Gaussian blur in graphics is mainly known as effect in iOS (2013) and macOS (not pretty familiar). But was Apple the first, who started using it in their user interface?

Much earlier than iOS 7, in 2006 Microsoft released Windows Vista that had blur (but with lower blur radius, probably due to performance).

Was Microsoft the first, or that days OS X already had implemented blur in it? Or maybe another operating system/ui had blur in 2006 or earlier?

What do I mean by Gaussian blur effect (although I thought it is pretty clarified, I even pinned an image, but ok).

I mean a visual effect that applied on translucent surfaces, that blurs things "behind" the surface.

In Windows Vista, 7, 8 (not 8.1) that effect was a part of Aero theme and was applied mainly to window border. In Windows 10 with Fluent Design system blur radius was increased, also there became in-app blur, but not only window-behind blur.

enter image description here

Animated example of the effect:

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Note: This effect is also called Frosted Glass Effect if I'm not wrong. At least it's similar to that.

  • Windows XP from 2001 had drop-shadows on menus, but not on the windows.
    – Wolff
    Commented May 30, 2021 at 9:33
  • 1
    This list of OS interfaces might be interesting.
    – Wolff
    Commented May 30, 2021 at 9:44
  • @Wolff can we go through question again now?
    – Vikas
    Commented May 31, 2021 at 5:47
  • 1
    It was me. I did it back in 1996. You can take that to the bank.
    – Joonas
    Commented May 31, 2021 at 9:26
  • @Joonas lol. Seriously?
    – Vikas
    Commented May 31, 2021 at 9:38

1 Answer 1


It is hard for me to determine who was the first, because I have never used macOS or osX, so I trying to get the truth just using the web.

Currently, it seems that this is indeed the battle of Windows and osX:

  • Windows Vista January 2007 (Release)
  • Mac OS X Leopard October 2007 (Release) (maybe), or Mac OS X Snow Leopard Aug 2009 (Rel)

Where blur is in Leopard? If it is not just a bad quality of YouTube video, then tiny-radius blur was used as a background in "right tool", or what was the name of that thing.

enter image description here

In Tiger, seems there was no blur effect, so, probably Mac OS X Leopard was the first Apple OS with blur in UI. If it is correct, then Microsoft was the first who added that effect.

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