Microsoft created a secret Windows XP theme that made the operating system more like a Mac. A recent source code leak in Windows XP has revealed Microsoft’s early work on the operating system and some unreleased issues the company created during early XP development back in 2000.
One is labeled “Candy” and features a design similar to Apple’s Aqua interface that was first introduced at the Macworld Conference & Expo in 2000. Although the theme is incomplete, the Windows XP Start Button and various buttons and UI elements are clearly themed. to match Apple̵
Microsoft never released its Aqua theme for Windows XP, and we understand that it was used in early source code for the operating system. Windows developers seem to have used the theme as a placeholder to build the theme engine for Windows XP. The theme itself is described as a “Whistler skin with eye candy”, and marked as “for internal use only.” Whistler was the codename for Windows XP.
Microsoft famously moved to a blue and green Luna theme for the final version of XP, which many called Fisher Price-esque when the operating system was originally released in 2001. The theme engine in Windows XP was a major update to the operating system, which opened for third – party themes and a lot of adaptability.
Microsoft developed Windows XP at a time when there was fierce competition with Apple for desktop operating systems. In the late 00’s, Apple pointed out the fun of Microsoft with banners at the annual developer conference entitled “Redmond, start copiers.” Apple also ran a Get a Mac ad campaign focusing on the flaws in Windows, and especially Windows Vista.
During the 90’s and 00’s, Windows was heavily influenced by the classic Mac OS and what later became OS X. Apple has also borrowed some Windows features, especially around windows, navigation, control panels and browsing files and folders.
The leak is a rare insight into the early development of an operating system used by millions. We’ve contacted Microsoft to comment on the unreleased Windows XP theme, and we’ll update you accordingly.