Microsoft employees claim Apple lifted 'Spotlight' idea st...


PlaceofDis

macrumors Core
Jan 6, 2004
19,232
4
wow, MS likes to talk **** these days dont they?

i thought their great search might have been on hold? i think they are starting to fear the competition now. aren't they just a great company?!
 

nagromme

macrumors G5
May 2, 2002
12,551
1,186
MS really can't win this one... but it's interesting that they're feeling defensive :D

If MS did search "first" and then Apple got the idea from Longhorn, then they sure worked fast... they surpassed MS's head start and went from zero to a complete as-you-type solution integrated with the OS, in a fraction the time it has taken MS to even get started... with Longhorn still just a vague hope for late next year. Why so slow, MS, if Apple can start late and still do so much more in so little time? Why, I hear that Apple even has a robust new metadata system under the hood, still largely untapped, waiting to make Spotlight even better....

But all evidence is that Apple was working on Spotlight long before Longorn was shown. Spotlight is inspired by iTunes search, Sherlock, even BeOS (apple hired someone from Be) and, of course, the OBVIOUS need that people have always had for searching. It's just that the time has come to do it well.

Besides, MS is about the fifth company to make an awkward, slap-on, non-instant, non OS-integrated search bar add-on for Windows. They weren't even first with the half-way solutions!

See also this article:

http://money.cnn.com/2005/05/16/technology/personaltech/microsoft_search.reut/index.htm?cnn=yes

The latest Mac OS, called Tiger, includes a fast desktop search tool called "Spotlight."

Christopher Payne, vice president of MSN Search, said Microsoft's desktop search tool was more flexible, offering users the ability to exclude sensitive information from the search index.
Funny, I see a prefs panel in Tiger that does that too. Not to mention, if you use File Vault, that stuff is indexed within the vault. That's right: if your data's encrypted, then the index OF that data is automatically encrypted too.
 

dejo

Moderator
Staff member
Sep 2, 2004
15,725
447
The Centennial State
The new toolbar promises to give a taste what search experience Longhorn is expected to bring.
So what will Longhorn search have that this new MSN Desktop Search doesn't have, since this is only a taste? Tabs perhaps? Or integration with the OS?...
 

keysersoze

macrumors 68000
Jan 6, 2004
1,596
8
NH
capacity said:
How about LaunchBar from back in 2001?
Next thing you know, Microsoft will be complaining they invented Dashboard and that Apple stole it. Oops, I mean Konfabulator.

:D
 

tace

macrumors member
Oct 13, 2003
67
0
USA
As obsurd a thought it is that Apple Stole search/spotlight from M$, let's remember who stole what from who first. Ofcourse half of these M$ developers aren't old enough to remember those days ;) :eek:
 

PlaceofDis

macrumors Core
Jan 6, 2004
19,232
4
Applespider said:
We need a 'yawn' smiley just for stories like this

I agree completely with Nagromme's points on speed of development and earlier iTunes search etc
you mean a yawn likt this one? ;)

 

iJaz

macrumors 6502a
Dec 16, 2004
540
0
nagromme said:
If MS did search "first" and then Apple got the idea from Longhorn, then they sure worked fast... they surpassed MS's head start and went from zero to a complete as-you-type solution integrated with the OS, in a fraction the time it has taken MS to even get started... with Longhorn still just a vague hope for late next year. Why so slow, MS, if Apple can start late and still do so much more in so little time? Why, I hear that Apple even has a robust new metadata system under the hood, still largely untapped, waiting to make Spotlight even better....

But all evidence is that Apple was working on Spotlight long before Longorn was shown. Spotlight is inspired by iTunes search, Sherlock, even BeOS (apple hired someone from Be) and, of course, the OBVIOUS need that people have always had for searching. It's just that the time has come to do it well.

Besides, MS is about the fifth company to make an awkward, slap-on, non-instant, non OS-integrated search bar add-on for Windows. They weren't even first with the half-way solutions!
My thoughts exactly. Wow, Apple must be copying fast!
I actually think it's the other way around, as Steve Jobs said: "They can't even copy fast" :D
 

asif786

macrumors 65816
Jun 17, 2004
1,027
0
London, UK.
B-52 Macer said:
My thoughts exactly. Wow, Apple must be copying fast!
I actually think it's the other way around, as Steve Jobs said: "They can't even copy fast" :D
exactly; longhorn just shows how inefficient ms really are. as i've said before, anyone would think ms is paying their developers to be slow..!

oh, and lol at that steve jobs comment. i love his lil' quips at ms / billy g.
 

mainstreetmark

macrumors 68020
May 7, 2003
2,229
293
Saint Augustine, FL
PlaceofDis said:
ummmm.... they recycle rather than trash? :p :rolleyes:
The arrow to denote an alias/shortcut?


