I've just been looking at the demo of the Leopard release of Apple's OSX and I'm struck by how many of the enhancements could be considered Apple catching up with enhancements that Microsoft put into its Vista UI. While there are really cool unique UI features being introduced by Apple, I'm struck, and somewhat surprised, to see so many similarities to recent Windows enhancements. This is probably healthy though in that it raises the level of visual and interaction design in software products that are pervasive across all industries. I think that bodes well for the importance of visual and interaction design in general. Its always nice to see customers voting with their pocketbooks reinforcing the importance of great design.
Have a go yourself with the Apple - Mac OS X Leopard - Guided Tour. Now, if I could only have a right mouse button and a backspace key on my MacBook!