Windows 7: Does Microsoft Have a Big Idea?

What is going to give Windows 7, which Microsoft insists will be out in early 2010, its wow?

At the D: All Things Digital Conference last night, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer gave a brief glimpse at the the user interface of Windows 7. The demo mostly showed off a multitouch interface that allows users to use their hands to manipulate objects on the screen, as is done on th eApple iPhone and Microsoft’s own Surface. It also gave a glimpse, perhaps unintentional, of a reworked Windows taskbar that bears more than a passing resemblence to the Dock in Apple OS X.

Both are excellent ideas, but they raise a huge question: What’s the dramatic new feature in Windows 7 that doesn’t look, fairly or not, like it was copied from Apple?

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