Unreleased Theme for Microsoft Windows Identical to That of Mac OS

Category: Technology/Innovations


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. bear a resemblance to (someone/something) / bɛər ə rɪˈzɛm bləns tu / (idiom) – to be similar to someone or something, usually in appearance

    Both children bear a strong resemblance to their mother.

  2. placeholder / ˈpleɪsˌhoʊl dər / (n) – someone or something that temporarily fills a place, role, function, etc.

    We put a placeholder image on the page while our digital artist works on the real one.

  3. default / dɪˈfɔlt / (n) – a set option or standard setting on a computer

    The default size of the text is too big, so I changed it.

  4. differentiator / ˌdɪf əˈrɛn ʃiˌeɪ tər / (n) – a thing that sets someone or something apart from others

    The product’s differentiator is its low price.

  5. fierce / fɪərs / (adj) – having or showing very intense feelings or emotions

    The casual conversation turned into a fierce argument.


Read the text below.

A recently leaked source code revealed unreleased themes for Microsoft’s Windows XP OS.

One of those themes was labeled “Candy,” and it bears a resemblance to Apple’s Aqua interface. The Aqua theme uses shadows, metallic textures, and rounded buttons. These elements also appeared in Microsoft XP.

The Candy theme was never actually released. Instead, Windows developers used it as a placeholder when creating the theme for Windows XP.

In the end, Microsoft settled on another theme called Luna when Windows XP was released in 2001. The theme incorporated a blue, green, and silver color scheme. Luna also came with an iconic default background that featured a green hill and blue sky with clouds.

Themes have often been considered an important differentiator between computer brands, as users tend to immediately notice designs. Although Microsoft and Apple have been in fierce competition over desktop operating systems for decades, the two have actually borrowed some elements from each other, like browsing and navigation designs. As time passed, the focus of the two tech giants shifted from visual aspects to functional ones, such as performance and security.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Do you think Microsoft should launch its unreleased themes? Why or why not?
• Which do you think will be more popular in the future, Microsoft or Apple? Why?

Discussion B

• Do you think it’s good for tech companies to borrow ideas from one another? Why or why not?
• Do you think newer tech companies can eventually outdo tech giants like Microsoft and Apple? Why or why not?