Microsoft group manager: Windows 7 borrowing 'Mac look and feel' (updated: Microsoft responds)

We'll be honest -- before today, we had never heard of Simon Aldous, but it sure seems as if he's trying hard to get his name out there. Mr. Aldous, a group manager at Microsoft, recently sat down for a rather lengthy talk with PCR. Most of the back-and-forth revolved around receiving input from partners and other mildly boring topics, but one particular Q&A was pointed directly at the outfit's newest operating system. When asked if Windows 7 was "really a much more agile operating system," Simon made a deliberate decision to say the following:

"One of the things that people say an awful lot about the Apple Mac is that the OS is fantastic, that it's very graphical and easy to use. What we've tried to do with Windows 7 – whether it's traditional format or in a touch format – is create a Mac look and feel in terms of graphics."

Of course, he followed that up by slamming OS X's general stability, noting that Vista's core technology -- on which Win7 is built -- is "far more stable than the current Mac platform." We know we're opening up a giant can here, but... um, thoughts?

Update: Microsoft has issued its response, and it's none too happy, and apparently the Microsoft employee in question was "not involved in any aspect of designing Windows 7." From the official Windows Blog: "I hate to say this about one of our own, but his comments were inaccurate and uninformed." We imagine there were lots of frowny faces around the office today.