Steve Jobs once said that Microsoft stole Windows from Apple, but there has been plenty of idea snatching on both sides over the years. Windows 7 and Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard each contain features that originated in the other OS. Some features were stolen so long ago that they've become part of the computing landscape, and it's difficult to remember who invented what. Here we give credit to Microsoft where credit is due.
1. Finder Sidebar: Windows Navigation pane
Like the Windows Navigation pane, the Finder Sidebar sits at the left side of folder windows, providing hierarchical icons to navigate to other folders. In either, you can get to any folder on the computer. The Finder Sidebar debuted in Mac OS X 10.3 Panther, two years after the Navigation pane appeared in Windows XP. Microsoft did steal the triangles from Apple. Before Vista, Windows used plus and minus signs to expand or collapse lists.