Not even the duckie escapes co-optation
February 5, 2002 6:36 PM   Subscribe

Not even the duckie escapes co-optation No one disputes the XP GUI is cool. "Good Artists create, Great Artists STEAL, and Real Artists Ship" [link from nofuncharlie]
posted by otherchaz (31 comments total)
 
The duckie is from a PhotoDisc object collection... All Artists use Clip Art
posted by ook at 6:46 PM on February 5, 2002


He forgot the link to the Trilateral Commission.
posted by solistrato at 6:57 PM on February 5, 2002


I'm fairly certain Apple didn't invent the circle with the line in the middle as the power on/off symbol.
posted by antispork at 7:00 PM on February 5, 2002


Clip art rocks. Like here - the card Temperance from The Victoria Regina clipart tarot deck.
posted by otherchaz at 7:03 PM on February 5, 2002


A magnifying glass for SEARCHING?! THIS MUST BE THEIVERY! Folders with logical names of the things that are stored inside?

For shame Microsoft. For shame.
posted by geoff. at 7:04 PM on February 5, 2002


Hasn't it been discussed before that many major companies use the same company to design many of their icons? And wouldn't it make sense for this company to deliver essentially similar icons for two (gasp!) essentially similar products, especially when said double-delivery increases product commonality and therefore usability?
posted by Ptrin at 7:07 PM on February 5, 2002


And I suppose this is to suggest that providing a GUI with foreign, unfamiliar icons would be better? With all mud-slinging aside, would it prove better to creat original icons or icons that people would immediately be familiar with?

Take traffic signs for instance, while each country has their own traffic sign they are inherently similiar in nature and image. Yet shouldn't they communicate in a non-linguistic and universal fashion like they do? Sure, there are some differences, but over all you want people to beaware of these things. The same should go for computers in order to make them more accessible for the people.
posted by crog at 7:07 PM on February 5, 2002


The icons for XP were designed by Icon Factory who also make tons of freeware Mac Icons
posted by Stuart_R at 7:16 PM on February 5, 2002


>No one disputes the XP GUI is cool.

I do. I actually prefer my GUI not to bear semblance to products with the words "ages 6 and up".

Besides, fisher price and tyco use more yellow. Without yellow toys just aren't as much fun.
posted by shepd at 7:17 PM on February 5, 2002


I wonder when it was in time that I lost the passion to care?
posted by Wizzle at 7:17 PM on February 5, 2002


158831 people have downloaded the MacOSX Aqua Theme for Windows XP.
posted by Stuart_R at 7:19 PM on February 5, 2002


No one disputes the XP GUI is cool.

Except those German guys... And Apple... And people who like their systems to run at a speed slightly higher than "insanely sluggish."

That last is why everyone I know who uses XP has shut off the extended gui features. They may be pretty (in a mental hospital/preschool kind of way) but they eat resources like a mofo. Cool to look at? Maybe. Cool enough to allow the system resource hogging? Nope.
posted by phalkin at 7:24 PM on February 5, 2002


This is a pretty old issue, and as I recall, Mister Softee already offered a (lame-o) explanation. But I can't find it, despite a few attempts at googling it. If someone wants to dig, it seems to me that this first came up over the summer, before XP shipped.
posted by emptyage at 7:37 PM on February 5, 2002


Ok, now this is a stretch.
posted by aaronshaf at 7:39 PM on February 5, 2002


The icons for XP were designed by Icon Factory who also make tons of freeware Mac Icons

Thanks Stuart_R, that sums it all up. Argument over. ..unless bill went to Icon Factory and said "you know, I want icons just like osx."
posted by tomplus2 at 7:42 PM on February 5, 2002


> And I suppose this is to suggest that providing a GUI with foreign, unfamiliar icons would be better?

You supposes erroneously. I like the XP GUI. I like Mac OS GUIs. I'm delighted they both use clip-art duckies.

Ok, I admit it's entirely possible, and perhaps quite likely, the GUI designers of Microsoft and Apple were hermetically sealed from each other, and yet independently came to many of the same creative decisions, working from the similar sources. Attribute it to whatever you like, morphogenetics (the hundredth duckie), zeitgeist ("It rubber duckies when it comes rubber duckie time"), or plain common sense (it is self-evident that all gui ducks are created equal)

I will still think it's the sincerest form of flattery, and it warms my heart.
posted by otherchaz at 7:43 PM on February 5, 2002


These are some pretty lame excuses. I think its fairly obvious that the XP look is based on the Mac GUI. It didn't just turn out that way because they used the same company, it was a deliberate plan on the part of MS.

