heaven.)
    peace out everyone

  18. Hige:
    1. Your website looks like someone shat a Zune on some spam.
    2. If you used a Mac then your opinion would matter, but you haven’t so it doesn’t. Get off the internet.
    3. Your reference to religion had as much class as Bush. See? You used religion, I used politics. Dumb idea, dumb-ass. Again, GTFO.

    First off: Vista sucks, everyone knows, end of story. You can’t deny it, they even said so. They had to pretend to compete with OS X while they were actually working on Surface. Sorry.

    Apple wasn’t being childish, they were making a point, and if you actually used a Mac for any length of time you would agree to it’s superiority. Apple’s notebooks are selling more and more as people realize that Microsoft is in it for the money and only the money, there’s no denying that. There’s a reason Bill Gates is the richest man in the world, and it’s because he ripped you the hell off.

    Also, this whole thing is as immature and ridiculous as it gets. And people thought Mac users were insecure.

    Kendros, thank you for finally posing an argument, though I would ad that I’ve never bought software from Apple other than what came free with my computer, and I use a 2-buttoned mouse on my Mac all the time, though the one button on my mouse is adequate for all besides gaming, so I’m not sure what you’re talking about.

    Richard Chuo: What are you doing here? You have too much class to be here with this bunch of idiots. But thanks for proving Steve’s point of proving a point.

  19. ed, what’s your problem??! (1) is a personal attack, (2) is your opinion, and (3) looks like a confused personal attack.

    “Apple’s notebooks are selling more and more as people realize that Microsoft is in it for the money and only the money”

    Which is a good thing, because with customers like you, who”’ve never bought software from Apple other than what came free with my computer”, it’s important that apple continue to operate their computer charity, providing free operating system updates for life. Remember, your OS is *not* a programme, it’s something more akin to ‘lyrics’, from a ‘folk song’. It belongs to all of us…

  20. What Apple showed at MacWorld was the original Vista logo. It does appear a little lighter, but it it the original logo that Microsoft released to the press for Vista. If you do a Google Images search, there are still quite a few sites using the old logo. This is an except from pro PC page, where they took a copy of the logo from Amazon, after Microsoft pulled the pre-ordering on Vista:

  21. I really can’t see why it matters all that much. If the people at Apple really did redo the Windows logo, Then it looks better the way they did it anyway. And if it really is an original Windows logo, Then they most likely got the idea from Apple.

  22. Windows and osx,
    windows vista is wonderfull and so is osx “loepard”
    What i dont get is why apple seems contempt to insault
    windows and microsoft and accuse them of copying evrything
    What about,
    meeting space,media center,mobility center,speach recognition,side bar
    aero GLASS,flip3D,snipping tool _And so much more!
    And apple claims that windows copyed ilife!
    the simaler programs are better in vista though.
    look at photo gallery look *kinda* simaler but functions differently.
    and has waaaaaaay more tools for editing,publishing,ect

    Microsoft Windows Forever!

    1. speach recognition- done by leopard before vista. side bar- called widgets in the mac world and came 2 years before vista in tiger. aero GLASS is just translucency which apple did in the VERY FIRST OS X in 2001. flip3d sucks, it’s basically an alt-tab spaces but only one app at a time. and no windows didn’t copy ilife but they will, like they did before and “And so much more!” are just weasel words. and NO ‘simaler’ programs do NOT work better in Vista. apple integrated almost everything into their OS. it all flows. vista/7 is like taking random apps and crazy gluing them together, they don’t integrate into each other. lol, PHOTO GALLERY, LOL! what a joke, look at iPhoto and then take a look at photo gallery. well not WAAAAAYY more tools of editing/publishing, M$ releases a suite for mac too, and the Macintosh has iWork which is far superior to Office. Apple-2, Microsoft-1 Windows sucks, they’re just copying OS X. OS X Leopard is what Windows will look like in 5 years. Choose OS X, Linux or BSD, JUST DON’T GO WITH FUCKIN WINDOWS.

