Jun 29, 2004, 11:10 AM
Category: News and Press Releases
Link: NY Times features Spotlight (registration required) (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20040629121034)
Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)
Approved by Mudbug
Jun 29, 2004, 11:16 AM
Could somebody please post a copy of the article?
Jun 29, 2004, 12:02 PM
SAN FRANCISCO, June 28 - Steven P. Jobs, the chief executive of Apple Computer, demonstrated on Monday his answer to one of computing's most pressing problems: searching for files and information stored on desktop computers.
At a meeting here of some 3,500 software developers, Mr. Jobs showed off a coming feature for Apple computers, called Spotlight, that will allow users to search quickly for words and concepts stored on a hard drive by using search technology borrowed from the company's iTunes online music service. The feature will be part of the next version of the Macintosh operating system, called Tiger, which is scheduled for release in the first half of next year.
Tiger is the fifth enhancement to the Macintosh Operating System X since it was released in March 2001. Though it is a year away from general availability, it is still at least a year ahead of Microsoft's next version of Windows, code-named Longhorn. Bill Gates, Microsoft's chairman, has described search as the next major step in PC software development and has told software developers that Longhorn will include powerful built-in search capabilities.
"I think search has become very important, and the search in Tiger is really going to be useful to users," said Charles R. Wolf, an analyst with Needham & Company in New York. "Certainly the same problems are plaguing Windows users."
To hear Mr. Jobs describe it, the problem of searching for information on a personal computer is one of the most troublesome issues facing the computer industry, and one that Apple - which today has only 5 percent of the PC market - will be the first to solve.
"Search is a problem for every personal computer company," Mr. Jobs said in an interview at the Apple Worldwide Developer conference. "It's easier to find a document in a million pages on the Web using Google than it is to find a document on your hard drive."
With Tiger, that will no longer be the case, Mr. Jobs said, because Spotlight will be able to find data stored on a hard drive regardless of the type of file it is hidden in.
The function is based on technology used in iTunes that permits users of Apple's music service to organize and search through song collections. Spotlight will show up as an icon in the top right corner of the screen, much like the search buttons that show up on Web pages.
By incorporating roughly 150 new features in Tiger, Apple is "clearly going after Longhorn," said Tim Bajarin, president of Creative Strategies, a market research company in Santa Clara, Calif. "They're putting in a lot of features that will be in Longhorn, and that's not coming out until 2006 or 2007."
In demonstrating Tiger's search and other features, including enhanced videoconferencing, Mr. Jobs repeatedly took jabs at Microsoft to the delight of the Macintosh developer audience.
"We think we are years ahead of Longhorn," Mr. Jobs told the software developers, many of whom came from Europe and Asia. "The other guys have been talking about it and we're doing it."
The race between Tiger and Longhorn was something of a theme at the conference, which has long attracted a crowd of Macintosh aficionados. One billboard-size sign greeting developers read, "Redmond, we have a problem"; Microsoft's headquarters are in Redmond, Wash.
Another sign read, "Get your copiers ready," referring to Apple's longstanding claim that many of Windows' best innovations were copied from the Macintosh.
"They're copying our concepts," Mr. Jobs said. "I'd kind of like to get credit sometime," he added. In the late 1980's, Apple sued Microsoft, accusing it of copying the Macintosh operating system.
While the enhancements to the operating system were well received by developers, financial analysts had hoped Apple would announce a new version of the iMac, Apple's basic personal computer. Shares of Apple fell $1.21, to close at $32.49 on Monday.
Mr. Wolf said that because Apple introduced the G5 computer at last year's conference, many Apple analysts had expected to see new Macs introduced at this year's event. Instead, he thinks Apple will introduce its new machines later this summer. Mr. Jobs did, however, introduce a sleek new 30-inch monitor, the company's largest yet. But with a price tag of $3,300, that product is aimed at design professionals, not the mass market.
Many users will see Spotlight as another search tool without realizing the implications of it being available at the system level. Let's hope the technology meets developer expectations so they'll want to use it in their applications for doing things that were previously difficult or impossible without it.
Jul 1, 2004, 02:39 AM
I can already see my Windoze buddies saying something like "We already have a find feature, geez Maac's are so behind".
Then they won't listen when I try to explain the true value of Spotlight. There's no convincing some people.