After upgrading to Windows 11, I quickly noticed the new UI is pretty similar to macOS. As I continued to explore the OS, I kept on finding other similarities between the two operating systems. Well, Windows 11 looks more like macOS than ever before. Let’s explore what pushed Microsoft to implement the new UI design and what elements are strikingly similar to macOS.
Is Windows 11 Way Too Similar to macOS?
Windows 11’s Taskbar vs. Apple’s macOS Dock
The new Windows 11 taskbar looks really similar to the Dock from macOS. You even have a tiny dot right under the app icons indicating they’re running in the background. If you see an em dash instead of a dot, the respective app is running in the foreground. In other words, that’s the app that you’re actively using.
By default, the taskbar is centered in the middle of the screen. But you can always move it back to the left if you want to restore the Windows 10 taskbar UI.
The New Start Menu is Less Cluttered
The Start Menu includes shortcuts to the apps and items that you frequently use. You can click on the All Apps button and quickly access all the apps installed on your computer. This improved functionality is pretty similar to the LaunchPad on macOS.
By the way, you can remove Recommended apps and items if you feel they clutter the Start Menu.
Apps Have Rounded Corners
The entire Windows 11 UI looks much smoother now, thanks to round window corners. It’s also less cluttered as Microsoft removed many unnecessary elements that were just causing a lot of visual noise. Animations are also more fluid and smoother.
New Windows Layouts
Windows 11 brings better multitasking options allowing you to quickly snap window layouts. You can open multiple apps and then quickly re-arrange the windows to best suit your needs. I always found multitasking on Mac much simpler and more accessible than on Windows, and I’m glad Microsoft added these improvements.
So, Did Microsoft Really Copy macOS?
If you’re familiar with macOS, you may notice that Windows 11 has a Mac-like look. Microsoft removed many unnecessary elements and created a minimalist, clutter-free UI. I’m sure this decision was based on the latest principles of good user interface design and not on some obscure urge to copy macOS. The similarities between the two operating systems stem from using the same principles of good design and efficient functionality.
Apple has always been at the forefront of innovation, and macOS has always looked smooth and modern. The fact that Microsoft has significantly revamped the UI for the first time in years made many people jump to conclusions. Take the never-ending Apple-Microsoft rivalry into account, and you’ll see that’s like adding fuel to the fire. Let’s not forget that back in 2005, Steve Jobs himself said that Microsoft copied the original Mac with Windows 95.
Let’s take the new rounded window corners. Android has been using this design for years. Does that mean that Microsoft copied Android?
Overall, Windows 11 is still Windows with a new coat of paint and improved features. The most crucial part is that the UI feels modern for the first time in years.
The Windows 11 UI is more user-friendly and clutter-free than ever. For the first time in years, it actually looks smooth and beautiful. Some UI elements look pretty similar to those on macOS, most likely because they stem from the same UI design principles. Microsoft has done an excellent job at making the OS snappier. It’s also more intuitive and easy to use.
What do you think about the new Windows 11 design? Thumbs-up or thumbs-down? Do you think Microsoft actually copied UI elements from macOS? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Jensen Z says
I find the above comments to be exactly the same as what I wanted to say.
If I wanted an OS that looks and uses like a MacOS, I would have bought a Mac.
The non-expendable taskbar for one thing is absolutely appalling. The reason why I loved a PC over a damn Mac is that I can see all windows that I have open and quickly switch to one with 1 click.
As it says in the conclusion: “For the first time in years…most likely because they stem from the same UI design principles.”
So Apple had these design principles since day one…and MS has taken HOW many years to catch on?”
Fred Key says
One correction, Microsoft didn’t copy Mac OS for Windows 95 they copied Mac OS for Windows 1.0 back in the 80’s
Not Sure says
“I’m Sure.” – Trust Me
Lars Hammarstrand (CENTIX) says
We’re slowly getting started with Win11 and checking out what the users think.
Personally I love the new design and functionality as well as I really love that it resembles of macOS, the more the merrier! :-) WSL is also getting better for each update and is now really easy to get started with. Unfortunately there is still no built-in networking bridge mode out-of-the-box but you can still tweak it to work manually.
The only drawback using Win11 (same as Win 10) in a corporate environment is MS data harvesting using all the telemetry functions (now about 51) that we have to disable but fortunately this is now automated using centralized tool controlled by AD.
Michael M says
I really hate my PC looking like a Mac. I cant search in the store. Can’t customise the taskbar the way I want.
If I wanted an Apple interface, I’d have bought an Apple.
Once again, Microsloth drops the ball.
I expect this newly minted pig will have even more built in restrictions than Win10 does.
The only version of Win10 I do run is Enterprise. That’s because it’s an Operating System and not a marketing/data mining tool.
The promise that arrived with Win95 is now long dead.
I find the search feature in Windows 11 really far below the desired functionality as in macOS. Also the Docker it’s simply great! I find the animated dock really functional and a smooth experience in macOS. However, let’s face it, since I want also a gaming PC and powerful for multi-tasking, I use more a Windows PC than Mac, and if find myself editing video, well, Apple is unbeatable and going ahead, even now with its own CPUs
MacBook Now says
So much like macOS that I bought a MacBook Pro instead. Maybe this is what they intended to happen.
Betty Alex Holder says
For there to be a COUNTERFEIT dollar there must be an ORIGINAL. With that being said I rest my case!