Today, Apple is hosting its annual WWDC 2023 event to announce new iOS, iPadOS, and macOS versions. At the event, Apple announced the latest version of its desktop operating system, macOS 14, dubbed “Sonoma.” Interestingly, elements of Sonoma appear to mimic features from previous iterations of Microsoft’s Windows.
For those unaware, Apple names its new macOS on mountains. With macOS Sonoma, Apple has maintained the tradition of naming its macOS based on mountains.
In this case, Sonoma is a county in California, United States. macOS 14’s default wallpaper is of mountains, similar to the well-recognized Windows XP wallpaper, famously known as “Bliss.” The new wallpaper, set against the backdrop of Sonoma County’s captivating natural beauty, emulates the aesthetics of Bliss.
Of course, Apple did not discuss Sonoma County and how the new wallpaper resembles Windows XP Bliss. While the similarity can be ignored, the geographical proximity between Sonoma and Napa County, where the original Bliss photograph was taken, adds an intriguing angle to this design choice.
macOS 14’s new default wallpaper is an animated image of a mountainous environment with green valleys and a colourful sky. On the other hand, Windows XP Bliss, captured by the celebrated photographer Charles O’Rear in Napa Valley, depicts rolling green hills under a sun-dappled blue sky.
This has long been a symbol of the Microsoft Windows lineup, particularly for Windows XP users around the globe.
Windows Vista-like desktop gadgets on macOS
While the widgets feature isn’t particularly new to Apple’s ecosystem, Apple’s decision to bring interactive Widgets to the desktop or home of macOS reminds us of Windows Vista or Windows 7-era Gadgets.
Widgets have been on iOS and iPad for a while now, and Apple is looking to improve the experience with interactive and dynamic content.
macOS Sonoma has a new feature called “desktop widgets”, reminiscent of Windows Vista’s gadgets functionality. The Vista gadgets, unveiled in 2007, were compact, standalone apps offering quick access to information and tools. Windows 11 has widgets, but unlike gadgets, they are locked to a board or panel.
Windows Vista gadgets included simple functions like clocks, calendars, weather updates, news feeds, and more complex tools like system monitors and slide shows. Unlike Windows 11 Widgets, gadgets appear directly on the Windows Vista desktop, making the desktop more valuable and interactive.
Apple’s Widgets work similarly and can be pinned to the desktop/home screen of macOS. The interactive widgets can help you navigate some apps or features without opening the apps. For example, you can interact with Map or Weather apps and perform specific actions without opening the apps.
According to our sources familiar with the development, Windows 11 is getting desktop widgets support later this year with third-party support. These desktop widgets will be similar to Windows Vista gadgets, and Microsoft plans to use the existing web technology for desktop widgets.