That being said I really don't know or care if this infringes on any of Apple's IP, but its safe to say that MS liked the Apple look enough to put it into its newest OS. I can see how some people can be upset at this.

I wonder what the reaction would be if the opposite was true. What if Apple co-opted the Start button or some other windows widget? I think I would be hearing more about the imminent demise of Apple and its lack of creativity than a justifiable borrowing of another's icon/look.
posted by skallas at 7:50 PM on February 5, 2002


They may be pretty (in a mental hospital/preschool kind of way)

Actually, in a Claritin commercial/ad kind of way. Creeps me out.
posted by ParisParamus at 8:26 PM on February 5, 2002


it was a deliberate plan on the part of MS.
How accurate is this statement? Just curious because it seems somewhat inflammatory and I seriously doubt MS gives a rats behind.

I can see how some people can be upset at this.

Why? Sorry for expressing such indifference but I can't possibly see how this is upsetting or worth getting all worked up about (unless you are a graphic designer). I have used both OS's and cannot, for the life of me, see what the fuss is all about.

Signed,
Bemused In Chicago
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 8:59 PM on February 5, 2002


If you have a copy of Adobe ImageReady, type "DUCKERBOARD" and then check the transparency pattern. It's been there since before Apple's OS 9 multi-user logins.

I find these things fascinating.

Of course this all just reinforces the impact Mr. Henson had on our collective imaginations.
posted by joemaller at 10:02 PM on February 5, 2002


Would you prefer the duckie or a pengiun?
posted by crog at 10:09 PM on February 5, 2002


I like how they point out the power buttons on the XP login screen and on the MacOS 9 login screen, with the comment "Klar, reiner Zufall" (roughly "obviously, purely a coincidence"). God forbid they use the universal "power on/off" symbol!
posted by zztzed at 10:32 PM on February 5, 2002


XP vs OS X has really become quite an amusing battleground. The first time I saw an XP (then Whistler) login screen with the Photodisc imagery, I stifled a laugh, having just setup the same thing on my Mac. Then when I saw the default theme for XP, I just about threw up. To me it's a pretty blatant attempt to copy OS X's look, and fails miserably.

I don't know why they changed from the earlier "watercolor" theme, because that is simple and elegant, IMO. I run it now in XP.

But beyond the look of the two operating systems, the functionality they provide is an arms race. MS has been getting a few ideas in first, but Apple has fleshed them out better (witness iPhoto - XP has a lot of digital camera management tools built in, but IMO they fall short of iPhoto's well-designed simplicity. Or Windows Media Player vs iTunes).
posted by SiW at 11:09 PM on February 5, 2002


I'm definitely biased in favor of the Mac OS, but a friend recently bought a Windows XP laptop, so I got to play with XP while he was comparison-shopping. I like the look of OS X better, but Windows XP feels smoother. I've got over a gig of RAM in my G4, and OS X is still sluggish sometimes. The Windows XP laptops had maybe 256MB of RAM, but the GUI response was pretty snappy.
posted by kirkaracha at 11:36 PM on February 5, 2002


>I'm fairly certain Apple didn't invent the circle with the line in the middle as the power on/off symbol.

>God forbid they use the universal "power on/off" symbol!

No, Apple didn't invent the on/off symbol. Nor did they invent the duckie. Your point?
posted by otherchaz at 11:50 PM on February 5, 2002


You know what I find really shocking? That Microsoft has been stealing ideas from the MacOS (and Lisa) since 1985, and people still get upset about it when it happens again.

If this were truly upsetting, we'd all uninstall Windows and MacOS to run Star instead. But we don't. Of course, it's never too late for Xerox to sue Windows or Apple for copyright infringement.
posted by jeffvc at 6:13 AM on February 6, 2002


Mein Gott!
posted by ph00dz at 7:12 AM on February 6, 2002


I invented the duckie. They wanted a fierce beast to drive off the penguins. See the fangs underneath the bill?
posted by adampsyche at 7:31 AM on February 6, 2002


Every time someone says that Microsoft stole Apple's interface back in the day, someone else comes along and claims that it's okay, because Apple stole it from Xerox in the first place.

They didn't.
posted by O9scar at 7:45 AM on February 6, 2002


Bah! O9scar beat me to it
posted by Nauip at 1:58 PM on February 6, 2002


>Would you prefer the duckie or a pengiun?

>I invented the duckie. They wanted a fierce beast to drive off the penguins. See the fangs underneath the bill?

Because it's OS X. I don't fancy
penguinsas much as daemons.

posted by otherchaz at 2:33 AM on February 7, 2002


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