Microsoft's new operating system appears to "copy much" from Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger, according to a review in The Age.

Now called "Windows Vista", the much-delayed OS is due to ship late in 2006. The company released its first public beta last week, and the software: "Does have more of a Mac-like look and feel", the report claims, adding, "and, yes. It's insanely late".

The Age also notes the improved search capabilities of the OS, which can look through text, images, emails and more.

Freedom to innovate

"Mac fans are probably screaming. Yes, this is very similar to the Spotlight function in the recent update of Mac OS X. At this stage of development, Vista does bear a significant resemblance," the report reveals.

Microsoft's freedom to innovate is also clear in the green shimmering progress bars, drop shadows and more. Applications also, "open in slick animation", it states.

"Though Microsoft is largely thought to have won the PC war, the biggest battle might just take place in 2006," the reviewer predicts.