Did a Microsoft Sample Influence the Design of a Mac Genealogy Application?

Friday, 5 Oct 2007 | by Mark Tucker

I was reading Dick Eastman’s newsletter today and came across a post about MacFamilyTree 5 beta so  I decided to follow the link to the company site to see what the UI looked liked.  To my surprise, the main tree diagram looks a lot like Microsoft’s Family.Show sample application that I have blogged so much about. 

Compare the tree diagrams for yourself:

MacFamilyTree 5 beta

  MacFamilyTree 5 beta

Microsoft’s Family.Show


The latest updates to genealogy software appear to have at least a graphic designer (if not a user experience designer) on the team.


  1. Are you looking at the MS app in Vista? If so then it’s not surprising they would look similar. I haven’t used a Mac since 1990, but I sometimes wish I did have a Mac laptop. The UI is so much cleaner than Windows. Given how often MS has copied Mac UI aesthetics I find it more surprising that it’s taken this long for someone to find a Mac app that looks like a MS app.

    Comment by Greg Matthews — 8 Oct 2007 @ 8:57 pm

  2. The Family.Show screen shot is from Vista, but other than the title bar and window frame, the application looks the same on Windows XP.

    Comment by Mark Tucker — 8 Oct 2007 @ 10:37 pm

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