      P.S. i think your spell check isn’t working, but as anything M$ it’s not a bug, it’s a feature! 😀

  23. Ok doodes, I am seriously pissed about all this. If MS can’t get off their lazy buttox and create a new OS from the ground up then I’m outta patience and I’m gonna start busting a few kaps in ’em. Sissly, what’s with that logo looks like OSX all over again and then some. Please people, Apple was only doing their job here when they cringe over the logo! Be kind rewind.

  24. I love when Mac fans start accusing MS of stealing from Apple. The original Mac GUI that was supposed to be so groundbreaking and original is based on someone else’s work. If anyone is old enough to remember Xerox PARC project, you know what I’m talking about. The mouse-driven graphical Mac interface would not even exist if not for Xerox, and they NEVER get the credit. And indeed it was so groundbreaking that everyone has been copying it for as long as we can remember. It’s a modern marketplace. Everyone steals from everyone to survive. Get over it. This is true in everything from fashion to food to consumer electronics. There are countless features in iPhone that were stolen from various 3rd party Pocket PC apps (including the whole touch to drag interface.) Both OSes will continue to change and rip each other off, as well as other third parties, based on what’s functional and popular at the time. End of story.

    1. uhh, apple reinvented xerox’s OS. jobs himself thought it was amazing asked them to edit it a bit, Apple did, but soon they got sued by Xerox for looking too similar. Later, Gates comes along and backstabs Job’s OS

  25. I think 1up has a very good point: “It’s a modern marketplace. Everyone steals from everyone to survive. Get over it.”

    This exists even in Formula One where Mc Laren was found spying on Ferrari.

  26. what’s the matter with all the copying stuff…
    So you i’m gonna have to call everyone lame because they have airbag and abs in their cars, thx mercedes. anybody complaining? no! And i could go so more on. Btw it’s all commercial those cheap shots to keep Apple selling. Apple has contracts with MS and vis versa. Apple ows MS a lot and even Steve knows it. Apple and MS share much more than the most of you can even imagine. It’s only people like balmer and hardcore apple leaders, fans and ms fans that make you think the oposite.
    So what if Windows is just like OSX, their will always be differences that will make people choose.
    Some people buy a Mercedes other buy an Audi and some other just buy a Ford. Well they all got an engine, they all have 4 seats and a trunk, they all have a stearing will, abs, airbags etc. And still some people give buy an Audi or Mercedes and not the cheap Ford (no offence for people using a Ford). But admit it, they’re all cars with the same functionality, to get from one place to another. Well same for OS X and Windows, they both have the same functionality, so in the end they will have both the same standards, it’s how you build it that makes the whole difference.
    Before the new Audi came out there where a lot more Mercedes and BMW’s riding around. Now everyone is riding in the new Audi. And still they are just cars. It’s the build and use with the standard options that does it.
    I use Windows and why, i want a copy i can use on every machine a buy. I don’t want to be fixed at one machine. I upgrade and i change, Windows make me handle that very easy.

  27. So wait, I don’t get it. Is this the reason that the first question people ask in stores is “do all these machines run Vista”? It might as well have an inner glow, it may bring something to the logo that isn’t in the actual box.

    For the record, it’s evident that Steve made a better logo in 10 minutes than Bill did in months, else you wouldn’t have cared. I would tell you all what the bubble is worth, but I wouldn’t want to crash Explorer for you.

  28. The Apple Version of the Vista Logo is much better looking than the actual Vista logo, so why the propaganda? Just because Apple is generally more talented and creative does not mean you should go around accusing Apple of manipulation. Very Arrogant.

