Originally Posted by Shunnabunich
How on earth did DED get away with calling Lion's icons "high-contrast"? They're either the same photorealistic stuff they've been doing for years (i.e. app icons) or illegible light gray on lighter gray (sidebars). iOS toolbar icons I can see getting that description, but even then that's just incidental because it happened to make good design sense for toolbars
. The entire premise of the Metro UI as a whole
is that it's high-contrast and blocky, so it wouldn't make sense to do otherwise for those few little icons in the Start menu.
In short, DED is getting needlessly desperate if that's the worst example of MS' infamous habit of copycatting he could find (and if it is, he's not trying hard enough).
To explain things for you:
Lion has the same desktop photorealistic icons of Mac OS X. Its menu bars, however, have been reduced to high contrast monochrome icons similar to Apple's 2007-era iPhone and the Menu Bar icons Mac OS X has always used in the top right by the clock.
Prior to Lion, sidebars (Finder/iTunes) and window menus (Mail, etc) were usually colorful and somewhat inconsistent. Lion has incorporated the scaled down, less distracting monochrome icons of iOS & the OS X Menu Bar, both of which are designed not to scream for attention because they're always visible. The desktop is not always visible, so it doesn't have to be toned down or scaled back to basic icons.
Metro, on the other hand, is flashy bright colors borrowing only iOS's heavy use of animation. But now the W8 UI is incorporating flat utilitarian icons for much the same reason as Apple. I don't think the article is boohooing Microsoft's copying as much as pointing out that Apple figured this stuff out first at every generation, as another poster commented:
- sharp b&w icons at a time when the PC market was using blurry color with ugly graphics
- classy use of understated colors and shades of gray ten years before Microsoft toned things down for Win2000
- Use of iconic/cartoony icons that took advantage of color capacity in the early 90s, which Microsoft began to figure out 6-7 years later
- Use of photorealistic graphics and translucency in MacOS X in 2001, which Microsoft didn't really adopt until Vista in 2007, because Windows lacked the underlying graphics technology.
- Touch friendly understated menu icons with iOS, iPad and Lion starting in 2007, which Microsoft is trying to layer on top of Windows to use as its new thing sometime in 2013.
Get it? If not, start at the top and re-read.