Critics: "Vista" An Apple Copycat

Microsoft hopes improved security and flashy new features in its new operating system, Vista, will spur consumers.

But, reports CBS News Technology Correspondent Daniel Sieberg, some analysts say those features aren't so new.

"It kinda like hits you between the eyes," remarks New York Times technology columnist David Pogue. "I don't mean to imply that Vista is nothing but copies from Apple, but there are some certain similarities that are unmistakable.

"One of the most useful features in Vista (gives you) every program, document, e-mail, address book entry from your entire computer ready to go. And … the same thing (is) on the Macintosh.

"Another great new feature in Windows is this thing called 'Photo Gallery.' On the Macintosh -- same exact thing, but it's called 'iPhoto.' "

Vista has what Pogue says is a highly-touted new feature, "The Sidebar," consisting of what he calls "individual, single-purpose, dedicated little programs; one (for example), for the weather report, one for your stock portfolio, one for notes. They're useful … but also highly similar to the same things on the Mac," called "Widgets."

Apple's home computers only represent a fraction of the market, Sieberg points out, but its ever-present iPod dominates the landscape of digital music players. And, when Microsoft introduced the Zune, its own music player, last year, many industry watchers felt it was nothing more than an iPod imitator.

"I'm not saying, by the way, that Apple doesn't also steal from Microsoft on occasion. They do," Pogue adds. "But, does it really matter? No, it doesn't. Because what happens is, both operating systems get better, and these definitely are improvements (in) Vista."

The leaders of both companies are now billionaires, Sieberg notes, so it's hard to say there were any losers.