Anyways, I can recall about 10 or so years ago that some Help program in windows had results-as-you-type. Not exactly meta-data, but just plain data.

The whole thing is really quite silly. "We thought up searching first!" It's an obvious path that the evolution of computers must go down. Who really cares who came up with it first -- It's always been here, now it's just better. I don't really even call this an invention.

Like the people that say that if Otis had not invented the elevator, there'd be no skyscrapers.
 

shamino

macrumors 68040
Jan 7, 2004
3,386
130
Purcellville, VA
nagromme said:
But all evidence is that Apple was working on Spotlight long before Longorn was shown. Spotlight is inspired by iTunes search, Sherlock, even BeOS (apple hired someone from Be) and, of course, the OBVIOUS need that people have always had for searching. It's just that the time has come to do it well.
Let's not forget Jef Raskin. His book The Humane Interface describes (among many other things) the need for a fast and robust search system. This way, users don't have to concern themselves with the mechanics of where their data is stored, and can simply focus on the data itself. (Actually, Jef was opposed to the whole concept of files and file names as well. If you have a sufficiently robust search system, and you have an inkling of what you're looking for, then you don't need to know what the file's name/location is or even that there is such a thing as a file.)
 

shamino

macrumors 68040
Jan 7, 2004
3,386
130
Purcellville, VA
mainstreetmark said:
Like the people that say that if Otis had not invented the elevator, there'd be no skyscrapers.
If there were no elevators, then there would be no skyscrapers. This much is obvious.

But that's not the same as saying "if Otis didn't invent the elevator...". If he didn't, somebody else would have.
 

MontyZ

macrumors 6502a
Jan 7, 2005
887
0
Everything Microsoft has ever sold has been "invented" by someone else, so, they don't have a leg to stand on with this argument. Sour grapes.
 

narco

macrumors 65816
Dec 9, 2003
1,155
0
California.
If I remember correctly, isn't the Longhorn search based on a completely different technology? Well, maybe not completely different, but I remember reading that Spotlight is more of a basic version of the future Longhorn search thing. Still, if I also remember correctly, Spotlight production started before Longhorn. Did I read correctly?

Fishes,
narco.
 

shamino

macrumors 68040
Jan 7, 2004
3,386
130
Purcellville, VA
narco said:
If I remember correctly, isn't the Longhorn search based on a completely different technology? Well, maybe not completely different, but I remember reading that Spotlight is more of a basic version of the future Longhorn search thing. Still, if I also remember correctly, Spotlight production started before Longhorn. Did I read correctly?
All search is based, ultimately, on reading every file and building a database containing everything you find, working fromthe (usually reasonable) assumption that searching the database will be much faster than reading every file at the time of a search.

I was under the impression (based on Jobs' presentations) that Spotlight was integrated down into the file system, making it more efficient than would be possible with a standalone application. But after seeing many reports from actual users, I don't think this is what they're doing. There appears to be a utility program that runs in the background indexing files when they are created/changed. I assume this program gets OS-level support about when files are changed so it doesn't have to scan the entire drive looking for changes (the way Microsoft's FindFast utility does), but there doesn't seem to be any integration beyond this.

There is, of course, beautiful integration at the desktop/application level, but a good UI is rarely something that I would consider groundbreaking. Especially when the UI has been implemented in iTunes for over a year.

WRT Longhorn, I don't know what they're doing, so I can't say if Spotlight is similar. I know that the much-ballyhooed "WinFS" file system (which makes an entire drive a huge database that can be quickly indexed and searched) was dropped from Longhorn. MS's current search products (a suite of toolbars) don't appear very much different from everything that's come before (FindFast, Google, etc.)

As for who started first, we'll never know. Apple has been developing various search technologies for a long time (starting from Sherlock in, I think, MacOS 8). Microsoft has also been developing this for a long time (starting from FastFind in, I think, Office '95). And Jef Raskin wrote about the need for fast and accurate search technologies for quite a long time, and actually implemented some of these ideas in the Canon Cat.