Ex Microsoft Windows software executive Steven Sinofsky (we think of him as Microsoft's Scott Forestall) has suggested that the flat design of Windows 8 might have started a new trend in global design that Apple is about to adopt.

Comparisons have been made between claims that the new iOS will be a flat design, and the flat design of Windows 8. Sinofsky lead the development of Windows 8, which launched last year.

9to5 Mac asked Sinofsky for his opinion on the rumoured flat iOS 7 design.

"I was excited about the opportunity to be a part of a product that changes the design language," he said.

"Design is a global cross industry discipline and so when one part of an industry changes it's usually reflected across a broad set of things," he concluded, hinting that Microsoft is leading the new trend.

Sinofsky appears to be of the opinion that adopting the new design style will be challenging for Apple. "Introducing a design shift in the design language of a product is also a challenge," he said.

Apple's iOS 7, expected to be unveiled at WWDC 2013 in June, will have major user interface changes and reports have suggested these could be "unsettling" for veteran users. The interface changes will include a redesign of Apple's native app icons, as well as new tool bars, tab bars and more, the sources say.

Following an executive shakeup in October that saw then head of iOS software Scott Forstall leave the company, Ive has taken on more responsibilities, as the leader of human interface at Apple. This means that, as well as hardware design leadership, Ive now has more involvement with the design of iOS and other Apple platforms.

Ive's promotion sparked speculation that Apple may be considering dropping its skeuomorphic design elements in favour of a cleaner, more minimalist design.

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