He also added that those who call Windows 7 "Vista on steroids" aren't far from the mark. Too late, Simon.
Here's what he said about the Windows 7 inspiration:
One of the things that people say an awful lot about the Apple Mac is that the OS is fantastic, that it’s very graphical and easy to use. What we’ve tried to do with Windows 7 – whether it’s traditional format or in a touch format – is create a Mac look and feel in terms of graphics. We’ve significantly improved the graphical user interface, but it’s built on that very stable core Vista technology, which is far more stable than the current Mac platform, for instance (it is?).This is a great talking point for Apple, and here's another question: how long before this shows up in a Mac vs. PC ad?
Update: Microsoft has (unsurprisingly) responded to the fact that this has become big news by replying and saying "this came from a Microsoft employee who was not involved in any aspect of designing Windows 7. I hate to say this about one of our own, but his comments were inaccurate and uninformed." Whoops. Can you say, hand slap?