Hate the shiny new look of Sherlock II? Apparently, thousands do – and there's now a patch to revert Mac OS 9's redesigned Internet search engine to its OS 8.5 appearance.

Graphic designer Raul Gutierrez posted his retro-look on the Internet, and claims that the free Winfix patch - short for Windows Fix - has been downloaded over 15,000 times in the three days it has been available.

"People are going nuts over this thing," Gutierrez told Wired journalist Leander Kahney. "I had more than 10,000 downloads in the first day and a half."

Winfix turns back time to take Sherlock II's interface - based on QuickTime 4's 'metallic' appearance - back to the window-and-scroll-bar look of Sherlock I (see image above).

Users have been most annoyed by Sherlock II's inability to minimize its window size by double-clicking in its titlebar. The "Favorites" drawer has also come in for some negative criticism. In an interview with Macworld (see "Apple defends UK Mac OS 9 chop"), Peter Lowe, Apple's director of worldwide product marketing for the Mac OS, promised that Sherlock II's interface would be made scalable "soon".

Apple is under attack for "fiddling" with the Mac interface. The successful Mac look-&-feel has remained sacrosanct because of the company's stringent Human Interface Guidelines for all Mac software developers.

Bruce Tognazzini, founder of Apple's Human Interface Group, which set up the interface guidelines, accuses Apple's interim CEO Steve Jobs for messing with the interface: "I suspect you will see a lot more ego-driven design before things get better."

The so-called "space-age" new look of Sherlock II and QuickTime 4 is somewhat mirrored in Apple's consumer video-editing tool, iMovie, which is bundled with iMac DV computers. It is rumoured to be used throughout the forthcoming Mac OS X, due early next year.