It's indisputably true that mouse-based interaction and screen-based GUI computing were both originally developed by Xerox before Apple realised the potential.
But then the Ford Motor Company manufactured the first mass-produced car – nobody shouts 'copy' when BMW or Toyota announce a new model. The automotive industry has thousands of technology advances that can be originally accredited to one manufacturer, but then get built into most makes – is this copying? And this is true of pretty well every type of technology out there.
I've looked very closely at Windows 7, and there are certainly many new features in it that I have to agree were clearly inspired by Mac OSX, and there were similar 'inspirations' in Vista and XP before it. Many of these 'inspirations' also exist in various Linux-driven operating systems too.
Apple and Microsoft are both technology companies with very powerful marketing muscles – they need to be to sell all the products they make. The question really is, who produces the better technology?
In computers, evidently the answer is Apple, as they're still the only mainstream hardware manufacturer who develops the operating system that runs it, which gives them the edge (and the control) to make sure 'it just works'.
As to the pricing debate, Apple charge the prices they do for their technology primarily because they need to control the volume of sales; if Apple's pricing dropped enough to capture 20 per cent of the global computer market, they simply couldn't make enough machines to fulfil that number of sales – no single computer manufacturer could.
But I also have to say Windows 7 has a few features which put it ahead of OSX, like Snap (yes, Mac OSX has Exposé, but it's not as neat), AeroPeek previewing, and the amazingly simply VPN connectivity integrated with Server 2008 R2 – how long until Apple catch up with those, I wonder?