Simon Aldous, the U.K.-based Microsoft executive who caused a flap in 2009 by suggesting Windows 7 borrowed elements from Max OS X, is leaving the vendor, The Channel Register reported Wednesday.
Aldous, who joined Microsoft in 2006, told The Channel Register he decided "to move on" and waited to do so until the end of Microsoft's fiscal year on June 30. He didn't give any indication of where he's going next.
Since 2011, Aldous has held an important position in Microsoft's U.K. business. As director of hosting service providers, he's been "building an eco-system of hosting partners providing the complete suite of Cloud services across Infrastructure, platform and software-as-a-service," according to his LinkedIn profile.
Aldous might have gone unnoticed in the U.S. Microsoft ecosystem if not for his assertion in November 2009 that Windows 7 emulated certain aspects of Mac OS X.
"What we've tried to do with Windows 7 -- whether it's traditional format or in a touch format -- is create a Mac look and feel in terms of graphics," Aldous said in an interview at the time with PCR, a U.K.-based channel publication.
Microsoft tried to discredit Aldous, calling his comments "inaccurate and uninformed," despite the fact that many Microsoft partners agreed with Aldous' premise and did not see it as particularly controversial.
The following June, a leaked Windows 8 slide showed Microsoft was trying to take a page from the Apple playbook by delivering a simpler user experience.
What's ironic about all this is that Windows 8, with its "reimagined" touch interface in which apps are accessed through tiles, is seen in the channel as borrowing even more design elements from Apple.
Despite the similarities, Spencer Ferguson, president and CEO of Wasatch I.T., a Salt Lake City-based Microsoft partner, doesn't see this as a problem. "Google and Apple have done the same in their operating systems, and companies in all vertical markets do it every day," he said in an email.
Andy Kretzer, director of sales and marketing at Bold Data Technology, a Fremont, Calif.-based system builder, says vendors have been borrowing from each other for years.
"Apple has been borrowing from both Microsoft and Google, and to some extent, even Nokia and Blackberry," he said in an email.
PUBLISHED SEPT. 11, 2013