Windows XP had secret theme that looked like Apple's Aqua

Apple Aqua Windows Xp
Apple Aqua Windows Xp (Image credit: The Verge)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft's Windows XP source code was recently leaked online.
  • People have started digging through the code to see what they can find.
  • Turns out Windows XP had a secret theme that looked just like Apple's Aqua interface from 2000 that was never released.

Earlier this week it emerged that the source code from Windows XP had leaked online.

From Windows Central:

Alleged source code for Windows XP leaked online this week. The leak was spread in a thread on the anonymous forum 4chan, which linked to archives of both the alleged Windows XP source code along with source code for other Microsoft products. Notably, the archive includes the Windows NT 3.5 and original Xbox source code dumps that appeared online in May.

Digging through the code, The Verge has found that Microsoft actually had a secret, unreleased Microsoft XP theme that looked exactly like Apple's Aqua interface from 2000.

Apple Windows Xp

Apple Windows Xp (Image credit: The Verge)

As reported by The Verge:

Microsoft created a secret Windows XP theme that made the operating system look more like a Mac. A recent Windows XP source code leak has revealed Microsoft's early work on the operating system and some unreleased themes the company created during its early XP development back in 2000.One is labeled "Candy" and includes a design that closely resembles Apple's Aqua interface that was first introduced at the Macworld Conference & Expo in 2000. Although the theme is incomplete, the Windows XP Start button and various buttons and UI elements are clearly themed to match Apple's Aqua.

The theme was never released to the public and may have been used as a placeholder for the theme engine. The only description for the theme says "Whistler skin with eye candy". The theme was marked for internal use only.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9