Is Samsung Now Copying Mac OS X’s Dock?

Is Samsung Now Copying Mac OS X’s Dock?

I don’t know if Samsung is now just taunting Apple or if its user interface people in the Windows 8 department are the same ones who work in the TouchWiz department. Check out the new S-Launcher, which is to be included in all of Samsung’s Windows 8 machines. Does it look familiar to you?

Yes, it looks like Apple’s Mac OS X dock, right down to the glassy pseudo-3D tray that shows the reflection of the icons placed on it. In fact, it works just like the dock does in Mac OS X. Check out this description:

And of course, the S Launcher is also a launcher. Simply drag apps or files to it for easy access, tossing them off when you don’t want them anymore. Nothing groundbreaking in that, but it doesn’t hurt, either, and the icons are bigger than in the Windows taskbar.

The only difference is that it includes the search-and-launch function of the Start button. Oh, and the tray has a rounded edge on the front! INNOVATION.

But then someone will say: “Docks are not new! Samsung can sure go ahead and copy it all — the functionality, look and feel of Apple’s dock! After all, you can’t patent trays! Amirite?”

Docks are nothing new. The first dock — a tray that holds frequently used program icons for easy access — was introduced by NeXTSTEP in September 18, 1989, the operating system created by NeXT, the company that Steve Jobs founded after he left Apple. It was the very first time that someone had the idea of creating such a launcher and it worked just the same as OS X dock — or Samsung’s “new” S-Launcher for Windows 8. Drag icons to it for easy launching.

Eventually, NeXT was bought by Apple, who turned NeXTSTEP into what we now know today as OS X. The dock evolved during that process, going from a flat 2D surface to the familiar pseudo-3D glassy surface with live icon reflections, the centrepiece of OS X’s user interface.

Back in the ’90s, the idea inspired other operating system manufacturers, including Microsoft, which introduced its own Start Menu in Windows 95. It was heavily inspired by both the NeXT looks and the Mac System’s Apple Menu, but the Start Menu was quite different to the dock and the Apple Menu. Nobody would confuse them. You know, great artist steal and all that.

Samsung’s S-Launcher, on the other hand, is clearly made to look like Apple’s OS X dock. In this photo, it shows only the start icon and the preferences icon, but populate it with other app icons, make a capture, put them side to say, and you got the dock. Except for that amazing curved glass tray.

The Dock, as you can imagine, is patented. Its design and functionality is credited to Bas Ording, Donald Lindsay and Steve Jobs.

You do the maths. [Yahoo]