Microsoft announced Windows 11 a while back. The new Windows operating system brings a breath of fresh air, with the new blur design language and a lot of exciting features. However, not all the features of Windows 11 are new or ‘unique.’ Microsoft has clearly taken cues from Apple’s macOS for Windows 11. Let’s take a look at the features Microsoft copied from macOS for Windows 11.
Big tech companies like Microsoft, Apple, and Google are known to copy features from their counterpart operating systems for their own OS. It’s nothing new. Last year, Apple released iOS 14 with a big visual overhaul. It was quite evident that Apple had copied some features from Android to iOS 14.
This year too, Apple announced iOS 15 with a bunch of new features. Yet, we could see some similarities between iOS 15 and the popular jailbreak tweaks out there. Similarly, some of the new Microsoft Windows 11 features seem inspired by Apple’s macOS. Scroll and learn about the features that first appeared on macOS in one form or another.
Windows 11 Features Microsoft Copied From macOS
1. Center Taskbar and Start Menu
One of the biggest changes to Windows’ design in Windows 11 is the new center Taskbar. Until now, barring Windows 8, which had a completely different page for Start Menu items, Windows has always had the Taskbar aligned to the bottom left corner. It’s one of the iconic things that make Windows, Windows. In Windows 11, the Taskbar is aligned to the center.
But where have we seen a center Taskbar before? macOS, originally called OS X, has always had the Dock in the bottom center of the screen. It contains all the frequently used apps and all the open windows and makes using macOS more interactive. Microsoft says it has “made it easier to quickly find what you need” with the center Start Menu, but it’s clearly evident where the inspiration came from.
2. ‘Blurry’ Design Language, Rounded Corners for Windows
Microsoft has also made big changes to the design language of the whole operating system. Microsoft says that it is moving towards a more “mobile-friendly” and “user-friendly” looking UI with Windows 11. A part of this design change is making certain parts of the open windows a bit translucent that allows users to see content residing in the background.
And yes, along with the translucency, Windows 11 also introduces rounded corners for windows. It’s visible all across the operating system, in Control Panel, File Explorer, Device Manager, and more. macOS has had rounded corners and background blur designs for years now, and it’s quite surprising to see Microsoft follow Apple and ditching the edgy design in Windows 11.
Continuity has always been a key feature of the Apple ecosystem. Writing a note on your iPhone, picking up where you left from on your iPhone, and finally saving the draft on iPad is one of the best integrations across devices that we’ve seen in the industry so far. Microsoft has tried to implement a Continuity-like feature in Windows 11, however, it is still far from Apple’s implementation.
Microsoft says that Windows 11 “utilizes the power of the cloud” and it syncs all the Office files from your phone, laptop, or any other device to the Windows 11 device you’re using. The Start Menu has a new ‘Recommended’ section wherein all the recently used Office files show up. Then, just like macOS, you start editing the file on one device, and it will sync with others via the cloud.
4. Widgets Section
Another aspect of Windows 11 that looks like macOS is the new Widgets section. Though widgets aren’t new to Windows — Apple was late to add widgets in macOS — Microsoft has given it a redesign and a separate section just like macOS.
Widgets in Windows 11 now appear in a separate translucent tray from the left side. Rounded corners and background blur extend to this section as well, and there’s also an ‘Edit widgets’ like ‘Add widgets’ button towards the end. If you scroll past all of your widgets, Microsoft also shows news and stories based on your interests below the widgets section, thanks to its integration with Microsoft Edge.
The whole section is certainly reminiscent of the way Widgets and Notifications appear from the right side in macOS.
5. Ability to Run Smartphone Apps
With the introduction of M1 Macs, Apple added the ability to run iPhone and iPad apps on Apple Silicon Macs since the baseline architecture of the processors in both devices is the same.
Microsft has taken inspiration from Apple and has added the ability to run Android apps on Windows 11. There’s a whole section of Android apps on the Microsoft Store now, and you can even install third-party APKs. The implementation of Microsoft overcomes Apple as it even allows installing third-party apps and isn’t limited to only newer chipsets.
6. Voice Typing
Voice Typing is a new feature for Windows 11 users, but not for macOS users. The ability to double press the Control key and speak out your whole message or document has been a core feature of macOS for many years now. But just like other features, Microsoft hasn’t blatantly copied the feature in Windows 11.
Voice Typing in Windows 11 is much better than on macOS since it also understands punctuations. You just say “delete that” to backspace the dictated word or say “insert smiling emoji” to insert the emoji in the sentence. On the other hand, macOS just inserts the word you dictate and is not able to insert emojis yet.
7. Multiple Desktops
Microsoft finally allows you to have multiple desktops in Windows 11. Different desktops can have different apps running on them, and the operating system also ‘saves’ the way app layout in different desktops. Mac users have been enjoying a similar feature for quite a while now. It’s pretty clear that feature has been borrowed from macOS as the screen to switch or create a new Desktop also looks very similar to the one in macOS.