  29. This whole thing is stupid. who cares that apple photoshopped the logo? is that worth a whole post? the point is that steve is right: windows has a new look and interface, but underneath its the same unreliable system. Macs have their own innovative programs, plus here’s the best part: you can use them for years and they’ll never crash or get a bug! does that amaze all you windows users?
    by the way, this whole site is so bad. i clicked on the link at the end, and guess what? i saw a bunch of stupid reasons that you think mean windows is better that leopard. you think by bragging that their products are better, they’re showing that they’re jealous. you think mac is jealous of Microsoft’s ugly, quick to crash computers? not likely. and get used to it, thats business. You’re just trying to find something that’s not their, and you come across as desperate as you try to claim Apple is. I think everyone knows what they’re talking about when they say ‘vista’.
    Microsoft is fading and struggling–Bill Gates isn’t even the richest man any more. and you say Apple’s jealous? 80% of microsoft employees who have an MP3 have an iPod. just another example of Apple’s innotaviness.

  30. Who are you Elise M? You seem crazy and in love with Apple and VERY uneducated about computers. Anyway, this is an old news article and the logo is the “Start Menu Orb”, not the Vista logo.

  31. Ok, obviosly some people need some education (Lauren Hill). I think Apple did a great job with all their branding but puhleeze peeplezz we need some authoritative judgment here. MS totally ripped of Apple and I think the core of the matter lies in style. Style is the source of success as most people know (at least in graphic design) so we need to be careful when assessing certain things about style. What I am saying is be careful when you accuse MS of ripping things off when they are trying their best, but only to fail. It’s a tricky business these things – design and corporate analysis. Be careful, everyone.

  32. i personally think apple is better than windows. Windows is slow and dull and is the reason i brought a mac which i find actually works better.

  33. If you run vista.. you would notice that the start button/windows button is that logo which you so claim to be ‘forged’

  34. A year and a half old and still going. Holy hell.
    Steve-O took Billy’s crappy logo and illuminated it so the photoshopped image could make sense in a place during a presentation. He said “Underneath, it’s still Windows”, and as he said that, the blue bubble around the logo disappeared. It’s a layered photo he used in a Keynote speech.
    Boom. Mystery gone.

  35. I don’t know why you are comparing two OS that cannot not be really comparable.
    Macs are high-end units that uses a remarkably 2D with some 3D effects while MS Vista is all throughout is 3D, with all the transparencies on every window you open, in the taskbar, start menu, and almost everything. Vista Flip3D, Flip, Eye Candy icons. Everything eats up RAM and you should know that. While OS X, nahh, is still similar to the 2D Windows Classic Interface. Get the point?
    How would you compare a fully animated OS to a noticeably boring, simple OS?

  36. It’s about as necessary as realism in Super Mario. Some people don’t get it.

    You can dress up a bag of garbage all you want, even slap some amazing new designs on it, but it’s still a bag of garbage underneath. The pretty little animations don’t do anything but eat up Ram, as you said. Nothing more. They don’t provide me with any better user experience.

    3D was and is OS X in many ways you obviously don’t know of. For one instance, when Vista’s screen rotates as a cube when you switch users, let me know. Then, there’s Time Machine. Just today I got an app that gives me 3D Spaces in Tiger.

    There’s more subtle animation in Leopard than Vista can even boast. Not to mention, they aren’t visually completely different. Take a spin through OS X, and tell me how many things seem familiar to you. After all, Vista is just a bad misrepresentation of quality.

  37. I got to say that Apples Windows logo looks SO much better than the actual Windows Logo.
    And, sure, people say that Windows have copied Apple.
    Yeah, for some people thats true, for some other it is not true.
    In a world where humans have existed for a couple of thousand years, it is actually hard to invent something new.
    Honestly, Macintosh OS X Leopard have copied other functions, like Spaces, having multiple desktops are old school for people using Linux.
    If i should go to the bottom you could say that Windows Linux Unix and all Operating Systems have copied Apple Macintosh, since Apple was the company that created the Computer Desktop, and the mouse.
    Without them i am pretty sure we would still have command line.
    So all you Windows Fanboys out there, Windows is not entirely genuine, Microsoft did not invent everything in their os. Same goes for Linux fans and Mac fans.
    People will always copy, improve (or not) and thats the way things are.

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